Degrassi Next Class

Netflix binge alert! Season 2 of Degrassi: Next Class is on the horizon, and with new episodes releasing July 22, we know what we’ll be doing all next weekend. Justine chatted with Ricardo Hoyos (Zig) and Ana Golja (Zoe) about the upcoming season, their on screen counterparts and some behind the scenes details about their time on set. Check out our interviews with Ricardo and Ana below, and don’t forget to watch the new season of Degrassi: Next Class on Netflix, streaming on July 22!

Chatting with Ricardo Hoyos

Justine Magazine: You play Zig on Degrassi: Next Class. Tell us about your first reaction when you landed the role.
Ricardo Hoyos: I was 15 when I got cast. It was lunch period at school, and I just remember freaking out. I freaked out and told everyone. I couldn’t believe that I got cast on Degrassi. It’s such an iconic Canadian show that everyone knows about. It was huge for me!

JM: If you had to describe Zig in 3 words, what would they be?
RH: Misunderstood, edgy, very handsome

JM: What has been your favorite storyline for Zig so far?
RH: I really like any time I get to do a fight scene, to just get physical. It helps you get in the scene more. You can’t really do a fight scene without getting pumped up. Your blood is pumping, and you’re breathing heavily. By the time you finish filming a scene, you’ve kind of just gone in a trance and gotten really into it. I’ve done a couple of fight scenes on the show now, and they’re just always really fun.

JM: Do you think you’re similar to Zig?
RH: Zig is charming. He’s able to talk his way out of situations, which I like to think is a quality that I possess. I mean, I guess that’s a little conceited for me to say. Zig is also pretty fickle, which I also like to think I’m not. He’s younger than I am, so he’s still trying to figure things out that I feel like I figured out while I was in high school. So it’s just like tapping into my younger self, the insecurities that you have in high school, things that you’re uncertain about, and fickle about. I guess I’m not like Zig now, but I was like him at some point.

JM: If you could play another character from the show, who would that be?
RH: I’ve never thought about that! Is it weird if I say a girl character? I guess I’d like to play Maya. She’s a great character, and she’s had some good storylines. I’d like to play Maya in another life. I wish I was born as Maya.

JM: What is it like to have such a huge following in the US?
RH: It’s overwhelming at times, in a good way, not in a way that I ever feel annoyed. I kind of can’t believe that this is my life. I have these fans in places and cities that I’ve never even been to. They know me, and they know details of my life. It’s a strong feeling of warmth when you can go on your Twitter or Instagram and see all these comments from people all over the world wishing you well. It’s really nice. It’s a great boost for the ego too.

JM: What can we expect from Zig in Season 2?
RH: Definitely a lot of drama. Relationship woes. Ups and downs. Goods and bads. Potential breakups. Potential makeups. You really can’t leave anything off the table with Degrassi. They kind of have all their bases covered with their storylines, so you can expect it all. Anything that happened to you in high school, and then some.

Degrassi Next Class


The Inside Scoop with Ana Golja

Justine Magazine: Tell me about when you first heard that you were going to play Zoe on Degrassi.
Ana Golja: I was completely at a loss for words. I was so shocked. After about 2 minutes of getting the news, I screamed my head off. I was so excited just to be part of such a legacy. It’s a huge Canadian show, a huge show internationally, and I knew it would be a huge step forward in my career. I was just ecstatic!

JM: If you could describe Zoe in three words, what would they be?
AG: Can I do four? Zoe is very set in her ways.

JM: Do you identify with Zoe?
AG: We do have quite a bit in common. I mentioned the dedication and passion and work ethic. She’s a very strong girl, and I’d like to think that I share that quality. As far as differences though, Zoe is willing to do quite literally whatever it takes to get what she wants. She tends to go about certain things in a negative way, ways that I would never think of doing. She’s a bit of an evil mastermind.

JM: Do you have a favorite storyline of Zoe’s?
AG: I would say, purely from the reaction from the fans and the impact that it had, I would say the assault storyline was my favorite to tackle. One because it really made an impact on so many fans and two because it was based on a real story, the Steubenville, OH case. So it gave me the opportunity to really do a lot of research. It was definitely something to sink my teeth into.

JM: Is it typical for you to do research for your storylines?
AG: Absolutely. I try to do as much research as possible because I love having knowledge. I have a thirst for knowledge, and I want to know as much as I can about anything that Zoe is involved in. With the whole cheerleading storyline, we actually went in and trained with cheerleaders and went to competitions to see the ins and outs of that entire world. It just makes the performance more authentic, I believe.

JM: Is there another character that you would want to play on Degrassi?
AG: If I could play any character, I feel like my answer changes for this every time, but if I could play anyone, I’d probably play Miles. He’s such an incredibly complex character. He has so many issues, whether it be at home, in his personal life, at school. He always has heavy problems. Those are just a lot of fun to tackle as an actor.

JM: Any other projects coming up for you?
AG: I have a lot going on with my music right now. I’m really excited about that. You could be hearing some stuff this summer. 

JM: So what can we expect from Zoe this season?
AG: Zoe goes on quite the roller coaster this season. You can expect her to really struggle to accept who she is verses who she thinks she is. It doesn’t make much sense now, but you’ll understand once you watch the season. She has this internal battle within herself.


Don’t forget to catch Season 2 of Degrassi: Next Class on Netflix on July 22!