An interview with Annie Clark

On last week’s Degrassi, Fiona Celestine Arabella Coyne came out as a lesbian. Depending on how you’re counting, the lead-up to that announcement could date back to her dating the closeted Riley Stavros or to her attempt this spring to start up a relationship with Adam because she liked that he was “the best of both worlds,” even while she was crushing on her best friend, Holly J.

Fiona has been through a lot this season alone as she fought an abusive ex-boyfriend in court and battled the alcoholism that she had been using to hide from other problems, but she seems to be coming out (no pun intended) of this season in a better place than she began it.

Annie Clark is the 18-year-old actor who has been playing Fiona since her introduction on Degrassi in the fall of 2009. She recently talked to me about who she thinks Fiona should be with, fan responses to her most recent storyline, and what’s ahead for Fiona and Holly J.

AfterEllen.com: Let’s cut to the chase! Readers on AfterEllen.com have been torn over whether Fiona should be with Adam or Holly J. Who do you think is better for Fiona, or should she get a new love interest entirely?
Annie Clark:
I think a new love interest entirely would be better for Fiona. As much as I love the relationship between her and Holly J., I like them better as friends. I feel the same way about Fiona and Adam — they make great friends.

AE: Did you have any suspicions before this season that Fiona might not be straight and, if so, how did that impact your portrayal of her?

AC:
We usually don’t find out what’s happening to our characters until we’re almost about to shoot it, so I wasn’t able to play her confusion very much beforehand. But Fiona is known for experimenting with new things so I can’t say I was shocked when I found out!

AE: At what point did you find out about Fiona’s spring storyline with Adam and then Holly J., and what did you think about it?

AC:
I found out about the Adam storyline when we did the gallery shoot for season 10 because Jordy and I were placed together for pictures. But I had no idea how awesome it was going to be! I was much more surprised by the Holly J./Fiona love connection because I was afraid it would ruin their friendship.

AE: How would you say Fiona identifies her sexuality at this point, if she does?

AC:
At this point, Fiona is a lesbian. But you never know!

AE: I think you’ve been doing such a great job handling the complexity of Fiona’s feelings. Do you feel any responsibility to represent the queer community now, and if so, how are you dealing with that?

AC:
I do now! I haven’t really felt that responsibility yet because the episodes have only just aired.

AE: Queer women are some of the most loyal fans you could ever ask for. What kind of responses have you gotten from your fans this season?

AC:
I’ve gotten some amazing feedback about the past few storylines. Some girls have confessed to me that they too have been in love with their best girlfriend. Others have said that they’re glad to see another lesbian character on Degrassi.

AE: Do Fiona’s storylines ever influence you or help you to learn more about yourself?

AC:
Degrassi always has great lessons. I definitely learn from the “girl power” attitude that Fiona and Holly J. have.

AE: You’ve said before that you’re very different from Fiona — are there any ways in which you would say you’re similar?

AC:
Like Fiona, I can be a little bit dramatic and I also love fashion. Other than that, we aren’t very alike.

AE: Which of Fiona’s storylines this season has been your favorite to film?

AC:
I loved to film the first few episodes of Season 10, the Bobby storyline that took place in New York. For some reason, those four episodes felt like we were shooting a movie.

AE: What aspects of Fiona’s character have surprised you, and what is your favorite thing about playing her?

AC:
I’m always surprised by Fiona’s ability to be so many things at once. She has a strong personality but at the same time, she’s vulnerable. She’s a walking oxymoron! I love playing her because I just don’t know what she’ll be up to next!

AE: Any ideas where the storyline with Adam and Holly J. will take Fiona next season?

AC:
Right now in season 11, Holly J. and Fiona are still great friends. But anything could happen!

AE: What would you most like to see happen for Fiona?

AC:
I would love for Fiona to never drink again!

Read our interview with Jordan Todosey (Adam) and be sure to tune in for the first part of Degrassi: The Next Generation’s season 10 finale tonight to see how Fiona’s storyline continues.

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