In 2011 17-year-old Alex Steele returned to "Degrassi: The Next Generation" to play the role of Tori Santamaria. What's so unusual about that is when she was just six years old she appeared on the same show as a completely different character, Angela Jeremiah. She stayed with the show for five seasons in that role. After a break, she's back in a new part with a whole new fan base. In a recent exclusive interview she revealed five things her fans may not know about her.
1. Her Sister Gave Her the Acting Bug
Alex's sister Cassie is also an actress. In fact the two both worked on "Degrassi: The Next Generation" from the beginning, although Alex stayed five seasons and Cassie worked on the series through 2010. Cassie helped Alex get into the business. Alex stated, "My sister really loved acting from a young age and my dad really encouraged me to try it and I ended up liking it."
2. She Quit Acting for a While
When Alex left "Degrassi" in 2006, she didn't just leave the show, she left the business. At the age of 11 she took a break for a few years. But she credits this time off with making her more grounded and sure of her future. She said, "At the time, as great as acting was, I wanted to be with my friends more. And that break, that time I spent just growing up and being a kid really helped me grow as a person and grow in myself." But after a while she had a change of heart. "I started thinking about what I want to do and I thought maybe I'll try acting again. And I wasn't super 100% about it at first, but the more I did it the more I realized how fun it was and how much I really liked it."
3. She Plays Several Musial Instruments
While her sister Cassie has a full blown music career underway, Alex is taking it more slowly. She sings and plays piano, guitar and drums but has not dipped her toe into being a pro just yet. "Right about now all my music is for my own pastime and my own interest… It's very much a personal thing right now, but I have been giving it a little more thought lately about maybe trying to pursue more of a career." She has only collaborated with her big sis on one musical project to date - a Christmas song for their mom and dad a few years back.
4. She's a Big Nerd
When asked what her fans would be most shocked to find out about her, Alex revealed, "I'm a big nerd. I really like 'Star Wars' and 'Lord of the Rings.' I watch Star Trek'… I think that would be a little surprising."
5. She Loves the Arts
When not acting, her hobbies still involve the arts. "I like to listen to music a lot. I like to walk my dogs. I like to read a lot. I love, love, love to draw and paint. It's probably one of my biggest pastimes." But she continued, "I really, really, really do love acting… I'm always watching movies, always trying to see actors, always going to acting class. On a bit of a more relaxed level, art. I really love art."
Watch "Degrassi: The Next Generation" on Friday nights at 6 p.m. EST/5 p.m. Central on TeenNick.
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