Melinda Shankar Interview (Inside Degrassi Series)

Ali has become one of everyone’s favorite Degrassi characters this season. Since her return to Degrassi last week, she has increased the school’s math scores, booked a dance and made up with her ex-boyfriend. We caught up with Melinda Shankar, who plays Ali, to talk about her black belt in karate, Ali’s relationship with Drew and more!

A lot of girls in high school have gone or will go through the same problems that your character faced on the show with Drew. What advice would you give to them on how to overcome it?
Boy drama is a very dominant issue in teens’ social lives in high school. The advice that I would give to someone going through the same problems as Alli is to never lower your standards and always remember your morals. If you don’t let guys take advantage of you, in the end, you will earn their respect.

Now that Alli is single, is she going to be “ready to mingle” or is she going to focus less of her attention on boys and instead on something else?
Thus far we get to see a side of Alli that has never been discovered. Her issue is deeper than high school – it goes into her family life. It is something that could in turn cause Alli to take drastic measures in her life – for better or for worse.

You have a black belt in karate. Do you think the public will ever get to see some of that on the show?
The most amazing years of my life have been spent working on this show; three years of laughs, memories and learning. It would be hard to pick one favourite “Alli moment” seeing as how I’m lucky enough to play one of the most fun and interesting characters on the show. If I had to single out one moment, I’d say a fight scene with Alli’s enemy and my real life really close friend – Alicia Josipovic. I’ve been doing martial arts since I was 3 years old, my dad owns a karate school and everyone in my family has a blackbelt. It was SO great to be able to incorporate two of my passions – acting and martial arts together! I didn’t have to have a body double, so I had so much fun doing my own stunts!

If you were a student at Degrassi in real life, which boy would you go after?
If I was a student at Degrassi, picking any one boy would be way too hard. This school is filled with cuties! Can I keep them all?

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