‘Degrassi’ Star Expects ‘Shocking’ New Characters To ‘Stir Things Up’

Jessica Tyler opens up about all the drama set to go down in season 12.

“Degrassi” kicked off another drama-filled season last week. And if you think it might be hard for the show’s writers to think up new ways to shake up the lives of the teens on the show, actress Jessica Tyler shared with MTV News some surprises for season 12 that are sure to change things up a bit.

“I mean, it was surprising we got a hockey team ’cause being a Canadian TV show, we have done football and soccer and baseball, like all these things, but we have never done hockey,” Tyler, who plays Jenna on “The Next Generation,” told MTV News. And given that Jenna has had plenty of her own drama — from romantic woes to having reality-show dreams dashed to putting her kid up for adoption — the fact that the hockey team surprises her speaks volumes.

“That’s a lot of what Canada is famous for,” she said. “It was shocking to see that happen.”

The hockey team isn’t the only surprise in store for this season of the hit cult classic. “And it’s shocking to see these religious characters coming in,” Tyler added about the newcomers to the soapy TeenNick show.

That religious family will not only have an impact on Degrassi as a whole but also specifically on Jenna’s life. “The Bakers are moving to Degrassi and they have very strong Christian beliefs,” she explained. “So when they move in, Degrassi being a school that deals with transgendered, gay and bisexual, all these different aspects of sexuality, it’s very new to them. So the characters kind of find a way to deal with it.

“And Jenna and Becky, the new character, they become friends,” she added. “And I think Jenna’s kind of looking for someone to guide her through her new way of life. So she kind of turns to Becky, and you never know what happens there. It certainly affects Jenna.”

Whatever does end up going down in that new friendship, Tyler said that this season is all about trying to figure out what all the characters believe in. “[Last week's premiere] certainly sets up the aspect of choosing sides for this season. It’s kind of all about whose character’s side are you on? What do you believe in?” she said. “And we have lots of new characters coming in that bring in lots of new beliefs to Degrassi, so they certainly stir things up.”