For Cassie Steele and Miriam McDonald, playing Degrassi‘s inseparable best friends Manny and Emma came with a lot more pressure than just being on camera.
On June 21, the two stars reunited on Instagram Live and discussed everything from playing their legendary roles to their IRL friendship of over two decades. When asked what Cassie thought the most challenging thing was about playing her character, she revealed that fellow teenagers had difficulty separating her from her role of Manny, especially during her infamous sidekick-to-school-hottie phase.
For those who don’t know, this particular phase included an infamous scene of Manny making heads turn while she walked down her school hallway with a visible thong. She was also the focus on one of the show’s most controversial episodes when she got an abortion in season three.
“People couldn’t separate me from my character,” Cassie explained. “I felt like I was being bullied a lot at parties growing up and even at the mall. People [would call] me a slut. And that was very difficult because I just wanted to make friends.”