Paula Brancati is taking on New York Friday, when her character Jane Vaughn plays a major role in the two-hour television movie Degrassi Takes on Manhattan. And she’s taking on Canadian television in two high-profile series. Combined with her role as troublemaking friend Jenny in Being Erica, Brancati gets to do “a lot of stuff onscreen that I wouldn’t do offscreen,” as she said in a recent interview.
In Degrassi Takes Manhattan (known as Degrassi: The Heat Is On in the US), Jane tags along with her friends Holly and Declan “because her lies and cheating on Spinner are revealed, so she goes along as an escape.”
Naturally, “lots of debauchery ensues.”
For Brancati, however, the highlight was recording three songs for the soundtrack when Jane joins an indie rock band. Though she started acting in musical theatre as a child and has performed live, this was her first professional recording.
She’ll miss the movie's premiere on Friday at the MuchMusic headquarters for a great reason, however: her play Love, Loss, and What I Wore premieres that night at Toronto’s Panasonic Theatre. Written by Nora and Delia Ephron and starring Andrea Martin, Louise Pitre and Mary Walsh, the play is a big part of Brancati’s big night.
The 10th season of Degrassi premieres on Monday, but as for Brancati’s involvement? “You know, you’ll have to wait and see the movie” she said. “The movie is really tumultuous. She experiences heartbreak and you don’t know what’s going to happen next with her. She has so many opportunities and places to go, so who knows if Degrassi or Toronto will be one of the options for her.”
Fans will definitely see more of Brancati when the third season of Being Erica airs, though. At 21, the actress gets to play Jenny as a 15-year-old in flashbacks and as a 30-year-old in present-day.