Melissa explored her talents from a very young age. She went from singing in her crib to singing in front of an audience at the age of 7 as a contestant in a beauty contest. This helped to bring her out of her shell and led to Melissa's love of the stage. She soon began exercising her acting and singing talents through musical theatre performances. It was during her stint as the lead character in The Secret Garden that an agent was informed of Melissa's role and came to sign her to their agency. Not long after this move into the professional field of acting, Melissa received the word that she was going to audition for Degrassi: The Next Generation. Originally Melissa auditioned for the role of Paige Michalchuk, but it became very clear to the producers that there was another role that Melissa fit perfectly, which happened to be the role of Ashley Kerwin. Upon hearing the news that she had been cast in the part, Melissa cried tears of joy.

Melissa McIntyre has now been an integral part of Degrassi: TNG for 5 seasons. As one of the lead characters from the very first season, Ashley was introduced as a popular, intelligent and overachieving 8th grader. Her character has gone on a tremendous journey from that first season, not to mention more hair and style changes than any other character, and Melissa has made the transitions and storylines completely believable. More than believable, Melissa adds a touch of mystery and intrigue to the character that makes fans want to know more about her. Throughout this journey Melissa's acting has been showcased through various storylines and many ups and downs. The challenging storylines truly began when Ashley experimented with drugs during the first season. This offset a series of dramatic events including being outcast from her friends, falling into a depressed state after being cheated on and dealing with Craig's bipolarity. Melissa is able to handle these challenging storylines with ease, charisma, and an overall likeability. Not only do they showcase her strengths in acting, but the producers and writers made sure to focus on the musical talents of Ashley. Melissa was so excited when she found out she was going to sing on Degrassi. It not only allowed her to showcase these talents, but it allowed her to work collaboratively with the producers and music executives. Melissa has said that the most therapeutic thing that she can do is to shut herself off in a room and sing. The passion that she has for music adds so much depth to the artistic elements within Ashley. Because of this musical talent, a knack for the dramatics and a very relatable personality, Ashley Kerwin is one of the most interesting and entertaining characters on Degrassi: TNG. It is because of Melissa, though, that the character of Ashley really comes to life.

IMDB Listing of Awards

Degrassi: My Real Life
Degrassi.TV interview
Degrassi.TV interview
Fashion 18 interviews Melissa McIntyre
CW Degrassi Mania: Interview with Melissa
Feature TV: The Kids Aren't Alright
Niagara This Week: The Many Faces of Melissa

To see scans of other interviews/articles, please see the gallery.

Other Media:
The Niagara Gallery - hear Melissa sing

Melissa's podcast on