Jake amazes viewers with his realistic portrayal of Craig Manning on Degrassi: The Next Generation.  Of all the characters he has had probably the most intense storylines.  His father used to beat him.  He later moved in with Joey Jeremiah, who was a staple on the series Degrassi Junior High.  After his father died, his stay with Joey seemed more permanent.  Young Manny had a crush on Craig but they wouldn’t seriously hookup until he was involved with Ashley.  On top of that, he is also in a band.  Craig is a character that is a driving force within the series.

What’s the best thing about being Craig on Degrassi?
Jake Epstein:  The music.  Craig is in a band and there a whole bunch of scenes in which I get to rock out and play my guitar.

Do you play music off camera?
Jake Epstein:  I do a little bit of music.  It’s a little hard with Degrassi taking up so much time.  Music is my love.

You came to Degrassi in the second season.  Before you started did you have any idea that you would have such an intense storyline?
Jake Epstein:  No, not at all.  I always think that on the show there are two major auditions.  The audition to get on the show and then there’s your first episode.  I’ve noticed that with other characters too.  If your first episode goes alright then your character has a chance of being picked up.  So I totally didn’t expect for the character to take off like it did.  It’s been such a surprising and fun ride.

I guess Joey would be your stepfather in a sense, or your character lives with Joey…
Jake Epstein:  Yeah, it can get kind of confusing…

Have you ever checked out Degrassi Junior High on DVD?
Jake Epstein: Yes.  On DVD, no.  They have a whole wall of tapes at the studio we get to steal a couple tapes for the weekend.  And we all make fun of them.  Joey had hair.  It’s funny.

Do you get a lot of fan mail?
Jake Epstein:  I have in the past year.  It’s been cool.  It’s been a lot of fan mail from kids who have gone through similar things that Craig has gone through.  It’s been really cool, kind of touching.

Have you been in other movies or anything outside of Degrassi?
Jake Epstein: Yeah.  Before the show Degrassi, I was on this television show The Zack Files.

I think that was on the Disney Channel here.
Jake Epstein:  Yeah.  I think it was on the Disney Channel for a couple of years.  I’ve done some made for TV movies.  And I in Toronto, I did a whole bunch of theater.

What are your plans for the summer?
Jake Epstein:  I think I am going to be shooting Degrassi but since there is going to tons of time off, I’m thinking about traveling with my sister.  Something cool.  I’m not totally sure yet.  I just finished high school.

Somebody sent this into a website that said I was going to interviewing you guys.  Would you ever date a fan?
Jake Epstein:  It all depends.  It all depends on the person.  The people I have dated have generally not been fans of Degrassi, which is refreshing.  They don’t treat you like your character on the show.  I don’t know.  I’ve never been asked out by a fan.

Source: (circa 2005)