- During the “Degrassi Takes Manhattan” special in 2010, Fiona famously kissed her twin, Declan.
- The TV movie marked the end of season nine and left a lot of fans in shock over the scene.
- Annie Clark, who played Fiona, told Insider the story behind the “twincest” kiss.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
It’s been 11 years since Fiona and Declan’s infamous “twincest” kiss shocked “Degrassi” fans for the first time.
Twins Fiona and Declan Coyne were introduced on season nine of the long-running series, and the two garnered a lot of attention when Fiona kissed Declan.
Insider spoke with Annie Clark, who played Fiona, about the real story behind the scene, and what she thought it meant for her character.
The show hinted at Fiona and Declan’s close relationship before the kiss, but it was still a shocking scene
From the beginning of Fiona and Declan’s first season on the show, it was clear that the twins were close and that they relied on each other at their new school.
Clark told Insider that even as early as her first episode, she and Landon Liboiron (who played Declan) thought the comments about the twins’ closeness were a bit odd.
“After we shot the first episode, I remember in one scene, there was a character at a party that goes like, ‘Oh, that’s Fiona and Declan, they’re really close,'” she said. “And I remember when we read that, we were like, ‘That’s a weird thing to say.'”
Behind the scenes, Clark said, there was even a running joke about Fiona and Declan’s characters romantically getting together.
“We shot the whole episode, and then our director of that episode was like, ‘OK guys thanks for everything … I’ll be back to shoot that incest plotline,'” she recalled, laughing.
At the time, it really was a joke because the kiss hadn’t been written yet, and Clark said she didn’t think the show would ever “actually go there.”
But when the actors got the scripts for “Degrassi Takes Manhattan” – the TV movie that served as the season-nine finale – it was clear the writers weren’t afraid to “go there.”
During the film, the twins return to New York City for the summer, and Fiona finds herself engaged in an intense rivalry with her brother’s girlfriend, Holly J.
All of the backstabbing and scheming eventually leads Holly J to accuse Fiona of being inappropriately jealous, which inspires Fiona to say, “You want inappropriate?” then kiss her twin brother in front of a high-society party filled with friends, family members, and reporters.
The scandal became known to the “Degrassi” fandom as the “twincest” kiss.
Clark and Libroiron were actually cast on ‘Degrassi’ while auditioning to play a couple on another show
The “twincest” kiss may have been inspired by the fact that a “Degrassi” producer originally saw Clark and Liboiron when they were auditioning as a couple for a different TV pilot.
“Landon and I did a screen test together for a different show that was produced by the same producers of ‘Degrassi,'” she told Insider.
“We were auditioning to be boyfriend and girlfriend, and in the audition, they were like, ‘Oh my god, you guys look like you could be twins,'” she continued. “When they said that I was like, ‘OK so they’re not going to cast me to be his girlfriend then.'”
A few months later, Clark got the call that she was cast on “Degrassi.”
“I didn’t even audition for ‘Degrassi,'” she said. “And then I found out they wrote a part for Landon and they wrote a part for myself to be twins on the show.”
Despite the fact that they were hired on as siblings, not a couple, Clark said it was obvious that she and Libroiron worked well together.
“I think from the start since they saw us reading a scene of boyfriend and girlfriend, they were like, ‘Oh, these two have chemistry, but they look too much alike.'”
Clark thought they might be writing Fiona off of the show with the ‘twincest’ plotline, but she went on to be a fan-favorite
Although Fiona and Declan joined “Degrassi” together, Declan was only a regular character on season nine.
While they were filming “Degrassi Takes Manhattan,” Libroiron told Clark that he wasn’t going to be returning for season 10, which she said made her a little nervous about her character’s cringeworthy “twincest” scene.
“When Landon was leaving, I was like, maybe they’re cutting me, too,” the actress recalled. “Maybe they just were like, ‘Whoops, these people are into incest, let’s just get them off the show.’ So that worried me.”
Instead, Fiona became a fan-favorite, multifaceted character who starred in plotlines that focused on abusive relationships, alcoholism, and coming out as a lesbian.
“They did a pretty good job of really just doing a 180 with my character and making her normal,” Clark told Insider. “I think after that happened, they were like, ‘Oh never mind, we actually like still want Fiona to be on the show, so we’ll make it that she was an alcoholic, she was drunk, she didn’t know what she was doing, misplaced jealousy.'”
She continued, “I think it went surprisingly well under the circumstances.”
Clark has a few theories as to why her character was able to shed the “twincest” plotline so easily and remain on the series through season 12.
“I think the fact that Landon wasn’t on the show anymore – which they knew – made it easier for them to just separate us,” she said. “Like if we continued to be on the show together as twins, they’d have to address that.”
As much as the show built up to the kiss throughout season nine, she said, it was almost like it never even happened by season 10.
“I can’t believe they didn’t have a character later go like, ‘Didn’t she kiss her brother?’ But I think they just didn’t want to bring it up,” Clark told Insider. “I’m honestly very happy that everyone got over that pretty easily.”