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A Boycott the Caf Interview with Sarah Barrable-Tishauer

Sarah Barrable-Tishauer19 year old Sarah Barrable-Tishauer is best known as the actress who plays Liberty Van Zandt on Degrassi: The Next Generation, Canada's most popular non-hockey related TV show. Given the anti-Liberty fervor of this website, some readers will be curious as to why we would agree to interview the girl behind the overalls. The fact is, we have lined up interviews with just about every cast member of Degrassi and, in the custom of saving the best for last, we're going to talk to Sarah first.

Boycott the Caf: First off, I must say that you are not anywhere near as hideous in real life as Liberty.

Sarah Barrable-Tishauer: Thank you, I get that a lot. There is a makeup person for the show who used to do alien makeup for Star Trek: Voyager and that person works solely on making me look like Liberty. It's a three hour process. Then, when I'm done with makeup, they bring in another guy who punches me in the face five times. And that's how I become Liberty.

BtC: That seems like a lot of work to go through. So, do you get recognized on the street very often?

SB-T: Sometimes. I prefer when people don't recognize me, actually. Sometimes when people see me on the street, they'll be polite and say things like "Oh my God, you're Liberty. You play a monster so well!" But more often I get people yelling "Fuck you, Liberty!" And then there's the people who throw garbage at me from their cars.

BtC: Wow, that's harsh. It must be real hard to play such an evil and hated character.

SB-T: It is. People have a hard time separating the character I play from my real life. When I did a mall tour in Detroit I was almost lynched by a large group of black gang members who hated Liberty that much. I think they thought that Liberty cast black people in a bad light. I agree she does, but come on, you don't have to kill me over it. The police later told me if they would have succeeded, it would have been only the third time in US history a black person was lynched by other black people.

BtC: Then why do you continue to play Liberty? You've been doing it for seven years now.

SB-T: There are two reasons. One, I have found it hard to get work outside of Degrassi. The Liberty role has really typecasted me. No director wants to put the actress who plays Liberty in something because then it gets poor reviews from test audiences. Unlike everyone else in the cast, the Disney Channel won't touch me. Two, I actually really like playing horrible people. I think it started when I was doing children's theater and I played Hilter.

BtC: Wait, you played Hitler?

SB-T: Yes.

BtC: Adolph Hitler?

SB-T: Yes.

BtC: Ok.

Sarah Barrable-Tishauer
Sarah with her fifth brother, Jamalbalilah
SB-T: And the third reason is that I need this role to support my family. My parents passed away when I was twelve and since I was the oldest of seventeen children, it fell to me to support my family. I do that with acting. All my money from Degrassi goes to my family. And Degrassi doesn't pay that much. So I don't have much saved up and I can't get work outside the show. So I hope Degrassi keeps going for the next thirty years. Or hopefully I can come back as a teacher for Degrassi: 2025.

BtC: I'm sorry to hear about your parents. How did they pass away?

SB-T: A bear.

BtC: Oh my. Getting away from the show, what do you do when you are not acting?

SB-T: Yahtzee.

BtC: Anything else?

SB-T: No, I just mostly play Yahtzee.

BtC: What's your favorite song? And your favorite band? And album?

SB-T: The answer to all these question is the same: Bad Company.

BtC: Alright!

SB-T: Yup.

[Boycott the Caf and Sarah high five each other.]

Sarah Barrable-TishauerBtC: Getting back to the show, have you been pleased with the way Liberty has developed on the show?

SB-T: Of course not. Liberty is an asshole, and over the course of the show, she's only become more of an asshole.

BtC: She doesn't even get any good relationships. She's always dating guys at her level of lameness, Coach Armstrong, tiny penis JT...and even Towerz was lame--no where near Candy Bandit material.

SB-T: Yeah. The Liberty-Towerz relationship was weird because it only lasted for half an episode. But from season 2 until season 5 it was show policy that characters could only date characters of the same race. That's why Jimmy hooked up with Hazel and Emma had to stop seeing Chris.

BtC: That's pretty racist.

SB-T: Certainly, but the producers of Degrassi are really racist. It's a bad environment for a black person to be in. You should see some of the stuff they spray paint on the door of my dressing room. Like I said before, I'd quit, but I need the money to support my seventeen siblings.

by Billie Green