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Back when ex-’90s teen heartthrob Devon Sawa was from Burnaby

In 1994, actor Devon Sawa was a 16-year-old Alpha Secondary School student on the brink of teen stardom – and his role as Eminem's pathologically devoted fan 'Stan' was still ahead of him.
Devon Sawa
When Devon Sawa appeared in this November 1994 NOW story, he was a 16-year-old Burnaby high school student on the cusp of becoming a teen hearthrob after roles in three 1990s coming-of-age movies including Casper the Friendly Ghost.

A lot has happened since the NOW last interviewed actor Devon Sawa in 1994.

Back then, he was 16 years old, five-foot-two, 100 pounds – and from Burnaby.

Nowadays, most bios you’ll find online list his hometown as Vancouver (we get it; it’s just easier), but he was an Alpha Secondary School student back in 1994, according to a Nov. 9, 1994 story in the NOW archives.

The article is a snapshot of Sawa on the cusp of his first Hollywood iteration as a bonafide tween heartthrob after roles in a trio of iconic ’90s coming-of-age movies: Little Giants (October 1994) Casper the Friendly Ghost (May 1995) and Now and Then (October 1995).

He's now six feet tall, but Sawa in 1994 appeared to have grudgingly resigned himself to his slight stature, which allowed him to play younger characters.

“There are some benefits to being smaller,” he told the NOW. “But, oh well, I’m small. Big deal.”

Besides his time as a teen idol, Sawa is known for hits like supernatural horror film Final Destination (2000) and his portrayal of Stan in rapper Eminem’s music video about a pathologically obsessive fan.

These days, you can catch Sawa in Chucky, a TV reboot of the Child’s Play film franchise.

It’s not easy to find interviews or bios revealing Sawa’s Burnaby roots, but he doesn’t totally disavow the connection on his Twitter account.

A tweet in February referenced the longstanding rivalry between his alma mater, Alpha, and Burnaby North Secondary.

An earlier 2020 post reminisced about the fries at the Kensington ice rink.

Follow Cornelia Naylor on Twitter @CorNaylor