Stephan James discussed diversity in Hollywood, life lessons he’s picked up in his acting career and his Toronto roots for Variety‘s Power of Young Hollywood.

“I want to look around and see a thousand black leading young men, guys like me who are doing it every day.,” said James. “I’m proud to be a part of this group that’s making a change.”

“The toughest lesson that most young artists have to learn is not everything is going to happen sort of when you want it to happen,” he said.

The Toronto native called his spot on “Degrassi” a “rite of passage” for Canadian actors. “Happy to be a part of what we call Hollywood North,” said James of his home city.