Tuesday, December 7, 2010

10 Things I Learned about Ashley Benson

by Amy K. Bredemeyer

Ashley Benson has had a career in film and television for several years now, although I haven't seen her in much. She has a few years of soap operas under her belt, and right now everyone seems to know her from Pretty Little Liars, which is a pretty new show on ABCFamily. She was available to talk about her work on that show and also on her upcoming television movie, Christmas Cupid, which is one of the new films for ABCFamily's "25 Days of Christmas" event this year. Now, I knew very little about her to begin with, so I had a very educating time sitting in on the discussion. I did formulate several of my own questions, and had the opportunity to ask two of them.

- Ashley does hang out with her co-stars off-set, and they get along really well. That's cool, since I'd think it might get catty, LoL. It amuses me that they go out shopping and stuff as a foursome... I bet they get recognized a lot more than they would if they were out individually.

- Her favorite Christmas movie is The Grinch with Jim Carrey... so that totally dates her as way younger than me, LoL. And every Christmas Ashley goes to her paternal grandmother's house and they have a giant scavenger hunt to find their gifts.

- Christmas Cupid is an update on A Christmas Carol, and Ashley said that she loves A Christmas Carol since the story is good and Charles Dickens is amazing.

- She really wants to get into film. And she wants to play characters other than "the pretty girl." She'd like to try playing a druggie or something "darker." I find this interesting since she plays a ghost in the upcoming Christmas Cupid, rather than the female lead, per se.

- Her character on Pretty Little Liars, Hanna, didn't always wear a fat suit in the flashbacks. In the beginning she just had on a lot of layers, but now there's a customized fat suit in her wardrobe.

- A lot of fans who approach her confide that they have problems similar to those of the show's characters, like eating disorders. Ashley talked about how she tells people that the ads in magazines and stuff are all photoshopped and that it's all "movie magic." While that's encouraging to hear, I don't think the industry would like her telling people those sorts of things.

- She watches her work in private because she is so critical of herself. Her mom has watching parties but she doesn't attend.

- She admires Natalie Portman's work. And, if given the chance, she'd love to play Lucille Ball - she just loves I Love Lucy and considers Lucille Ball to be an amazing actress.

- She was homeschooled for high school. She hated going to school when she was younger, and was often teased in elementary school for being a dancer or being "in the industry." I can't ever remember a dancer being teased at my elementary schools (all four of them, LoL). They were usually cool kids. The kids who were teased wore glasses, smelled bad, ate their boogers, had mental disabilities, had buck teeth... that sort of thing. And "goody two-shoes" were teased, but they didn't really care.

- Dancing is the only sport she'd ever done. She was competitive for eight years or so. But she loves the Lakers and goes to every game that she can. She watches some of the games on-set with the crew.

Also, I did receive a screener for Christmas Cupid, and I look forward to watching it and reporting this week.
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