Added a new photoshoot picture of Ashley for ‘Fashion’ Magazine Summer 2015 Issue. Check it out!
Ashley Benson may be known for playing the sweet, sly and style-obsessed Hanna Marin in the popular TV series Pretty Little Liars (Season 6 debuts June 2, 2015 on MuchMusic) but her next trio of films will change the way you think about her. Playing a ferocious warrior in this summer’s biggest video game blockbuster, Pixels, a lovelorn New Yorker in next year’s big rom-com, Chronically Metropolitan, and a Presley-obsessed fan in the upcoming Elvis & Nixon (opposite Michael Shannon—who plays Elvis and Kevin Spacey as the 37th U.S. President), Benson is all about conquering what she calls “the type cast curse.” Its something she’s been working on since she decided to star turn in 2012’s indie flick, Spring Breakers, where she played a bikini-clad girl-gone-wild whose badassery out-maneuvers a dangerous gangster played by the James Franco. On the set of her Hollywood Hills-based cover shoot with FASHION, Benson spoke to the magazine’s features editor, Elio Iannacci, on her past, present and future in film. Here is a sneak peek of the story, which lands on newsstands on May 18.
On the evolution of her character, Hanna Marin, on Pretty Little Liars:
I think her personality has changed the most out of all the other girls on the show. Hanna’s been through an insecure phase, a popular-cool girl moment and a phase where she didn’t know who she was anymore. Every season she figures out a little bit more of herself.
On the wildest scenes in Spring Breakers:
It was a pretty crazy movie but out of all the projects I’ve done, I learned the most on that one. We improvised most of those scenes—especially the ones with James Franco. I’d never done improv before. Even when they weren’t supposed to be filming or we knew that anyone was filming, the cameras were on. Diving into a character like that—a crazy, drug addicted party girl who has no fear whatsoever? That was liberating.
On her love of Jennifer Lawrence:
I think she’s the coolest person in the business. She’s breaking the mould of what Hollywood stars are supposed to act like. I look up to her so much. Actors should stop acting when the cameras are off.
On the challenges of dating in Hollywood:
Relationships are so hard in this business. I don’t think I would be able to date a high profile actor the way Angelina Jolie has. Her and Brad have done a good job at keeping private but I’m sure that takes work. It’s too much attention when two powerful people are together. Everything is heightened and exaggerated. The strangest thing that I’ve read is that I’ve dated all the male co-stars I’ve had on Pretty Little Liars. None of it is true. It’s disgusting.
To read our cover story, pick up the FASHION Magazine Summer 2015 issue starring Ashley Benson, available on newsstands May 18, 2015.
Ashley Benson finds being intimate on camera “nerve-wracking”.
The Pretty Little Liars actress starred in 2012′s Spring Breakers which featured a lot of sex, violence and consumption of illegal substances. The 25-year-old can still recall what it was like pretending to inhale cocaine, and even though it wasn’t the real deal, it was still an unpleasant experience.
“It was awful when we had to snort ‘coke’ in the movie… we had to crush up B12 vitamins, and it just hurt my nose,” she recalled to FHM magazine. “I was like ‘my nose is bleeding, I don’t feel good, but these are just vitamins, I can’t imagine doing the real thing!’”
Ashley co-starred with James Franco and Vanessa Hudgens in the neo-noir crime drama. The blonde beauty was required to spend the majority of the shoot in a bikini, and despite her gorgeous figure, she actually found it very difficult.
“That was the hardest part, I was like ‘F**k, I’m literally in a bathing suit the whole movie!’” she added. “So I worked out really hard before I went and shot it and then Harmony [Korine, director] was like, ‘You guys need to look like you drink beer every day, you don’t work out, you eat fast food every day, don’t look good.’ So then I had to undo all my hard work!”
As well as pretending to take drugs, Ashley had to simulate a threesome with her co-stars. And while she was anxious about the scene, it helped to have Vanessa with her.
“Any time you’re intimate on camera it’s nerve-racking, but it was a closed set so nobody else was there,” she said. “I was really glad I had Vanessa by my side because we became best friends.”