With her on-screen pixie-cut wig nowhere in sight, Green’s long, newly lightened locks cascade about her face as she considers what lies beyond her star-making stint in the mega-present Twilight films. The Eclipse actress exudes so much poised confidence and eagerness to dive into the next phase of her career that you can’t help but wonder if she, like the prescient Alice, has some tantalizing foreknowledge of momentous events around the corner.
Already a favorite of fashion magazines, boy bloggers and, of course, the Twihards, Greene talks to us about lending Alice some Ashley-ness, the fan encounters that mean the most to her, and gives us a glimpse of the game plan after the sun sets on the film franchise. Frankly, we’re inclined to believe her vision.
Fandango: I remember back when we met for the first Twilight film, and you talking about loving the character and doing her justice for the fans. How much of the character is yours now, three films in?
Ashley Greene: In general I always try to break characters down in the most basic form, being a human being – or having human characteristics, in Alice's case. So if I've experienced anything in my life that is similar to them, I try to connect to that and I really kind of become this character.
With Alice, I definitely tried to stay optimistic like she does. And of course I love fashion! She loves fashion. For the family aspect of it, I'm extremely close to my family, as is she. So that was an easy connection. It wasn't that big of a stretch. If someone messes with Alice's family she'll go to bat for them, and I'm the same way for my family.
Fandango: With everything good that's come from Twilight's success, do you feel like you'll have to overcome the popularity of the movies, to some degree, to establish your own cachet?
Greene:I will say that that will be the only kind of downfall – not being a part of Twilight, but just the instant fame, the “just out of water” fame. Everyone now knows who we are, but they only know this one thing that we can do. And so everyone is going, “Okay, is this the flavor of the week, or is this girl serious and is she here to stay?” I think, though, I wouldn't trade it for anything. For the next five years I'd say that I do have something to prove. I'm going to have fun doing it.
Fandango: So how do you think you’ll “prove” yourself?
Greene: I've taken a couple of roles already that are going to come out in the next year and they're all very different. I just did a role in this movie called Butter. It's a comedy and the cast was incredible. I was so terrified and nervous, but that's the exciting part about it – and if you're not then something is wrong! Then I did a thriller called The Apparition, and that was my first studio film so I put a lot into that. I kind of pushed my limits a bit with it emotionally. I'm excited to see that. It's a lot of work, but I'm very, very thankful.
Fandango: What sides of yourself are you looking forward to showing as an actress? Wild Apatow-style comedy, or something dramatic where you cry for half a movie?
Greene: I want to do it all! I definitely really want to do a kick-ass film. I'd love to do like a Tarantino-style film, very stylized. Comedy is something that I'm definitely looking to get into. I had a little taste of it and I do intend on going to classes for it because I think it's a different muscle, and it's hard to find female comedians.
Fandango: Especially beautiful ones…
Greene: You've got, like, Jennifer Aniston and Cameron Diaz and that's it. There are a couple more, but that would definitely be something I'd want, to be a part of that comedy world.
Fandango: Did you have a crystal-clear moment of clarity, when you knew acting is what you wanted to do?
Greene:I remember my first acting class: I was like, “That's it.” If I know that I want to do something then I'm going to do it and there's no stopping me, whether it’s if I want to take a movie part or don’t, or eat sushi for lunch or don't. There's always a very clear goal. Once I figure out what I want that's it. I had that moment when I was, I think, 15.
Fandango: Is there anything you loved when you were younger that helps you identify with the diehard Twilight fans?
Greene: No – which is why I appreciate them so much. When I see the passion that people feel for this, it's incredible. I would say that going to the premieres is just overwhelming sometimes. You don't get used to something like that. It's contagious and I get butterflies in my stomach and I get excited because they're so excited. I think it makes me realize just how lucky we are, because I didn't have that growing up as a kid, to be that passionate for something. So the fact that Stephenie Meyer and Summit and all of us collectively were able to create something that evokes that kind of emotion is kind of awesome.
Fandango: Everyone’s had crazy fan-encounter stories. But do you also have a particularly special one where someone really impacted you?
Greene: Yeah. There's one fan in particular who I've apparently inspired, and I've met her, I think, three times now. And she made me a scrapbook of my career and my life in Hollywood, which was really special to me. Especially now during this saga –this is a time of my life that I don't think I'm ever going to forget, and I love that I now have this memory book that someone took the time to create for me. So that was really special to me. Then she wrote this letter with it and she was very sweet. It was very incredible that she did that!
Fandango: What do you think about you and your character having that kind of impact?
Greene: It's important to me that I'm very actively trying to be involved in young girls’ lives, because I think it's important for them to know what they can do, what they can achieve. Some people don't have people telling them that. My family was very supportive. Growing up my whole life, my mom was telling me how incredible and special I was and that I was going to change the world. I think it's important for girls to know that they can change the world, that they do have an impact.
Fandango: Is showbiz overwhelming sometimes?
Greene: I'm an actor, so sometimes there are moments where I think about everything that's happening and I want to cry. I'm doing what I love and I will be doing it for a very, very long time – and it's amazing. A lot of people don't get to do that.