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Exclusive Q&A: 'Twilight''s Ashley Greene Arrives in 'Skateland' (and Our Hearts)

Ashley Greene
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Being a Cullen certainly has its perks – fame, fortune, gorgeousness and an abundance of fabulous clothing, for starters.

But sometimes a sparkle vamp needs to shed her bloodlust and go back in time. For Ashley Greene, that time is now.

The erstwhile Alice takes on the 1980s in the new indie "Skateland," where she plays Michelle, the lone lady in a group of guy friends. Although she's the youngest, she eventually pushes them towards accepting adulthood and, in the case of her best friend (Shiloh Fernandez), accepting that she's not just one of the guys.

In real life, Greene is equally as convincing that she's more than just one of those "Twilight" kids.

Ashley Greene & Shiloh Fernandez in "Skateland"
Freestyle Releasing

Michelle is kind of the man with the plan in "Skateland" and everyone just seems to follow. Are you at all like that?
I'm definitely driven, strong-willed and have a general idea of what I want and I'm definitely willing to go get it. That was something that really drew me to the character because it's not so often that you find a female character -- especially surrounded by a mainly male-based cast -- that is the leader in that sense that she does have her head on straight and she knows what she wants. She's mature and kind of no-nonsense.

Have you ever been a "one of the guys" kind of girl like Michelle?
I grew up the tomboy. I was always going outside and climbing trees and playing football with my brother -- I kind of wanted to be just like him. I think I'm kind of a guy's girl -- I like football and I'm not afraid to have a beer -- but I also like my manicures.

What's your favorite football team?
The Florida Gators… If I ever decided to go to college, that’s where I would have gone.

What would you have studied?
I was really into law and psychology… I went to a magnet school for law, sociology and psychology and I absolutely loved my law classes. I loved doing mock trials, which is essentially acting. You get up there and do the whole shebang with lawyers and judges. I realized I always loved performing and took a couple of acting classes.

In my mind, I was like, "That's what I need to do. This is what I'm doing." Everyone's like, "You're so brave that you did that," and now, looking back, I guess it was but I think I was just a little bit naïve and very hard headed. It broke my parents' hearts when I told them I didn't want to go to college anymore but they were really cool with the whole thing.

I think if I had really thought about the competition and really thought about the thought of failure and all that stuff, I probably wouldn't be where I am now.

Ashley Greene
Getty Images

In the movie, Michelle is really into music. Was that something you were able to relate to?
In general, I love music, all types of music. There 's not one specific kind -- one day it'll be hard rock, one day it's country, one day it's jazz or blues -- so I do have an appreciation for music but I wasn't really familiar with '80s music. I think one of the smartest investments was the producers and director gave the main cast all iPods with tons and tons of '80s music on it and stuff that was relatable to the film. They also gave me CD's on top of it. Anytime I was in my trailer or at home, I would listen to it just so I would be familiar with it.

Was there anything that really stood out, that you really liked?
The Cure and Joy Division, which I really didn't know about but I now do.

You're a fashionable gal – how was stepping into some of that '80s fashion?
The fashion was fun. It was definitely out of my box, because I'm more of a little black dress, classic type of girl. But it was really fun to do. I saw pictures of my mom and it was just the funniest thing because I looked exactly like her. It was uncanny, the hair, the makeup, the clothes. I completely embraced it though. When am I ever going to get away with wearing blue eye shadow and Farrah Fawcett hair and neon shirts and cut-off shorts? I had fun with it.

You have "Butter," a comedy, and "Apparition," a thriller, coming up – so different from each other, from "Skateland" and from "Twilight." What can you tell us about them?
"Twilight" gave me an amazing stepping stool, something to jump off of, but I wanted people to be able to see something other than Alice Cullen. "Butter" was my first comedy and it was extremely nerve-racking. I was a lot out of my element but I went in 100 percent. I talked to Ty Burrell – I think he's genius – and Jennifer [Garner] was super-sweet. Everyone was just very open, very willing to talk about anything they were doing. That was a really cool experience and it's something I'm very proud of.

Ashley Greene and Sebastian Stan in "Apparition"
Warner Bros.

"Apparition" was my first studio lead, which is a very big deal. I was extremely nervous about that one too. I think the thing I was attracted to is that sometimes in thrillers, the girls aren't the most proactive and aren't the smartest, but one of the really big key points in the film is that we wanted Kelly, my character, to be really driven, very proactive and very smart… When you have to deal with a lot of special effects, it was a different realm, but emotionally, I went to a lot of different places I hadn't been to yet. That is something I'm really excited for everyone to see.

Everyone is talking about "The Hunger Games" as the next big, "Twilight"-like thing. Have you read them?
I've definitely heard about it. I'm really interested to be able to have the time to read these books because I have a lot of friends who are really big fans of the franchise. I'm excited to see it come out, I'm excited for whomever gets to be in it, because it could hopefully, potentially be their "Twilight."

Do you think it's fair that people are already calling it the next "Twilight" or "Harry Potter?"
I think it's unfair to the actors to put that much pressure on them. It's exciting and hopefully it is. I think the only negative thing is that it has that pressure on it and I'm sure people want it to be its own entity and not compared to "Twilight" and "Harry Potter," but I think that just means that they have very high expectations.

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