Ashley Rickards Teases 'Awkward' Shockers
Now that I've publicly DTR'd with Awkward in various interviews and gushy posts, I no longer feel the need to begin these posts explaining why I have such a deep love for the smartest, slyest, funniest show MTV has ever aired. And with the second season continuing to deepen my admiration for the wonderful world Lauren Iungerich has created, I feel the best is still yet to come.
Something star Ashley Rickards confirmed when we chatted in anticipation of tonight's third episode. One that sees the Matty/Jenna/Jake love triangle take an unexpected turn. But according to Ashley, that's nothing compared to a pair of major shocks that are set for later this season!
TheInsider.com: First of all, I have loved the new season so far.
Ashley Rickards: Thanks! I have to say, there's some pretty freaking exciting stuff coming up that's going to sound like a publicity pitch – but I'm actually downplaying it because I'm not allowed to talk about it. But you're going to see Jenna as a whole different person. Like I said, I'm underselling this. Just wait. I can't wait for the fans to see the episode – it's my favorite scene from the whole series so far.
Insider.com: The second season of any show gives the actors the opportunity to deepen the characters they've introduced in the first season. How have you been enjoying digging into Jenna?
Ashley: It's been really amazing – obviously last season we had drama and all these different storylines going on. But to sidebar … oh man, that's something Tamara says. I just need to be honest for a second, Lauren Iungerich's writing, I call it teen-speak, there's a month before we start shooting where I'm reading scripts and I start talking like that. So I'll say things like brill or side-bar or DTR – and I'm still in the transition out of that, it takes some time to come out of that, so bare with me if I used too much Awkward lingo during this interview [laughs]. But this show is hard to define anyway. I call it a comedy in which I cry. I never look at projects as genre vs genre, I just go for good material. This season, one might say there's more drama, but, like you say, we've explored the characters in the first season so now the stakes are higher with every relationship Jenna has. There are more secrets than ever, so there's the potential for bigger fallout from that.
Insider.com: Last week, Jenna said something to the effect of "I'm done with secrets." Do you think she could ever truly stop keeping secrets?
Ashley: I guess it comes down to a morality issue that's non-specific to this show. I guess it depends on what you define a secret as. Do you keep a secret if it could harm a friend or do you tell them no matter the fallout? There's so many aspects to keeping a secret, so I don't know if she ever really could, but it depends on the secret.
Insider.com: Last year, the big mystery was who wrote the note. This year it's all about this mystery commenter. What excites you about that development?
Ashley: Last season, Jenna was the underdog, this season she's the every-girl. She never expected people would ever see that blog – hers is one of millions of blogs, but someone sees it and starts talking to her about it. Her blog is the most intimate and inside Jenna's head we can get. So when this happens, it means there's someone who knows all her intimate thoughts, which is scary, but they're also giving good advice, so there's a lot of emotions revolving around it.
Insider.com: Will we find out who the commenter is this season?
Ashley: Yes. In episode 12, I had on my OMG cat face while reading the whole episode. I used to be obsessed with 24 when it was airing and this one time I thought I found some [script pages] online that revealed how the show was ending. They were totally fake, but it was that same thing here – I was, in that moment, a superfan of Awkward. I was making noises, shouting, reading, freaking out. It was a very interesting experience and I think it's just one more time fans will be surprised this season.
Insider.com: I have to say, I think audiences will also be surprised when they see Struck By Lightning [Chris Colfer's movie debut, in which Ashley plays his classmate]. I really loved that movie.
Ashley: You know, I've been so lucky this year because I haven't had to answer any interview questions with bullsh*t answers because I truly love everyone I've worked with and every project I've worked on with them. I've been on shows where I've said that lie because you're supposed to – but from Fall Away to Sassy Pants to Struck By Lighting to Awkward and American Horror Story, I love every single person on every single one of those projects. I mean, we hang out all the time and almost none of what we talk about is work related.
Insider.com: Speaking of, what are the chances we'll see you back on American Horror Story in season two?
Ashley: Um … well, before I say anything, I should tell you that I know what's going to happen next season. I know the twist. Somebody told me in a meeting trying to impress me and looking at what's going to happen, it's a freaking brilliant twist that I don't think anyone on the planet could understand. I could talk to you about exactly why and how my character could come back in detail and you'd still have no idea what the twist is. So there's a way that my character could come back for sure – I mean, they don't need me, but I think they need me. I think a dead cheerleader walking around is crucial to any film-making process. But at this moment, there is no concrete plan.
Awkward airs Thursdays at 10:30 p.m. on MTV.