India Eisley plays Ashley Juergens on The Secret Life of the American Teenager, which airs on ABC Family Mondays at 8 pm. I got the opportunity to speak with her recently and she was sweet and gracious.
This season has found Ashley facing some new challenges and growing up before our eyes. Also there was a recent release of the new book, The Secret Diary of Ashly Juergens which is a look into Ashley’s thoughts and dreams.
More about the show and India after the jump.
I got to ask my questions first but the girl is great at being vague and evasive. 😀
Megan – What can you tell us about where the relationship and flirting is going with Ricky?
I. Eisley- I don’t want to give too much away. You’ll have to wait and see, but I think it’s just kind of a constant tease thing with them. It’s not really a definite thing. It’s not a definite relationship, but you never know.
Megan- What would you tell the fans to why they should read The Secret Diary of Ashley Juergens?
I. Eisley- I don’t really know too much about it. I think it would just be a fun read for anyone who enjoys the show and it will just give them an insight into the character and hopefully they’ll enjoy it.
[Note from Me: Way to be vague 🙂 ]
How do you think the character has evolved over the last couple of years and would you agree with that Ashley is the most normal on the cast?
I. Eisley- I think she is the most balanced. You can’t really pinpoint what normal is. I think she is the most – the constant – she’s very consistent and she has a good sense of balance, especially for her age. I think that over the course of the show she has matured a lot. In this season it’s great though, because she’s kind of not as calm as she normally is. She’s starting to go through her own issues and she’s starting to actually question if things are as easy and as simple as they seemed to her when she was younger because she’s growing up.
I wanted to talk to you about the book coming out , The Secret Diary of Ashley Juergens. I know this was written by the writers, but did you have any input into this?
I. Eisley- I didn’t have any input actually. I think it was mainly the writers. I didn’t have too much to do with it, but I’m sure that they did a great job and I hope everyone enjoys it.
Where would you like to see Ashley end up on the show? Where would you like to see Ashley like a year from now or next season in the show? Where do you want it to end up?
I. Eisley- I think this season is showing a completely new side of her. It’s a more vulnerable side so I hope that people can see that she’s really not one-dimensional. She has sensitivities and she has soft spots. I would like to continue seeing that evolve and seeing the soft side of her, and the more human side of her, I suppose.
Sometimes she can come across as abnormally calm and abnormally steady in the midst of what goes on. I think that it would be interesting to see different emotions unravel.
You were just talking about how you love to act. Is it something that you stumbled upon while you were young, or is it something that you were always fighting to get into the business for?
I. Eisley- I wasn’t really fighting; it was kind of a natural process. It’s never really been a question of if I was going to do it because my mom’s an actress as well as so I grew up on sets and I just always loved the environment. I always loved the process of it. It was must mainly when I was going to go into it. My parents didn’t really push me into anything, but the main thing was they didn’t let me start too early so I didn’t get stuck in a child star thing, the child actor pull.
You touched upon it a little bit earlier with one of the previous interviewers, there is a lot of chemistry between you and Daren Kagasoff, and do you want Ashley to date Ricky even though he is John’s father?
I. Eisley- I don’t really see what would be so taboo about it. I think it would be really bad of Ashley if hypothetically she dated Ben than that would be bad because Amy and Ben really are in love. That would be worse in my opinion. I think in the end I think those characters would be good for each other because like I said before Ashley is kind of the consistent one. I think that he also sees that she does have vulnerabilities, which most people don’t see. I think that she would be good for him and vice versa.
Do you want Ashley to be seen as more of a teenager?
I. Eisley- Well, yes. It’s not even being a teenager; I think that seeing a more human side of her, a more sensitive side of her, I think that would be nice because it would show a completely different element.
Do you like Ashley and George having this special bond because it sort of leaves Amy and her mom out of that relationship?
I. Eisley- I think that it’s kind of a mutual thing. I think it’s not that Anne, the mother, and Amy and Ashley don’t get along, I think it’s just that it’s probably always been that way, that Ashley and George related more and they just kind of clicked more and Amy and Anne clicked more with each other. I don’t think it’s really leaving them out. Also, in another way Ashley could have been left out by Amy and Anne.
Why do you think that Ashley is more helpful to Adrian during her pregnancy scare than she was for Amy? Do you think she feels guilty?
I. Eisley- Well, no, I think because she is older and because with Amy it was closer to home than it is with Adrian, so with Adrian she can step back and look at the big picture and look at it as a whole in order to help. With Amy she’d never gone through it and I think like most people she just kind of went into a bit of a shock.
What do you do when you have free time?
I. Eisley- I love baking. I love baking and cooking and I see a lot of movies; I love movies.
What’s your favorite movie?
I. Eisley- I can’t pick just one. I love Bridge on the River Kwai. I love that film. Of course, Gone with the Wind is great. There are just so many.
Do you think you’re going to start? Are you inspired?
I. Eisley- When I need a release of some kind I just have to do something and with my personality I’ve never been able to just sit and write feelings. That’s why the cooking and the baking is actually a process and I actually have to go into doing it. That’s it.
If you have a chance to be on any other show, playing a totally different kind of character, what would that be?
I. Eisley- I’d be on Weeds or True Blood or Nurse Jackie.
[Note from Me: Interesting choices, I think she’d make a good nursing student on Nurse Jackie.]
Recently we’ve seen Anne kind of seems to want to get to know Ashley better. Are we going to see a closer relationship between those two starting?
I. Eisley- Yes. Yes. I think also because Ashley is getting older and the older she gets the more she realizes that it is important to have a relationship with her mother. She is a good mother. I think that for the most part Ashley has kind of always stepped down and let Amy be the main child. I think they’ve always paid more attention to her. It does bother Ashley up to a point but she doesn’t have any anger towards them. I think she accepts that it is what it is, but at the same time it does hurt her feelings.
You mentioned that you’re really not anything like Ashley’s character. I was curious specifically as to how it is to act with Ashley’s sarcasm and her dry wit, is it difficult for you and what is your own style of humor?
I. Eisley- I’m not really as aggressive as Ashley is. Playing the dry humor, it’s fun. I would much prefer to play the emotional side of Ashley. I think each way is fun because it’s all different elements that make up who she is and it’s interesting.
That’s all for the interview. It was a pleasure to speak with India and be sure to check out The Secret Life of the American Teenager on ABC Family Monday nights at 8 pm.