Ashley Rickards Talks Honesty, Cutting Your Own Bangs And Being An Opera-Singing Eel
Source: MTV News.
The ‘Awkward’ actress’ new book, ‘A Real Guide To Really Getting It Together,’ is available today.
by matthew scott donnelly
Jenna Hamilton might have the hottest blog along Palos Hills’ online highways, but actress Ashley Rickards, who plays “Awkward“‘s aspiring writer, is giving her character a literary run for her money.
Rickards, who’s been hard at work filming the MTV show’s upcoming fifth and final season, has been simultaneously flexing her penman muscle between takes, and today, her book “A Real Guide to Really Getting It Together Once and for All: (Really)” finally hits stores. The piece, a collection of advice punctuated by personal essays, covers everything from self-acceptance and proper pimple-popping regimens to managing your finances and cultivating a true sense of self. And Rickards told MTV News that she was completely committed to staying honest throughout…even when remaining tight-lipped might have been the safer choice.
See what she had to say about her amateur opera past, “Awkward”‘s upcoming graduation scene and everything in between below, and be sure to pick up a copy of her new title!
Why did you decide to write the book, and was there a particular topic that first motivated you?
I’ve always had a lot to say, and I slowly realized I have pretty good advice on a lot of different aspects of life. But I’m not an expert on anything, which is why I have experts featured in every chapter. I just started writing and couldn’t really stop.
And in terms of chapters I wish I’d had growing up, we never really had people addressing eating disorders and learning to accept your body. I mean, we did, but it was like 100-pound girls telling you to accept your body and that they eat lasagna every night. And it’s always just like, Shut up, no you don’t. And I don’t. You’re never going to be perfect for everyone — quit trying, or you’re going to be miserable. Live your life, feed your body and be happy.
You say in the book that you initially planned to hide your eating disorders but ultimately did choose to address them. What changed?
It would have been way easier to have been one of those girls who’s like, ‘Yeah, I eat pasta every night — here’s my recipe!’ But that’s not the truth, and I don’t want girls who do look up to me to think that’s something that comes naturally, because it’s not. I didn’t want to deprive anyone of feeling more connected. There’s no point in me offering advice if I’m not honest about my own trials.
You said the ‘Talents’ chapter was your favorite to write. Do you remember first cultivating your acting skill?
I was in a smaller school, and they wanted to do an opera. I had no interest in being a part of it, but they made it mandatory so that they had enough people to put this thing on. I’m a Taurus and I’m stubborn, but I ended up loving, loving acting, even though I was an eel — a singing eel! That was my debut.
What was the show?
It was called ‘The Moon Maiden.’ I know someone’s gonna ask me at some point to sing that song. And I do know it, and I’m gonna get suckered into singing it on TV, probably.
You and your ‘Awkward’ character, Jenna, both love side bangs, and you even offer a cut-your-own-bangs tutorial in the book. Is there any method readers should avoid?
If you’re getting bangs for the first time, don’t do your own bangs. But once you’ve got them, the maintenance of them — like, I go to one of the top salons, Nine Zero One, and I don’t let them touch my bangs. Do I mess them up every once in awhile? Sure.
Oh, and don’t try to do the above-the-eyebrow, pinup look yourself. That’s a whole other deal. But if you want a natural look, little bits at a time.
Jenna’s made mistakes, but she’s someone who seems to genuinely learn from hers. Having written this book, what’s one bit of advice you’d give her?
Get with Matty already, just get with Matty! Be his girlfriend. I don’t understand. We’ve been here five years.
And to follow her heart, too. She overthinks so many things, which I can relate to, but sometimes, she just needs to throw logic out the window and go for it.