Ashley Greene has spent the first days of 2011 doing martial-arts training. If we didn’t know she was gearing up for some vampire fisticuffs in “Breaking Dawn,” we might say the 23-year-old is getting ready to kick, punch and otherwise pound into submission the next 12 months. Because after years spent as a beloved supporting player in the “Twilight” franchise, Greene is set to take her turn in 2011 as one of the series’ breakout stars.
The year begins with the debut of the Sundance indie “Skateland,” an ’80s coming-of-age tale. Then it’s on to “LOL,” a comedy in which she stars as a bad girl opposite Miley Cyrus. And don’t forget about “The Apparition,” a supernatural thriller that brings “Twilight” together with “Harry Potter” (Tom Felton) and “Gossip Girl” (Sebastian Stan), and the ensemble comedy, “Butter.” Oh, yeah — plus the first part of “Breaking Dawn.”
Yep, it’s going to be a big year for Greene. That’s why we’ve named her as one of MTV News’ 11 to Watch in 2011. During a break from the “Breaking Dawn” set in Louisiana, the actress answered some questions via e-mail, hitting on subjects like working with Cyrus, her most anticipated “Breaking Dawn” scene and what it was like to see Kristen Stewart as a vampire.
MTV: 2011 is shaping up to be a big year for you, coming off all the “Twilight” exposure and now having some prominent roles in “The Apparition,” “LOL” and a bunch of other projects coming down the line. Does 2011 feel like it’s going to be a particularly big year?
Ashley Greene: Definitely. I’m very excited for it. While it will be sad to finish filming the last installment of “The Twilight Saga,” I’m grateful to have so much to look forward to. There’s so much going on and so many wonderful opportunities popping up for 2011, and somehow I feel very Zen right now — I’m in a good place!
MTV: Do you have any goals for the year beyond what you’re already doing? What would you like to look back on at the end of the year and say, “I’m glad I accomplished that”?
Greene: “Twilight” and my upcoming projects have given me an amazing platform. I’m looking forward to doing as many diverse projects and roles as I can fit in this year! I’m also looking forward to continuing to make strides with mark’s m.powerment campaign; it’s important to me that I use my voice to inspire my young, female fans to pursue their dreams, just like I did. I’m so thankful for everything in 2010 and am extremely optimistic and excited about how much more can be accomplished this year.
MTV: Let’s talk “LOL.” We saw a lot of photos of you guys filming on location in Europe. Between “Twilight” fans and Miley fans, did you guys have to deal with a lot of paparazzi and people hanging outside set?
Greene: Miley is a phenomenon — she’s accomplished so much in the movie, TV and music worlds that it’s not surprising how much attention was attracted during filming. But we’re both professional and understand that we’re there to do our jobs. Work was our number-one priority, and everything else was background.
MTV: You’ve become a fashion icon in young Hollywood, and your “LOL” character certainly has a distinctive fashion style. Did you get to pick out any of your outfits? Keep anything? Become inspired by any of those looks?
Greene: I definitely have a say in them, but it’s more about what fits my character than me personally. In “LOL,” my character, Ashley, wears some pretty outrageous and provocative outfits that I’d never wear in real life! With Alice Cullen, we got to draw on Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O inspirations, which is a bit more me.
MTV: While filming “Apparition,” did you and Tom Felton ever compare notes about “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” fans?
Greene: Not so much comparing the fans as acknowledging how incredible they are. We are both so lucky to be a part of franchises that have ignited such a passion in young people. Very few actors get to be a part of that experience, so it’s humbling.
MTV: What “Breaking Dawn” scene are you most excited to film?
Greene: Most excited to film and see would be the big fight sequence against the Volturi. As a cast, we like to do as many of our own stunts as possible, so it’s fun and challenging to shoot those scenes. Jeff Imada, the stunt coordinator, is such a blast to work with as well. I’m learning so much from him.
MTV: Tell us about Bill Condon’s style on set. How does he differ from prior “Twilight” directors?
Greene: “There’s no way to describe what it’s like working with Bill Condon except incredible! He is so professional, patient and a fantastic leader. I get excited going to set every day knowing I get to work with him. Each director has brought such a different energy and perspective to the films. Bill is very relaxed and authoritative, in a good way. I feel very comfortable working with him.
MTV: Kristen Stewart said at the People’s Choice Awards that she filmed some scenes as a vampire. What was your reaction to seeing Kristen as a vamp?
Greene: Glad to have her officially join the Cullen family!