I really don’t know much about Ashley Benson, one of the stars of Pretty Little Liars. One of my big introductions to Benson was this Canadian magazine interview she did back in May 2015, where she boldly declared that she could never, ever date a high-profile actor like Angelina Jolie has. It struck me (as it struck many commenters) that Benson was saying that she was very much like Angelina Jolie (as in, she was just as famous), but Ashley could never date anyone like Brad Pitt because it would just get too intense, with the fame and everything. It was a funny interview and so my general feeling about her was “bless her heart.” But Ashley has a new interview and I actually have a pang of genuine sympathy for her now.
She was told she was too fat: “I was just told I was too fat for a part. I’m a size 2! I cried for 30 minutes, but then you have to let it roll off your shoulders or it could cause a serious eating disorder. A lot of people in this industry hear they need to lose weight more times than they should. It does make you stronger, though. Because if you let that affect you, you can’t be in this industry—you’d go crazy.”
She hates being Photoshopped: “I saw photos from a shoot of myself just the other day and thought, What the hell? That doesn’t even look like me! I was so disappointed. I hate to think that girls are like, ‘She’s so skinny! Her skin is so perfect!’ I have pimples just like they do.”
Early stardom: “I definitely see why some people can go a little nuts. Being successful at such a young age—and I feel I never got to that level, but I’ve seen friends who have—is very difficult because you’re being told yes a thousand times more than you’re being told no. You’re making a lot of money, there are a lot of temptations, and there are no consequences no matter what you’re doing.”
She’s not into the LA scene: “It’s fun to have drinks with friends, but I would never want to do anything that would sabotage my career. I’d rather have dinner and drinks at someone’s house than go batshit crazy in public. It’s not my scene.”
She was told she was “too fat”? Stories like that always make me so angry about Hollywood. She’s NOT fat!! Of course, I kind of don’t believe she’s a size 2 either (she looks more like a size 6 to me, which is still NOT FAT in any world). I also wonder if people think she’s “bigger” because she still has a baby-face. I thought she was maybe 19 or 20 years old, but she’s 26. Anyway, even though she’s a bit eye-rolly and bless-her-hearty, I feel sympathy for her. It’s impressive that she’s been in Hollywood since she was 14 years old and she still has a relatively calm, confident head on her shoulders.
Photos courtesy of Ocean Drive.