I have been saying all over the place, anywhere that anyone will listen, that this season of GREEK has been my favorite so far. The stories have been sharp, the humor is top notch, and the twists and turns have made for some of the most consistently enjoyable hours of TV this Fall!! One of the best things about the show is how much time they’ve spent fleshing out the characters that could have easily been stereotypes of the varied college students they portray.
Last week, I had the chance to speak with another fabulous member of ZBZ, Ashleigh Howard, played by the lovely and charming Amber Stevens. We talked a little bit about what’s to come in tonight’s season finale (hint hint – a musical number), how Ashleigh has changed for the better over the years, and why people need to give this brilliant show just one chance and they’ll be hooked!
I have to say, this season of GREEK is firing on all cylinders! Everyone’s at the top of their game!
Oh, well thank you!
What’s the feeling that you’re getting from viewers – are they having the same reaction?
I’ve heard from quite a few people that they’ve heard that this is the best season yet. I think our original fans are still sticking around – they’re pleased with the way that the stories are going. Especially [the Thanksgiving] episode, makes a lot of fans happy!
Ashleigh’s grown, she’s changed over the years. What is different about her now versus how the character started?
Well, kind of in the beginning, she was Casey’s sidekick. most of the drama going on was revolved around Casey and Ashleigh was just kind of there to support her and be the shoulder to cry on. Since then, the writers have really developed Ashleigh and have given her her own life and have finally declared a major for her [laughs] and you know, given her love stories and complications and she’s grown as a person, and you can start to see who she really is, and that she’s trying to be more of a leader than a follower and yeah, she’s just developed as a person.
You mentioned a little bit of the Thanksgiving episode having to deal with the Casey and Cappie. What can you tease for us about the finale episode, and SongFest and everything that happens there?
I know [the Thanksgiving episode was] a big episode, especially for people who have watched from the beginning. [The finale] is Song Fest, which was really, really fun to shoot. It wraps up the season nicely, and leaves a great cliffhanger for the following season coming up next year. It’s really fun, you get to see different dance numbers, and singing. And relationships that are developing and ending. We had so much fun. We had dance rehearsals. I had to go into the studio and record the song (check out a sneak peek here – view at your own risk of spoilage). It was super fun and it was a lot different than what we do all the time.
You guys are back to shooting for next season already, right?
Yep, we’re in the middle of it right now!
You said there’s a big cliffhanger at the end of the finale – what can we look forward to coming up, beyond that?
There’s a pretty big cliffhanger with a relationship with a couple of the big characters on the show. The next season has a lot to do with them, and whatever they have going on is going to be something. There’s a breakup that goes on. Casey, Ashleigh, Cappie, they’re all graduating soon, so it’s all about them trying to figure out what they’re going to do after college, or if they want to go to law school, or grad school or something. The characters are trying to figure out what they’re going to do next. Rusty has a grant that he is working on. He has the big project that he’s doing, he’s like building this, thing [laughs]. There’s a lot that’s going on, but it’s all pretty cool stuff and it’s interesting to see where they want to take these characters.
GREEK is so true to life – all the stories feel organic. You don’t bring in guest stars for the sake of guest stars, and I think that’s a big reason that the show stands above others on the air. Is there anyone we can look forward to as guest stars?
Dan Castelenetta comes back, for a few episodes on and off, I’m pretty sure. He plays Rusty’s professor. That’s all I can think of right now. There are plenty of new characters that come to the show, though!
Every time I talk to someone with the show, and I’ve been lucky enough to talk to a lot of you, there’s this running joke almost. Is it hard to remember where you are in shooting, and where you are in the characters’ lives since it’s taken quite a few years to tell a few semesters of story?
Oh yeah, all the time. I’m really confused right now as to what has aired and what hasn’t. You know, we’re like so much further along than what people have seen. I always get confused about what I can say [laughs].
I always wonder, do you get a cheat sheet before these interviews that say like “Don’t say this, avoid that”?
No but sometimes they give us the main points that they want us to push [laughs]. Otherwise, it’s left up to me. Probably not the best idea, haha.
Why do you tell people that they should be watching GREEK?
It’s really good! I think the thing that most people really like is that college was a huge time in their life. Like a changing point for them, or they made most of their life long friends there, and it was just a really happy time for people, and a lot of people that watch our show just say how nostalgic it is for them, or high school students are saying that they look forward to college because they see what goes on on our show. I don’t know, it’s just kind of a fun time! It’s a really light hearted show, it’s really easy to watch. It’s really easy to get invested in these characters. It’s not something you need to make yourself sit down and get ready to watch. It’s just easy fun. It really has an appeal to all people. Just give it a chance!
I do want to touch on Ashleigh’s fashion! I think there’s always something that someone mentions the day after a GREEK episode airs, about what your character wore the night before! Do you have a say with any of that, is that your fashion, or is that the costume designer?
The costume designer dresses me like herself. I wear clothes, her name is Mandy, literally she’ll walk on stage and she’ll take something off that she’s wearing that day, and she’ll put it on me. It’s like, you need this top I have on. Everything I have, she probably owns, and Ashleigh’s like a mini Mandy! I love everything. It’s really fun to go into my dressing room and find out what the new outfit is for the day! I feel like every time I walk into the hair and makeup room, everybody’s waiting to see what I have on. It’s usually something very costumey. There’s many parts of it that like every girl would want to wear, but then there’s the one thing that takes it over the edge that makes it just Ashleigh!
Do you get a chance to watch other TV besides your show?
Not really [laughs]. I spend more of my time on my computer.
Are you guys getting into the Twitter-craze that everyone seems on board with?
I actually don’t have Twitter. I don’t really know how that works, ha. I have Facebook, for myself. I love my Facebook because I upload pictures. I’m a big picture taker so all of my friends always want copies. I use Facebook a lot for that. I have a Myspace where I like reach out to fans. But Twitter I have not caught on to yet.
The show is on there (@greekshow) so maybe they’ll wear you down!
Well, I went on it once! That was the only time I went on it. It was for a Twitter like chat thing, whatever they call it!
What else do you have coming up?
I sang the song for the ABC Family sequel Santa Baby 2. I sang Santa Baby. Which is pretty cool; I’m actually pretty excited to see how it turns out. I’ve heard the song – it’s part of the movie, and there’s like a big scene where it plays so I’m really excited about that. I’m excited to see the Song Fest episode, because I haven’t seen it yet. That’s kind of really all I’m up to because GREEK takes over my life [laughs]. Trying to do the singing thing on the side. There’s not much time.
Would you like to put an album out? Have you made songs available or is it something you’re just starting to kick around with?
Not really. I have a couple songs like on my website, and then I have the Santa Baby song that’s coming out and will be available on Itunes and stuff. But otherwise, no I have not recorded one but that is my goal!