Q. Has "Glee" been your main project or have you been working on anything else?
A. "Glee" is twenty-four hours a day, eighteen days a week! I love it, it's so much fun!
Q. Can you talk about how you landed the role of Lauren on "Glee" and what your audition was like?
A. I auditioned for the pilot and they brought me in a bunch, which was exciting for me because they kept bringing me in. Eventually I got the Lauren Zizes part! They had me sing for the pilot and it was very on the fly because "Glee" works very quickly. The first episode I appeared in I was the wrestler and I was trying out for cheerleading. Then they asked me to come out and sing for Ryan and the director and I sang and they were like, "Okay, great!" We shot it and then I just kept coming back.
Q. Did you have a musical background to begin with?
A. I went to a musical theater high school, I lived "Glee," that's why I was such a big fan of the show. I went to a performing arts high school. I am a big musical theater nerd and I have been singing in competitions since I was eight or nine. I've sang and danced my whole life and it's therapeutic, I love it.
Q. How taxing on you has it been dancing and learning the routines?
A. I remember being in the audience when they did "Toxic" and I love all of the kids and I was just like, "I don't see how they do this, how do they do this for so many hours and do the routine so amazingly?" Then I remember I found out I was in the Glee Club and I freaked out. My first dance rehearsal in the Tin Shed, that's what we call where we rehearse, I was like I've seen this on Oprah and now I am in here with the entire cast learning this routine. It's funny it's like you're having such a blast, but at the end of the day I go home tired. Before "Glee" I was an insomniac, I'd stay up all night long, I never would sleep. Now literally by the time I get home and my head hits the pillow I am asleep. It's funny because it's such an adrenaline rush performing with everyone, it's just fun!
Q. Do you feel like it's surreal being on "Glee" coming from being a fan?
A. It's surreal, I just wake up and am like, is this a dream? No, I'm still going to Paramount at 6 AM. I check my text messages and it's like okay, this is real. I'm on my way!
Q. Are you able to say how many episodes we'll get to see you appear in?
A. I would love to tell you if I had any idea but I take it one episode at a time. I am just guest starring episode to episode, but I can tell you that I have been continuously filming but I don't know, your guess is as good as mine. I've filmed every episode, I think four of what's aired, and then they actually approached me to go on tour so it's looking like I might get to do that as well.
Q. I was just going to ask if there was any chance we'd see you on the "Glee" tour.
A. They approached me at the end of last week and I really, really want to go. My representation said it's official, I haven't signed anything, but as of now it's looking like I am going which I am freaking out about. I went to the "Glee" show last year, it's weird, it's crazy! It's funny and amazing to be a part of something that you're such a big fan of.
Q. Did the chemistry with the cast come naturally or did it take some time to develop?
A. I was so lucky, I mean even before joining the Glee Club because I had been there consistently since episode eight popping in and out, I knew the cast really well so it was like this really smooth transition. I mean my first day they were so supportive. I said it before, but there is some sort of chemistry on "Glee" that's magic, and I think that's why people love it and you can see it on TV. I bonded with everyone immediately, like literally we are all inseparable and we hangout all the time, it's ridiculous.
Q. You've gotten to work with Mark Salling a lot, how is it getting it to work opposite of him?
A. Oh you know it's grueling, I am like I'm doing this for America, I'm taking one for the team! No, it's hysterical, that's the only word. Working with Mark, we try to make each other laugh. When they're on my coverage he tries to make me bust up and when they're shooting his coverage I try to make him laugh. We were shooting the make out scene (from last weeks episode), those things are not sexy the way that they are filmed, it's like, "Kiss a little longer," "Throw him against that," "Somebody knock toilet paper on them and kiss a little longer!" Mark just started busting out the Big Red song and all day we just kept singing the Big Red jingle. It was crazy, it was hilarious.
Q. Last weeks fight scene with Naya was pretty hilarious, how was filming that?
A. Lauren's an arm wrestling champion and she's a wrestler. Santana is scrappy and she put up a good fight but I would say she was not the winner. I love how she was like, "That's how we do it in Lima Heights Adjacent!" It's like yeah girl, get it! That's what I think was so funny because she knew she lost but she still threw it in for good measure. I love how Coach Bieste throws her over her shoulder and walks off, that was so good. That was so much fun, it's like a dance actually when you do something like that, it's choreographed so we had rehearsals for that just like a dance number funny enough.
Q. It must be really hard not to crack up during filming.
A. I gotta tell you the blooper reel, we crack up all of the time. We're not supposed to, but sometimes you can't help it. There have been a couple of times when I was grabbing her by her weave or something and we just stopped and looked at each other and were like "Oh my goodness!" What we get to do in a day is hilarious!
Q. Do you feel like a role model for girls who may be experiencing what Lauren goes through?
A. I absolutely do. I think what I love about Lauren is she's so strong and so confident and she knows what she wants and I feel very blessed to play a role model for people who have ever felt other or different. I remember how I used to feel watching TV and seeing Sara Rue on "Popular" because she was an inspiration to me. It's funny because what I love about Lauren is that she's unapologetic and she's confident and she's making Puck work for it and she's not just looking for a roll in the hay. I think that they are very sweet together, there is this vulnerability when they are both such bad asses and you put them together and I think there is something really special there. What I appreciate about Lauren is that she's like I don't need to give it to you, you're going to work for it, and I think that's a great message to send to young girls. I think that he is smitten and she is probably a little smitten too but I think she has enough self esteem not to give everything up for the charming cute boy that's kind of after her.
Q. Can you understand where Lauren was coming from when she wasn't too thrilled about Puck's song choice?
A. I personally love that song, it's amazing and it's such an anthem, but I think if you were in high school no matter how confident you were and you were sitting in a room with all of his ex-girlfriends and he sings you a love song and it's about the size of your bottom...I think he meant well. I don't think she would have gone to Breadsticks with him if she didn't know that he meant well.
Q. You've gotten to attend many of the award shows, how do you feel being in that spotlight?
A. Chris (Colfer) invited me as his date to the Golden Globes and Chris is one of my best friends and putting us in that environment was just like kids in a candy shop. We had a blast and he won and the show won and Jane won and it was just one of those never forget, talk to your grand children about it moments. The funny thing is I have been doing it for a while and I've been on a couple of other series and I've done other things and I think I've slowly been eased into it. What I love is the kids because they have no filter. I was sitting at The Cheesecake Factory with my mom at lunch and a five year old just ran up and sat on my lap and she was like, "Glee" and I was like "Hi, how are you?" Also, I go out with the cast all of the time and it's just something that you get used to. What I think we all appreciate is that you see some actors sometimes and you don't bother to say anything to them or give them any attention, but there is something about "Glee" that is really effecting people. The fact that fans feel the need to come up and tell you that is just really special and it's why we do it.
Q. How amazing is it getting to hear from so many celebrities at these award shows what they think about the show?
A. Natalie Portman came up to us and said that she's a big fan and Kathy Griffin. "Glee" is like lightning in a bottle and I think everyone, especially those in our business, they have definitely felt other at times. I have the most supportive family and I come from a very academic family and I feel like that's a very similar story for a lot of people in this business. You're a little different and I think there is something about "Glee" that really resounds with people.
Q. Anne Hathaway is rumored to guest on the show, is there anyone that you'd like to see appear?
A. That was so cool hanging out with her at the Golden Globes and crazy, but I am really hoping that she gets to come on and play Kurt's aunt, that would be amazing. There are so many people and oh my gosh Gwyneth is so amazing. We're doing an episode with her right now and oh my goodness she's just like the raddest lady ever, I can't even deal. For my own personal preference I think someone like Roseanne would be hilarious on the show. I was a big fan of hers, she's a funny woman and I just think it would be awesome if she was Lauren's mom. Any cast member of "Friends" would be great by me because I am such a huge "Friends" fan. It's fun, it's like a constant surprise. Helena Bonham Carter, that would be cool, I love her!
Q. Do you have a really memorable moment from filming the show?
A. When Stevie Nicks came on set that was a really big moment for all of us. She came on set to support us and thank us for what we're doing to make arts important because it's so important for kids and when she came out we were just floored. I remember filming "The Dog Days Are Over" and I was looking around at all of my friends and the cast and I was like "I can't believe that I am filming a musical number and singing and dancing on the auditorium stage with these guys" and that was pretty memorable. Also John Stamos, I was a huge John Stamos fan, Uncle Jessie. If I was bad or got in trouble and didn't do my chores I was not allowed to watch "Full House." I hadn't met him yet until about a week ago and I was sitting in my chair and all of a sudden someone came up behind me and I thought it was one of the kids and I was like, "What do you want?" It was John Stamos and he was like, "Hi Ashley, I'm John." I wasn't ready for that. I needed you to walk towards me, I needed to see you coming, I needed a second, I got so spooked it was crazy! All week long I was like don't say Uncle Jessie, don't say Uncle Jessie, John, "Hi John, how are you?" It literally is impossible because he looks the exact same, the man does not age, I don't know how. I was talking to Amber and I was like "Amber, do you constantly feel the need to call him Uncle Jessie? I feel like I'm nervous" and she's like "Absolutely!" I was like I wonder if he would get mad if I did and she was like no it happens all the time and I was like okay good. It's going to happen, believe me.
Q. You're a part of the social networking site Twitter, why it important for you to connect with fans this way?
A. Tweeting is fun because for me it's like total control because the show is amazing, I mean I get to throw things in there and stuff, but the creators do such an amazing job at it and we have a blast. I feel like this outsider who has fooled everybody and I am in the in crowd. I think a little bit we all feel that way and it's fun to connect with the fans and give them a little taste of what we're doing. We'll take pictures and put them on Twitter and it's just fun. It's like a public forum for us to be crazy.
Q. Are you a fan of any of the couples and relationships on the show?
A. You know I'm really rooting for Emma and Mr. Schue. I love WEMMA, I love Brittana, I think it's so hilarious about Brittany and Santana together. I just love their dynamic, I think it's amazing. I think those are my favorite. Finchel people are intense, Finchel people I love, they are on a mission and I hope that they get it because there are going to be a lot of people that are sad. The Finchel people are for serious! It was so funny with the Puckleberry fans, they are pretty intense too. I remember I came in and kind of shook that up and I remember I got so many tweets like "I wanted to hate you because you're messing with Puckleberry but then I saw what you did to Puck and it warmed my heart to see him that vulnerable so it's okay with me." I was like, oh, thank goodness! I got the Puckleberry blessing from people, it's all good! I think Puck and Rachel together is nothing but trouble. There are so many characters and so you can't keep everybody happy. Artie and Brittany are really sweet together too though. A character will look at somebody and then all of a sudden there is Harry/Dianna stuff, I'm like wait, what? There was a song where she looked at him and he looked back! I think people call Lauren and Puck, Luck, or they call them Puckarizes. It's funny, it sounds like a verb, like I'm going to Puckarizes you! I love the fans and I love how dedicated they are to it, it's funny.
Q. What would you like to say to the fans and supporters?
A. Thank you! Honestly it's been overwhelming the response that I've gotten and I am just floored, honored, and so grateful, as everyone on the show is. There would be no "Glee" without all of the fans and we're just very lucky. We work really long hours and we work really hard and it's completely worth it because of the way it's received. We think about you guys every day, that's for sure!