On ABC's The Middle, Katlin Mastandrea plays "Weird Ashley", the quirky pal to Sue. In real life, Katlin has a couple of pretty awesome quirks too -- she's currently learning Japanese! Check out our chat with Kat, where she dishes on playing the unique character!
M: What can you tell us about your character, Ashley? Katlin: She's a bit of an oddball. She perceives herself as a normal teenager, when in reality, she creeps her classmates out. She just marches to the beat of her own drum.
M: When you were in high school, were you like Ash at all? K: I suppose in the marching to my own drum bit. I was always perceived as "weird" in that sense. I didn't buy into peer pressure and did my own thing.
M: On the show, Ashley is a member of Sue's Wrestlerette team. What can you tell us about the wrestlerettes? K: The Wrestlerettes are a hodge-podge of particular girls. You've got the social outcasts for a variety of reasons, the "weirdo", and the one who will beat the living daylights out of you. It's pretty much everyone other than the popular elite.
M: So Ashley isn't exactly one of the most popular girls in high school, but she seems to not really mind not fitting in. How do you think she stays so confident? K: Other than having a remarkable amount of self-confidence, which is kind of like Sue, I think she just might have the blinders on. She truly believes that she's acting like any normal teenager would, just being herself. In Ashley' case, that seems to make her "weird", by not blending in or fitting in.
M: What would you say to girls who are battling the pressures of fitting in with their peers? K: Hmm...well there are two things, depending on circumstances. The first would be not to care. If you don't mix with them, then you just don't mix and that's okay. You'll find "like kinds" one day and that might mean not in high school, but later in life. How you go about handling the pressure is another. Personally, I just didn't care what they thought of me and pretty much got along with everyone. I was usually the one to stick up for ones getting picked on, and that usually made certain cliques more angry because I didn't care about their opinion. They were being mean and someone had to tell them to knock it off. I became a silent observer, watching interactions which can be very entertaining in itself. I did have some friends but I never bowed to peer pressure because, to be honest, it was some of the stupidest stuff I've ever seen.
M: Last season Ashley was dumped by her date at the prom, have you ever experienced rejection like that from a boy you liked? K: No. Actually I've never really done anything like that. Through school, I never really felt that way about anybody.
M: What advice would you give girls who have been rejected? K: I suppose try not to care so much because there are millions of people in this world, and that is only one person. Maybe you weren't meant to be together, so use it as a sign to move on and find a better fit. Focus on the people, or animals, that do love you in your life. Instead of concentrating energy over a relationship that didn't pan out, try re-directing that energy toward something you love or something new. It was the other persons' choice to reject you, It just wasn't meant to be. Either way they are missing out on a wonderful person, and that's their deal, not yours. If you at least try to use that energy on yourself, even if you're still sad, it's going to make you a better person overall. On the bright side, you might just learn something new through all of it.
M: It's no secret that Ashley has a crush on Axl, especially after she was dumped at the prom, what advice would you give to our readers who dealing with their first real crushes? K: Considering that I've never gone through it myself, just take this with a grain of salt. I would say coming clean as soon as possible, within reason. If it feels like an appropriate situation, then just let them know how you feel. Whether or not they accept your feelings, at least you will know where this relationship is going and if you should spend more energy on it or not. Going on a date, just being friends, or ending it, it seems like a healthier route to go than just hoping and wondering. Too much energy wasted.
M: What 3 fun facts can you share about yourself with M readers? K: I'm a hat aficionado. My collection keeps growing. I fancy myself in bow-ties, preferably the 11th Doctors burgundy one. I'm currently trying to learn Japanese and as much about their culture as I can. Someday, I would like to visit the country.
Check out Katlin on The Middle tonight on ABC!
Photo Credit: Deidhra Fahey Photography
Let's dish: -Do you watch The Middle? What do you think of Katlin?