Our new comedy series Awkward. hits our screens this week. It follows the life of the 15 year-old, slightly geeky Jenna, as she slogs her way through her teenage life.
Catching up with the cast, Ashley Rickards, who previously starred in One Tree Hill and plays the lead role of Jenna Hamilton, told us that we shouldn't really stereotype any of the characters, as all the lead roles have multiple layers.
Even her own character Jenna isn’t what she seems - despite the cruelty she endures at the hands of bullies she remains a genuinely nice person and a hopeless romantic, but don’t be fooled by her positivity, Ashley warns: “She’ll go to places you never thought…what doesn’t kill her definitely makes her stronger.”
Speaking about her acting experience so far, Ashley revealed: “It’s a really exciting time out there, there’s so much independent material pushing the limits and I want to be a part of that.”
Jenna’s crush, Matty Mckibben is played by Beau Mirchoff - he described some of his character's more quirky habits, like sniffing his armpits: “Matty’s eccentric, he’s a lot of fun, I identified with him a lot, which was what attracted me to the part.”
Before Awkward. Beau was in Scary Movie 4, The Secret lives of Dorks and played Danny Bowlin in Desperate Housewives.
Emotionally challenged Jenna stands no hope of getting any guidance from Valerie Marks, who is played by Desi Lydic.
The former Wedding Crashers cast member joked that Valerie probably needed more help than Jenna: “She was probably one of the most unpopular kids at school, but thought she was the homecoming queen. Now she’s got at least seven cats, watches a lot of reality TV.”
Desi's recent career highlights include flirting with Matt Damon, who she starred alongside in most her recent film, We Bought A Zoo.
Jenna's “inappropriate, self-absorbed, yet incredibly well intentioned” mum, Lacey Hamilton is played by Nikki Deloach.
Nikki revealed the reason she was so drawn to the part was because Lacey was one of the most well-written characters on TV in a really long time, adding: “I’m so excited and blessed to play the part – I love her.”
Joking about her own embarrassing experiences with her parents, Nikki told MTV: “Walking in on my parents…you know…now that’s awkward!”
The school bully and Jenna’s nemesis Sadie Saxton, played by Molly Tarlov is your typical school nightmare, but Molly’s quick to defend her character.
Although Sadie’s a stereotypical rich, popular girl but she’s overweight and got her own body image insecurities: “Yes, Sadie’s the mean girl and the bully, but people make fun of her too, so viewers get to see that side as well.”
Molly’s also working on her own project about the challenges of being a girl.
Jenna’s best friend Tamara, played by Jillian Rose Reed, knows what she wants and how she’s going to get it. Speaking about her character, Jillian told MTV that she is the total opposite to Jenna: “She says whatever’s on her mind, she’s no censor at all.”
Being as close as they are, it’s inevitable they’re going to fight Jillian explains, and over the series viewers can expect to see the full rollercoaster of their relationship unfold.
Like the other cast members she found she could relate to Tamara, who like her, was a little crazy and out there at times, even joking that her own school days had their similarities, saying: “High school was good - Tamara’s inside of me!”
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