You may recognise her as the face of Billabong or from the covers of Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Cleo, Dolly Magazine, Girlfriend, Max Magazine, Frankie, Yen and many Surfing Magazines, or as a guest presenter on MTV, Nickelodeon, and Channel V.
Once you've seen her, the chances are you won't forget her. She's not the standard beach blond surfer that typifies our Summer Bay culture.
Ashley started young at the age of 12 "My Dad and brother (both professional surfers) Luke taught me how to surf, I wasn’t interested at first, but there wasn’t much to do in the country, so it kept me occupied when I couldn’t ride horses" she confessed.
By the age of 14 she was surfing competitively and was sponsored by Billabong, becoming the 'face' of Billabong from the age of 17-20. This gave her a taste for acting when she became the stunt surfer on Blue Water High, working alongside Rebecca Breeds and Kain O'Keeffe (who played Xavier's brother Brendan).
To pursue this new challenge, Ashley went to New York to study at the prestigious Stella Adler Acting Studio. "I loved it and didn't want to leave, and although I was asked to stay, financially I just couldn’t, it’s very expensive when you are paying rent, course fees and not able to work, it puts a lot of pressure on you, so I decided to come home."
She teamed up with another ex Home and Away actor, Todd Lasance (who played Aden Jefferies) for a part in the feature film Fool's Gold, "I didn’t expect it to be such a huge production, when Todd, Jason Dundas and I went onto the set we were just blown away. My role was such a small role, but I did one scene with Matthew McConaughey and after we filmed we would all go out and have a chat with everyone and Matt and Kate(Hudson) would come along, she was so lovely and so down to earth, I think really highly of Kate and Matthew."
And Ashley just missed out on a role in the Australian feature Beneath Hill 60, director Jeremy Sims (who played Gardy in Home and Away) and producer Bill Leimbach, thought she looked like the original Marjorie so they were keen for her to audition but the unfortunately timing didn’t work out. "I loved the script and I really wanted to play her."
Not one to shy away from a challenge, Ash pushed herself out of her comfort zone again for one of this year’s Tropfest finals No Dice Hollywood, "it was so much fun singing and dancing."
Her favourite female actors include Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman and Angelina Jolie, "I just love her range," Halle Berry, Charlize Theron, Meryl Streep and Nicole Kidman "because she’s an aussie."
Her own mentors include her mother "I have a few people I look up to, my mum, she doesn’t know anything about the acting world and she’s not a stage mum by any means but she gives me life advice, and then my dad is more practical" and she's lucky to have a very supportive partner "Jay is supportive of everything I do, I’ve known him since I was 16 but we have been going out for about a year. He’s a surfer so he understands the travel and the schedules, and he doesn’t get caught up in it, and he’s just there for me when I need someone to talk to."
Another aspect of life that is very important to Ashley is her charity work. "I work with Variety the children’s charity every year, it's amazing working with all the different kids, they touch your life in every way, and when I’m home I usually go up to the nursing home and visit some old people, just little things, I just like to give back. She has also done motivational speaking for young women through the Y.M.C.A.
Home is on the South coast in a small town called Culburra in New South Wales which is not dissimilar to the life style of Summer Bay. This is Ashley's retreat in between her hectic schedule, where she can hang out with her family, walk every day, surf and do yoga. She eats very healthily "I don't like to eat packaged food, just everything as fresh as possible, we have our own fruit trees and chooks and I like to have good filtered water but I keep it simple."
When asked to describe herself in 3 words she used the initials ASH "Adventurous, Spiritual and Honest, that's difficult" she laughed.
Watch out for Ashley in the up and coming Surf Carnival, where her character competes against Ruby (Rebecca Breeds). "Bec and I did all our own stunts, it was so much fun." Her character Miranda also sorts out the boys from the men and gives Xavier alot to think about.
Let Ashely know if you enjoy her portrayal of Miranda by leaving a comment below and you can follow her on Twitter.
In the immediate future, Ashley is working on a short film called Arc "It is about growing up as a teenager and the difficulties and challenges of how you grow, it sounds really interesting" and for the long term, "I just want to keep acting, I would love to play someone who was hard and tough, even a sad story that’s true. Most of the character’s I have played so far have been quite innocent, so it would be good to do the complete opposite, I think that would be fun because it’s not like me at all" she laughed.Interview by: Tania Seager
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