Ashley Greene is on NYC time during our phoner; she’s just in Canada shooting the TV series “Rogue,” on which she’s recently become a series regular. “She’s quite a character,” Greene tells us. “I feel like I always gravitate towards these crazy characters.” As it happens, she’s talking to us about “Burying the Ex,” where the crazy character is Evelyn, a 20-something accidentally killed then inexplicably revived as a zombie who plagues Max, her ex-boyfriend (Anton Yelchin). It’s the latest from Joe Dante, the horror-comedy god of “The Howling,” “Gremlins” and best of all “Gremlins 2: The New Batch,” and it’s also a showcase for the “Twilight” alum to go over the top — though not too over the top.
What draws you to crazy characters?
I don’t know. I think it’s opposites attract. I hope. It may be because it throws you into that realm of being able to lose yourself in a role and not really worry about coming off as crazy. Because it’s so far from who I am it just takes the pressure off. It’s almost like having a split personality.
You basically play a series of characters: Evelyn before the accident, then the various stages of decay as she gradually becomes a classic flesh-eater.
I had to make her as realistic as possible through her transition. I looked up bipolar disorder and issues surrounding that, because she has these severe mood swings. One minute she’s in la-la land and completely bubbly and happy; the next she’s enraged and can’t control her temper. I had to make her mood swings real to me.
She’s the villain, but whether she’s annoying Max before her death or eating people she’s not purely hissable.
I wanted people to be able to relate to her in some sense. I don’t want her to be this controlling, unlikable, horrible human being. I didn’t want to condone her behavior, but I wanted to understand her reasons for doing what she’s doing. A lot of that comes from the insecurity of losing Max and her not realizing that they’re just not right for each other. When I spoke with Joe and Alan [Trezza, the screenwriter] I wanted people to understand her. With any villain that’s very important. Villains aren’t generally villains, just for the sake of being evil. Generally there’s something that got them there, some underlying issue not being dealt with.