Ashley Benson on playing one of the ‘Spring Breakers’

Ashley Bensen plays a good girl gone wild in "Spring Breakers." CREDIT: Annapurna Pictures
Ashley Benson plays a good girl gone wild in “Spring Breakers.”
CREDIT: Annapurna Pictures

“Pretty Little Liars” star Ashley Benson makes the jump to film in the most attention-grabbing way she can: alongside Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens as coeds gone bad in Harmony Korine’s “Spring Breakers.” The film finds the girls’ characters knocking over a diner to fund a wild week in Florida, ending up in jail and bedding down with a crazed, gun-toting, drug-slinging amateur rapper named Alien (James Franco), all in a kaleidoscope of American culture taken to the brink. Not surprisingly, it’s courted some very strong reactions. And you know what? Benson likes that you may hate this movie.

I’ve talked to some people who didn’t get this movie.
I don’t think a lot of people do, actually.

There’s a lot of noise surrounding it, about the content and the Disney backgrounds of your co-stars. When you’re at the center of this kind of storm, how do you deal with it?
I don’t really listen to it. Harmony just wanted people to be left with a feeling, and if they’re horrified that’s amazing. If they loved it that’s even better. So I like when people hate the movie because it’s like, wow, we really affected you and you’re really disturbed, and that’s great. Because it is a disturbing movie, but it’s also a beautiful movie. So whether you like it or not I’m just happy that people are seeing it and it’s being talked about, because it’s being talked about whether it’s negatively or positively. If they’re talking about it, that’s great.

How much of the “pop poem” nature of this, as Korine describes it, was clear from the get-go?
Honestly, I was kind of thrown into it at the very last minute — like two weeks before we started shooting. When I was reading this script, I viewed it as, “Oh my God, this is such a gritty, raw, organic, edgy script, and I have to be a part of this.” And my character was so different and just didn’t give a sh— ever, about whatever she did. You know what I mean? She was just, like, so ballsy, and I’ve never played anything like that. And I told my agent when I was looking for a movie I wanted to play a tough girl who deals with drugs, who deals with violence — and then this script came out of nowhere and I was just like, “Oh my God! I have to get this role!”

“Just pretend it’s a video game” stands out as a particularly telling line of dialogue.
Well, that wasn’t actually in the script. The script was more descriptive and very visual, with very little dialogue. [Korine] said to pick out three scenes from the movie [for the audition], and each scene maybe had two lines. It was more of just visually what people looked like, what the girls were wearing, that they would dance, that they would play with guns, that they would have this love scene with Alien. And that’s what made the movie so brilliant, because half the things were made up on the spot two minutes before we shot or it was improvised. But that line is actually a very good line, and it’s so true. Nowadays people live in this world where video games are so realistic. I mean, there are so many shooting games, and these girls watch cartoons and play video games and get high and get drunk. So for them to be able to do this, they just pretend like they are in a video game.

This is a great way to start a film career. Where do you go from here, movie-wise?
I’m on my show right now, and I’m going to try to balance out doing movies at the same time, so right now I’m just reading scripts. With this being my first movie, it was a very unique experience. I think I want to do another one like this. I want to work with a director who’s kind of like Harmony. I would love to do another independent film. Film is what I want to do in the long run, but I want to do something similar to this just because I loved it so much.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.