How closely does your character match you in real life?
Ashley: I put a lot of myself into Lizzie, but we’re not the same. At times she reminds me of my younger self, because she’s still making a lot of mistakes that I’ve made in the past. I also learned a few things about myself playing her. There were moments when I didn’t recognize her prejudice because I shared it, and so I’ve grown with her in some ways.
Laura: Jane is “the nicest person you’ll ever meet” and “practically perfect in every way.” Who is really like her in real life? I strive to be more like her of course and think she is an excellent example of how to treat others. While I am a sweet person to those around me, I can also be sarcastic and opinionated. I’m glad Jane got the opportunity to be funny in the series because I love doing comedy.Friends and colleagues have told me that I give good advice and pep talks, so Jane’s supportive, maternal vibe is something close to my true self. I think the writers really grew to know and understand each performer’s voice as the show developed, so there are bits of each of us in our characters for sure.
Mary Kate: More than I realized at first. I am an outgoing, energetic person, although Lydia and I have fairly different personalities. I’m much more like Jane, personality-wise. But I can very much relate to the things that Lydia goes through later in the series, and her desire to be loved — I think that’s something we can all relate to.
Daniel: I think on the surface most people would say that I am extremely different from William Darcy, which I take as a compliment. I am a much more casual and open person in my personal life. I lead with my sense of humor in most situations. Darcy, on the other hand, is closed off and hyper-formal. I usually can build trust and get to know people fairly quickly, whereas Darcy has tremendous trouble sharing anything with those he does not know well.
But there are many ways in which I very much relate to the character, especially when it comes to his internal life. Both of us have the tendency to be idealistic to a fault. Like Darcy, I tend to hold very strong opinions and can be very stubborn. And like Darcy, I too appreciate a fine pair of suspenders.
What’s been your coolest experience on the series?
Ashley: It’s hard to say just one thing. Going to VidCon and LeakyCon were amazing experiences. Collaborating with smart, talented people on a project we all love has been incredibly rewarding. I’ve made some really great friends on this show. Maybe that’s the coolest part.
Mary Kate: Just the whole experience of going into it never expecting Lydia Bennet to mean so much to me. I had no idea where her story would go, but now I am more proud of her than anything else I’ve ever done. I’m so happy we’ve been able to explore her fully like we have, through Lizzie’s vlogs and her own. I went into this thinking I was just going to play the crazy little sister and now she’s become so dear to me and such a part of me.
Laura: The fandom. Meeting fans of the show for the first time at VidCon last summer was something none of us will ever forget. The support for the show is overwhelming in the best of ways and we all feel very lucky to be a part of something that everyone is so excited about. Add to that the amazing fan art that people have been creating … it’s just all so cool.
Daniel: It’s hard for me to say. There have been so many amazing experiences related to working on this show. Absolutely one of them was the opportunity to go to New York and perform at Carnegie Hall with the Green Brothers and perform a reading of “The Fault in Our Stars” to a sold-out crowd. But I’m also going to say the experience of receiving letters/messages from fans about what the show has meant to them has been incredible. Hearing from people that the show has helped them get through incredibly difficult times in their lives – through times of doubt or fear or loss — has been incredibly cool and moving for me.
If you weren’t acting, you’d be doing what for a job?
Ashley: If there were something else I think I’d be happy doing, I would do that. Pursuing a career in acting is really hard, and it’s not worth it if acting isn’t the thing that sets you on fire. If I had an answer to this question, that would be my career. Acting is all I’ve ever wanted to do.
Laura: Is professional dog petting/cuddling a thing?
Daniel: If I weren’t acting I’d hopefully be doing something involving time travel. Maybe I’d be a time cop. Well, I guess that’s law-enforcement. So I guess I’d be doing time-travel-law-enforcement. Or perhaps more likely I’d be doing something dreadfully academic. My parents met while both in graduate school working on their PhDs and then my mom went on to get a law degree and my father went on to get a graduate English degree, so I kind of have school in my blood. I think I might be working in the field of ethnic studies trying to shed light on how we think of race and ethnicity in this country. Although I think time-travel-law-enforcement would be more fun.
Mary Kate: Nothing else. If you’re crazy enough to pursue acting you have to have nothing else you can do.