Austin might have been the only town where Ashley Greene could go and people were not interested in Twilight. Her film Skateland played at the South by Southwest film festival, where audiences were more captivated by indie film than vampire romances. When Skateland finally gets picked up for distribution, Greene’s Twilight fans will see a whole new side of her.
“Obviously, a lot of teens are familiar with Alice Cullen,” Greene said on the red carpet outside the Paramount Theater in Austin. “So you get to see that perky kind of girl next door best friend character. In Skateland, initially I was drawn to the fact that Michelle Burkham was this charismatic girl and she’s the girl next door but she has an edge. You see a lot of vulnerability but you see a lot of strength, so she kind of encompassed a lot of the qualities that I wanted to showcase.”
Set in the ‘80s, Skateland is still about teen angst. This time she’s the angsty teen instead of a hundred-years old vampire. “I definitely think for Twilight, we have a majority of the teen angsty fans but my goal right now is to definitely branch out and to reach out to everyone,” Greene said. “As an actor I want to affect people. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a teenager.”
The film also stars Shiloh Fernandez in what might be a breakout starring role, if the festival buzz is any indication. Perhaps Fernandez would rather the world didn’t discover him with floppy ‘80s hair.
“Oh my God, did you see this poster?” Fernandez lamented. “It’s the worst haircut, and it looks good on the poster. No, I don’t cut my hair unless I do a movie of some sort. It’s just long.”
The slice of life drama reminds viewers what life was like in the ‘80s. Co-star Taylor Handley thinks the simple differences will surprise people. “I remember before the technical age,” Handley said. “Before everybody was calling on cell phones, we were knocking each other’s doors. That was a cool thing to bring back in this movie. Calling on the home phone.”
Fernandez shared a similarly optimistic perspective on the ‘80s. “I’m fond about the ‘80s because it gave me life,” he said. “I was born in ’85. I look back fondly on everything that’s brought us to where we are today. Things have been crazy and things have been cool, but everything brings us to where we are today so of course I look back fondly on it.”
Look for Skateland to continue on the festival circuit this year.