YEM spoke to Julia Lester, who portrays Ashlyn in the series HSMTMTS. Julia discusses how she came to play the role of Belle in the series, as well as what it means to her. She also tells us about the incredible fan outreach she has received as well as Ashlyn’s friendship with Gina and relationship with her boyfriend, Big Red.
HSMTMTS is currently doing production of Beauty and the Beast, and Julia had been cast as Belle. The role has allowed her to discuss with fans that positive impact playing the role has done for her. These idealistic princesses’ force females to feel pressured to be that one day and it is simply not realistic.
It is what we make them out to be. Julia also spoke about performing “Home,” an iconic song from the Broadway production of Beauty and the Beast. She tells us how happy she is to be receiving more exciting storylines this season with her character, Ashlyn. “Home” is also a parallel to Ashlyn’s relationship with Gina. Ashlyn sings, “Home is where the heart is,” and Gina and Ashlyn are looking to find who they are as people. They began as acquaintances last season and then evolved to become close friends, turning their friendship into more of a sisterhood.
In addition to her friendship with Gina, Ashlyn does have a boyfriend: Big Red. Julia shares she and Larry quickly became fast friends, as they knew they were going to share a storyline together. She speaks about the ‘vison board’ scene and the “Big Loves Red” moment. The two have truly had a blossoming romance, and Julia hopes that Ashlyn and Larry can remain a happy couple.