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Ashley Rickards

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Ashley Rickards
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Birth name: Ashley Rickards
Character: Jenna Hamilton
Sex: Female
Birthday: May 4, 1992 (age 22)
Birth place: Sarasota, California
Occupation: Actress, director
Years active: 2005–present
Character Jenna Hamilton

Ashley Nicole Rickards is an American actress who portrays Jenna Hamilton in MTV's Awkward. While she has starred in various films and television shows portraying a wide variety of characters, her most notable one is from Fly Away where she played a severely autistic girl named Mandy.

Life and career

Rickards was born in Sarasota, Florida. She grew up on a horse farm that catered for children with special needs. She attended a local Montessori school where, at age 13, she had her first taste of acting in an opera production. Rickards graduated from high school at age fifteen and is a member of Mensa. After attending a local talent showcase, organized by Lou Pearlman, Rickards traveled to Los Angeles where she eventually gathered a team of representatives. Upon graduating, Rickards began to appear in a number of minor roles, as child labor laws restricted the number of hours she was able to work. After making a number of guest appearances and shorts, she landed the role of Samantha Walker, a runaway foster child, in One Tree Hill for the 2008-2009 season. Although not aware of the show before auditioning, Rickards found that she "learned so much from acting techniques to different ways of shooting things". Her character did not return the following season, while in the same year she had a bit part in her first feature film, Gamer.

Rickards spent much of 2009 attending auditions while a proposed lead-role in the film Dirty Girl fell through. In 2010 she appeared opposite Jimmy Smits in an episode of the legal drama Outlaw while she also auditioned for the lead-role in Awkward. Initially rejected, her manager Adam Griffin sent the producers a tape Rickards had made for Fly Away "to show how she can do anything". The actress landed both roles and filmed the pilot for the MTV series prior to Fly Away, a feature where she played a severely autistic girl.

A former competitive equestrian, she helped to launch the Project Futures Somaly Mam Foundation (2011), which works to prevent and end human trafficking and sexual slavery in Southeast Asia. Rickards writes poetry, scripts, and enjoys painting in her spare time. She also appeared in The Fray's video for "How to Save a Life", and also in The Format's video for "She Doesn't Get It".

Trivia

  • Her celebrity doppelganger is Jennifer Lawrence.
  • She admitted that her celebrity crush is herself (but this was a joke).
  • She shares some similarties with Jenna, both have a sarcastic sense of humor.
  • Her best friends in Middle school were Furbies.
  • Is friends with all her Awkward cast members.
  • Says that Sadie and Jenna would never be friends.
  • Was bullied in Middle school.
  • Has a tattoo of an infinity symbol on the back of her neck, which she has wanted since she was 14.
    Ashley-rickards-neck-tattoo-awkward-infinity-symbol

    Ashely's tattoo

  • Graduated from high School at age 15.
  • Her first concert was on the set of One Tree Hill.
  • Has a three-legged cat named Trinny.
  • Also has a pet dog.
  • Had her first kiss was when she was 14.
  • During the filming of season 1, she pranked one of the directors by shoving a cupcake in his face, but it backfired because he poured ice water all over her.
  • Said in a interview with Pete Holmes, that the rumors about her having lip injections are false.
  • Used to ride horses.
  • Is writing a novel called "Get Your Sh!t Together", which will help give advice to teenage girls.
  • Her favorite scene to shoot in Awkward was when Jenna found out Lacey wrote the letter.
    • Originally, the show's creator played a prank on her and made her believe that Jenna had an evil twin, who wrote the letter.

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