Vents is happy to welcome to our humble pages talented actress extraordinaire Ashley Dulaney; welcome to Vents, Ashley! You’ve been so busy this year: Have you had a moment to just relax and enjoy the success that 2021 has brought you?
2021 has been such an amazing ride, but luckily, I have. While I was shooting Seduction and Snacks, I was in the South which is where my family is from so I was able to see them and get to spend some time at home. With COVID that wasn’t an option last year, so I really took every one of those moments in.
Major congratulations are in order for your upcoming film Seduction & Snacks, which premieres on October 28! For the uninitiated, can you talk a little about what the film is about and how your character figures into it all?
Yes! So very so excited for it to hit the platform on the 28th. The film is really about a woman who has a projected image of what her life will be and as life does, it has other plans, and she gets pregnant, and the film focuses on her new life with her kid and a business venture with her best friend and I come in there. I work at the business Claire and Liz are starting and get close to the characters in that way and I get to be part of the comedy journey as Claire comes to life
What made Seduction & Snacks so appealing to you as an actress?
The Book and the comedy. I love comedy and I loved the role of Jenny. She sees the world through very brilliant and shiny glasses, and it was so fun to put those on for a while. I also love women written stories and led by women so that was also appealing and the fact that it was done by PassionFlix was a big draw for me.
- Were you familiar with the three part book series from author Tara Sivec that Seduction & Snacks is based off of?
Not until I got the audition. By the time I had turned in my audition I was so glued to the story and then the book, by the time we started shooting I was very familiar with all three.
How faithful is the film to Sivec’s source material?
We actually just all came back from the Premiere in Ohio where Tara is from, and the film is based. She was very very happy with it and expressed how much it stayed to the world she created, so I don’t think we could ever get a higher compliment on the source materials than from her.
Seduction & Snacks has the distinction of being Passion Flix’s very first romantic comedy project. Do you and the cast and crew feel a bit like Neil Armstrong forging new pathways with this film?
Well, I will say I think Neil deserves a bit more credit for going to the moon haha. But I will say it has been such a cool experience to get to be the first RomCom up to bat at PassionFlix and I hope many more come after.
You work with such a talented ensemble in Seduction & Snacks in the form of acting stalwarts Mela Green, Vince Hill-Bedford, India Batson and Josh Gilmer, among others. What was it like to share the silver screen with these accomplished thespians?
I truly love every soul in this project, we all became very close over filming, and everyone truly fits their roles so perfectly. Getting to work with them just felt like home, it was easy doing scenes with them. They all gave so much in each take and each moment, and it was just honestly fun and effortless, the banter came naturally and the energy was always great.
Speaking of talented, the director on Seduction & Snacks is the uber-talented Colleen Davie Janes. What was your collaboration process like with Colleen?
Colleen killed it with this, she has a natural eye for comedy and working with her was really easy. She is a big on supporting her team and standing behind our choices and truly enjoyed working with us which just made it so easy to create the world.
What do you hope audiences walk away with after watching Seduction & Snacks?
I hope they walk away smiling and laughing and I hope they feel all the heart this movie has to give
You have another exciting film set to premiere quite soon entitled A Taste of Love; I’m beginning to detect a theme! Can you clue our readers in on what this upcoming 2022 film is about?
Ah this one has such a special place in my heart. It also was shot in the South, again where I’m from so I have so much love for it. It follows the story of a girl who moved away and comes home finding her place and figuring out what really matters to her and fitting back into this life she left. I am very proud to say I am her high school competition and frienemy which I’m not gonna lie was soooo fun to play. I love stirring the pot, this one is just magical and I can’t wait for everyone to see what we cooked up.
What has it been like filming projects such as A Taste of Love and Seduction & Snacks during pandemic times?
Different of course but at this point it just feels like the new normal. It’s such a strange new world coming out of the pandemic and I applaud the producers, crew and Covid compliance officers who fight so hard to keep us safe as we make our art. It’s for sure strange to have to always remember that the world we are creating on the set doesn’t totally mirror what’s happening in the real world, it’s a weird reaction to go from creating a world and then quickly remembering the reality. I think the main thing I feel is gratitude that we are here that we are doing this thing that I love.
You originally hail from The Magnolia State, Mississippi. How has Mississippi informed you as an actress in ways you might not otherwise have been if your home base had been, for example, Los Angeles or New York City?
That’s such a good question, I love where I come from, I’m grateful to be from there. I learned so much growing up in the South. Some things I would love to change, and some things define me as a person. But I would say two things that really did shape me as an actor coming from the South is the pace and the love for the roles that I am drawn to.
As far as pace everything in the South is very slow. A lot of people will read that and say “Oh God” but gosh I love that about where I come from. I don’t just mean slower on the highway because a tractor is on the road, I mean the pace of life. Maybe it’s the heat but I find the South slows down and appreciates the sounds the cicadas make, the way the humidity feels, the weight of everything. In the south one phrase has a million meanings depending on how it’s said “Bless your heart” for example has a life of its own. I learned subtext this way. That shapes me as an actress because of how I look at material and characters. LA which is home and New York which I love but haven’t been able to call home yet are magical and fast paced and you learn so much from those cities and I think we learn the same things but not in the same way.
My other one is the roles I love. I love southern gritty roles. I’ve always gravitated to those types, and I will always put a southern spin on any role I do if I can
You’ve endeared all of us here at Vents for one of your big passion projects in life, which is advocating for animal shelters. Can you talk with us about why this cause is so important to you?
Oh man, right? I adore animals, they are just good. They just want to love you. I think animals are pure and I want to help find good homes for every animal out there. I think animals change our lives. I know mine have and I have watched animals make people better. I think they deserve all our love and compassion so advocating for the shelters that house them before we can find them foster families or their forever homes is the least I can do.
Final – SILLY! – Question: Favorite movie about the making of movies – Barton Fink, Living in Oblivion, The Player or Swimming with Sharks?
Ok I’ll twist it a bit because my all-time favorite isn’t about the making of movies but the making of a play but it is a movie and that’s Noises Off. It’s also my favorite play and I love the characters and world so much.