Although she plays outspoken fashionista Hanna Marin on the show, the 25-year-old actress told Wonderland, "Weirdly, I'm shy." She added, "When people first meet me, they always think that I'm a b*tch. I always get called that. Always. Because I don't talk. I get really nervous in public situations, but once you get to know me, I'm so outgoing, I'm so loud and bombastic. I have the biggest mouth. But [at first] I'm very closed off. I hold in emotions."
"I don't like to be vulnerable, ever," she continued. "But when you're acting, you get to explore those feelings and those emotions and those moments. Acting is so fun. I love memorizing lines and I love doing scenes."
Even though Ashley loves acting, she could do without the pressures of fame. "If I could work and not have anyone know who I am – I know it's not possible – that would be my goal," she continued.
Ironically, Ashley's PLL character is known as the most bold of the four lead characters on the show, and isn't afraid to say what she thinks about just about anyone. Ashley admitted that when she was younger she had a similar personality and sought out the attention she has now when she was pursuing an acting and modeling career.
"When I was little, I was such a ham," she said. "I'm obsessed with my younger self. I want her to be my daughter. I said anything I wanted then. I was so funny. I watch videos, and I'm like, 'What happened to that girl?' She's not here. She comes out when [I'm] drunk, or on TV."