Interview with Mandy Musgrave

Photo credit (far left photo): Mark Mainz/Getty Images

After three seasons of portraying Ashley Davies, South of Nowhere’s resident wild child and lesbian trust fund baby, 22-year-old actor Mandy Musgrave is bidding farewell to the complicated half of Spashley with a new film (16 to Life), an internet series (Dan’s Detour of Life) and with any luck, some more Girltrash!

Like her SON love interest and real-life friend, Gabrielle Christian, Musgrave is now re-entering the world of auditions and television guest spots. Unlike Christian — who called Musgrave’s character, Ashley, “needy” in her recent interview — Mandy has different ideas about her character and what might have happened, had the series continued.

Musgrave talked to AfterEllen recently to defend her alter ego, dish about an as-yet-to-be-posted Girltrash sex scene with Christian, and make some wildly unsubstantiated claims about how girls kiss.

AfterEllen: So, I hear you’re a little insulted that your friend Gaby Christian called your character, Ashley “needy” in her interview here.
Mandy Musgrave:
I am! I know Gaby thought we would have broken up again, and that Ashley would become needy and clingy, but I don’t know. I thought, “Wait a minute!”

Warning: series finale spoilers!
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AE: Well, here’s your chance to defend Ashley’s reputation.
Well, OK. Ashley was getting a little clingy. [In the finale] she creeps into Spencer’s house, finds the college acceptance letter from Worthington on the refrigerator, and doesn’t say anything. That’s a bit much, Ashley — a little creepy! But I think they would have worked it out. I think that Ashley would have shaped up.

AE: The creepy thing is lesbians being portrayed as needy or clingy. Because that never happens, right?
[laughs] That’s the worst thing to be called; psycho or clingy! I would never want to be called that. In the script, Gaby had to say to me that I was “clingy.” I thought, “Ugh!” But it was really funny.

AE: Gaby talked about the end of the season and how she was disappointed as an actor. What are your thoughts about the ending?
As an actor, you have to always be realistic, especially when it comes to a series. You never know how long they’re going to last and you’re lucky if it goes past the first season.

So, I feel really lucky to have done the three seasons that we did. It was nice to work with the same people for that long.

It’s heartbreaking, though, because you do become really close with your cast members, and even with the characters. You get so used to playing the same character on a daily basis — and then to have to back out into the acting world, and the auditioning world — it’s hard to start from scratch again.