Greek’ star speaks of show, life; pushes community involvement

Andrew Lafrance

Andrew Lafrance

Amber Stevens was just an average California college student when she was chosen to play Ashleigh on the ABC Family show “Greek”. Now, she appears every Monday night on the show about college sororities and fraternities and the drama that ensues between them.

“I was living in Los Angeles and auditioning for different roles that I heard about,” Stevens said. “I went to the audition for ‘Greek’ not really knowing what it was. I got called back again, and then again. It was a really long audition process.”

The stress paid off however.

“I was the first person to be cast on ‘Greek,'” Stevens said.

Stevens said her job on “Greek” is very enjoyable.

“I get to basically have fun for a living,” Stevens said. “I am so glad that I get to play the happy, supportive friend on the show.”

Though Steven’s character Ashleigh is usually bubbly, she has seen a lot of dark moments in the show’s third season.

“There are new storylines to explore,” Stevens said. “Ashleigh is not used to being a leader, and now that she is president of the sorority, she is constantly having to look around for approval from the other girls.”

“I don’t directly relate to what she’s going through, because I’m not the president of a sorority, but we are both in our early twenties. I think we have some things in common.”

Ashleigh, Stevens said, is like any other college girl.

“She deals with struggle inside. One thing might work for someone, but for her it might be something else. Ashleigh is nervous being in charge because she doesn’t think her sorority sisters support her.”

Stevens originally was more interested in singing. “Although ‘Greek’ is great, and I would love to continue acting, I still love to sing,” she said. “I want to win a Video Music Award!”

Because Stevens started the show as a new actress, showing emotion on camera can still be difficult at times.

“Ashleigh is always being the one who’s happy and talking others down from their drama,” she said. “She’s not usually in the spotlight.

Stevens said that with Ashleigh being president, she has become a more prominent character. “With all these new emotions that Ashleigh is showing, my job has gotten harder,” she said.

Being more vulnerable on camera has been a learning experience for Stevens.

“It’s been hard and fun to see how things go this season,” she said.

Stevens is aware of the criticism the show has received for showcasing so much of the social aspect of Greek life. “A lot of people thought ‘Greek’ would just be drama and not all sides of what the system promotes. The writers try and show every part.”

While there do seem to be a large number of parties in the show, Stevens said it is important that they are “doing the show in a fun way. I don’t think viewers want to watch us sit around and do homework for half of every episode.”

When asked if fans recognize her very often since joining “Greek”, Stevens said, “I don’t get stopped all the time. I do find that when I travel away from LA, I get noticed more.”

In LA, Stevens said, it is not that unusual to spot an actor or actress.

“I saw Matthew Perry at the movie theater the other day, and my friends had to stop me from running at him. I was so excited because I’m a huge ‘Friends’ fanatic,” Stevens said.

Stevens is not the type to just sit around enjoying her moments in the spotlight. Recently, ABC Family announced that it is launching a pro-social campaign to encourage college students to take action in their communities. The cast members of “Greek” are promoting the campaign, titled “Pledge Yourself To Do Something”.

Getting involved with helping others is important to Stevens.

“‘Girls, Inc.’, which is the association that the actresses from ‘Greek’ are promoting, is an amazing program. It’s great because it promotes women’s empowerment, and is about creating strong, confident and powerful girls in each community,” Stevens said.

“I’m not just doing this because I’m in ‘Greek’,” Stevens said. “Being involved is important. Looking into areas of the community that are behind closed doors and seeing what a lot of people don’t want to see is beneficial. “

Stevens said being part of a community is necessary for young adults.

“The cast and crew of ‘Greek’ are like a family,” Stevens said. “We go on vacations together and go out on the weekends.”

Acting is right where she wants to be, Stevens said.

“I am really, really loving where I am right now,” she said. “I try to live in the moment.”

Stevens has advice for other aspiring actors or actresses.

“Audition! You can’t just dream about what you want, you have to be active and strive for things. Actually pursue your dreams and be impressive,” Stevens said.

Stevens said that helping your community by joining an organization that benefits others is certainly a way to be impressive.

“Just do it,” she said.

#1.881449:2867882185.jpg:AmberStevens.jpg::ABC Family Media