Interview with Mandy Musgrave

AE: That was you?
MM:
Yeah, I pitched that idea, although they certainly took a different twist on it. Tom Lynch was so great about asking Gaby and me what we thought before the seasons were written. They would take us into a room before the season started, we’d pitch ideas, and that was one of them.

I mean, my original idea was that the girl would come in, and Ashley would get very jealous of her close friendship with Spencer. Instead, [the script had] the girl freaking out about the lesbian relationship, which was more realistic and interesting. But it was nice that someone listened and took that into consideration.

AE: When you first booked the role of Ashley, were you concerned about having to kiss another girl or who that girl was going to be?
MM:
No, never, although [kissing scenes] were so new to me. When I found out about the role, I was so excited because it was going to be a challenge, and I’m always up for challenges.

And when they said I was going to have to kiss a girl, I just wasn’t worried. I remember my first [on-screen] kiss was with a guy. And this show, South of Nowhere, was going to work: I wasn’t going to have to worry about falling for the person, or them falling for me, or worrying about a guy being a bad kisser, you know? Girls usually all kiss the same.

AE: Excuse me? Stop right there. I have to challenge that statement.
MM:
You challenge me?

AE: Yes!
MM:
A lot of girls kiss the same! I mean, I’ve only kissed one girl, really, but…

AE: Exactly! But keep talking. I want to hear this.
MM:
Girls know that it needs to be soft. I’m sure you’ve kissed more girls than I have, so maybe… I don’t know! I’ve been with guys a lot of time, and they’re too rough. Or, it’s like: "Where are you going with that? You’re pecking like a bird! You know what I mean?" 

AE: If you’re trying to say that girls kiss better than guys, fine. But all girls do not kiss the same. Some are OK, some very good. Some are world-class kissers.
MM:
I’m just speaking in general. I don’t know. I’ve never had that experience. With guys, it’s very common for guys to be gross. It’s either too sloppy, too hard, it’s really, really bad. That’s the first thing: If someone kisses badly, I say: "Nope. Thanks. Bye."

AE: Well, that’s universal. But, for you, as an actor in a kissing scene, it’s a good test. Bad kissers, bad breath; you have to make it all look hot.
MM:
I know. If I back away from the camera, and if the lighting hits my mouth, you can sometimes see the whole ring of slobber.

AE: Delightful. What about when your co-star had garlic for lunch?
MM:
Gaby and I, we’d sometimes have wars about it. We’d eat Doritos or onion rings before, just to joke around with each other, to see who would get it worst.

AE: Who won that war?
MM:
Probably Gaby.

AE: What’s the worst thing she ate before a kissing scene?
MM:
Some garlic thing. We had a kissing scene [in Episode 211, "Love, Child and Videotape"] where we’re feeding each other Chinese food before we kissed. Then again, I think we both won that one because we were feeding this stuff to each other that was freezing cold and didn’t taste very good because it had way too much onion and garlic in it.

You’ll see us laugh in the clip because we’re trying to make the other one eat it, so we won’t have to. It looks cute and romantic in the scene, but really, we were like: "No, you’re eating it. This is so gross."

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