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Awkward’s Ashley Rickards Talks Season 2 Premiere and the Jake-Matty Situation – Exclusive

Jenna Hamilton (Ashley Rickards) may no longer be the unpopular kid that the entire school thinks is on the verge of suicide, but as we discovered in the Awkward Season 1 finale, life is no easier for this teen on the more popular end of the spectrum.

As Season 2 starts, Jenna faces some tough choices – like whether or not she should be with adorable boyfriend Jake (Brett Davern) or face her lingering feelings for first love Matty (Beau Mirchoff). Jenna will also have to figure out what to do with the shocking revelation that it was her own mother who wrote the heartbreaking letter that cruelly and repeatedly told her stop being a drag (and worse).

Luckily Wetpaint Entertainment caught up with Ashley Rickards on the set of Awkward to get the scoop on the new season, which is as deliciously funny, painful and awkward as the first.

Wetpaint Entertainment: You've got so many storylines going, but let's start with how she chooses Jake at the end of Season 1, yet her heart seems to belong to someone else. Where do we go from there?
Ashley: She chooses Jake, and it wasn't an easy decision. Obviously, she has very strong feelings for both boys, and Team Matty fans need not worry. She is still grappling with those residual feelings for Matty. I personally am a firm believer in you never fall out of love with somebody. You just move on, and I think, especially as a high schooler, it's hard to understand that and to deal with that. You get to see her really struggle with how to be friends with an ex, and should she tell Jake about her and Matty? How should she? Will she? All of those questions pop into her head -- and Matty's. Jenna definitely has a lot of conflicts going on, a lot of layers and different decisions to make.

Does she share any of that with Jake?
You'll see. I mean she definitely has her blog that really outlines the different dimensions that she's going through -- and not in a literal sense because we’re not on a sci-fi show, but the different layers of experience that she's going through. Her venting place is her blog. But I think to be in a really honest relationship, you need to share a lot about yourself to be truly intimate, so you'll get to see her try to be that way.

What is going on with Jenna’s parents?
I think after she found out that her mom wrote the letter there was a lot of conflict in Jenna's head about the different ways to go about dealing with that. Number one, how could a parent write that? Where did it come from? Is it from a good place or a bad place? Then, should she confront her mom? Should she let it go? Should she try to forgive her? And how does that go over once it's out in the family? Should she tell her dad? What kind of impact is that going to have on the relationship between her mother and her father? Personally, if this happened to me, a really big sticking point is, ‘What's this going to do to those around me?’ Even though I was the one that got hurt, you still want to know about how those you care about could experience residual damage.

Obviously, you can't say anything about the storyline specifically, but will we get closure? It's something that's dealt with early on in the season?
Yeah. Closure, I would say, is the main theme of the season. So you guys will get to see that in a few different relationships.

Is there an over-arching theme in Season 2?
Closure, decision-making, right versus wrong, sex versus love. What comes first? And you really get to go through some different ups and downs than season one. It takes it a step farther, I think in every episode.

Do you feel more in her skin now that all characters are established and you can hit the ground running?
As an actress my job is to be prepared day one, and so I was pretty much in her skin when we started shooting. But the atmosphere around set is different because we're all a lot closer. We hung out with each other on the break. We all bonded more.

Do you have time to do other projects on the side?
Yeah. I do. I did an independent called Struck by Lightning with Chris Colfer, and I finished writing my poetry book and wrote my first two scripts.

Is it important for you play this character, but also explore other characters on the side?
Absolutely, it's one of the great joys in what I do is being able to play so many different people and tap into so many different creative outlets. I paint. I write. I sing. I do a lot of different things, and it's important for me to be able to tap into those as well as act. And not only just act, but act in different roles in different themes in different genres and try to keep life as interesting as possible.

It seems like a clustered headspace.
Yeah. Luckily, I'm the type of person who gets bored easily. So having like a lot of things occupy my mind is actually more stimulating than the other option.

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06.29.2012 / 12:10 AM EDT by Carita Rizzo
Related: News, Gossip Girl, Jersey Shore, Teen Mom, TV Stars

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