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Awkward’s Ashley Rickards on Jenna’s “Dark Place” and Matty vs. Jake — Exclusive!

MTV hit comedy Awkward. returns tonight with a double-header, hour-long kickoff to Season 3. In advance of the start of the kids' return to school, Wetpaint Entertainment had a confab with star Ashley Rickards about Jenna's oh-so-uncomfortable romantic trajectory this season.

Wetpaint Entertainment: So we ended last season on a big decision. What happened with Jenna and Matty over the summer summer?
Ashley Rickards: Nobody really knows what happened to each other. It's going to be sort of a magic moment when they get back into school.

And obviously the first people they're going to see are Jake and Tamara?
Yeah, and that will be interesting.

We saw the trailer, and there are some awkward dates between Jake, Tamara, Jenna, and Matty. What can you say about those?
Well, those are BF/GF/BFF or boyfriend, girlfriend, best friends forever, double date — DD is implied — and that's going to be really fun. That's something I don't think a lot of people get to do. And, I mean, I know as actors we have a fun time filming that stuff. I mean, there were charades. It was just a lot of fun. It definitely involved some weirdness.

It’s obvious that Jenna and Jake had a really strong connection, and they still connect very strongly. Do you think Jenna at all doubts the choice between Matty and Jake?
No. I think those questions will always be alive and always be in the back of everyone’s mind, but at the end of the day, Jenna’s happy with Matty — and, best of all, he’s there for her. And there's now going to be a whole new level of their relationship and really trying to figure that out.

And then there's Colin. What can you say about the addition of Colin to the show?
The addition of Colin is, as Awkward would have it, an attractive guy. And, as Awkward would also have it, when an attractive guy join the cast, drama ensues. So I think between him and [creative writing teacher] Mr. Hart, Jenna is going to be really enlightened to a different level of understanding of herself.

In what way?
Mr. Hart's class is going to teach her how — depressingly teach her — to step out of her shell and do things that she never would have done on her own. She's going to be forced to really ask some tough questions about who she wants to be, her identity. What's right? What's wrong? Just really deep questions that I don't think she's ever had to think about.

Do you think Colin is a sort of stick in the wheel between her and Matty?
Well, it’s a little preemptive to say anything along those lines.

What about her relationship with her parents? What's going on?
Jenna and her parents... [She and her mom] were torn apart by the letter, but I think what brings people apart could also bring them together. So, this season, there’s a lot more bonding, trust, and companionship between the two that we haven’t been able to see before. So I'm really excited about it, and I think it's going to be great.

What has you excited about this season in general?
[It] would have to be the fact that my character is going to a place that she has never gone before, a really dark place. I think she's going to — like every teenager — figure out who she is and who she wants to be.

Season 3 of Awkward. premieres tonight at 10 p.m. ET on MTV.

04.16.2013 / 07:45 PM EDT by Carita Rizzo
Related: News, TV Stars, Wetpaint Exclusives, Awkward

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