After months of casting rumors, Fifty Shades of Grey finally found its Anastasia Steele — and it wasn’t our beloved Ashley Benson. Boo! OK, we’re confident Dakota Johnson can handle the difficult source material, but we’re still a little bitter that one of our Pretty Little Liars didn’t snag the coveted role. Then again, it doesn’t sound like Ash was quite ready for her close-up.
“I've been linked to that movie so many times,” Ashley told Wetpaint Entertainment back in May when we asked if she’d be interested in the NSFW part. “It's so funny. I don't know. It depends. It might be a bit of a stretch. I don't know if I could do all that.”
“I read all three books in a week, but the movie, I mean reading it and doing it is completely different,” she added.
Regardless, here are three reasons we wish Ashley had been given a shot at this big role.
1. She’s a risk taker. We all know Ashley Benson enjoys life on the wild side, and she’s definitely not afraid to take risks! In Spring Breakers, Ashley portrayed party girl Brit, a bored college student who goes on a crime spree, along with her three besties, to fund their spring break trip. But the fun doesn’t end there: not only did Ashley have her first on-screen sex scene (it was a threesome with Vanessa Hudgens and James Franco!), but she also makes quite a lasting impression with a memorable firearms scene. Given Ash’s provocative performance in Spring Breakers, Fifty Shades of Grey seems like a natural follow-up.
2. She’s funny. Let’s face it: Fifty Shades of Grey can’t afford to take itself too seriously. Sure, Ana might be a naive college student, but she’s also funny (unintentionally, mostly, but still funny). Given that Hanna is the comedic relief in Rosewood, we know Ashley has the chops to balance both comedy and drama flawlessly. We would love to see Ash practice her comedic chops on a much larger scale. Not to mention Ana is going to find herself in some pretty uncomfortable positions, so humor can go a long way.
3. She deserves her big break. While we love Hanna Marin and all of her comedic one-liners, we know the Liars won’t stay in Rosewood forever. Given Lucy Hale’s blossoming music career and Troian Bellisario’s indie film cred, we’d like to see Ashley break out onto the big screen. Spring Breakers was a major step in the right direction, but now Ash needs to capitalize on her career’s momentum. It’s only a matter of time before our Little Liar gets her big Hollywood break.
What do you think, Pretty Little Liars fans? Should Ashley have been given the part? Sound off in the comments!
Crystal Bell is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment and our resident fan-girl for all things Pretty Little Liars, The Vampire Diaries, Game of Thrones and Once Upon a Time. She speaks fluent geek. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!