Ashley Liao has been busy making a name for herself in Hollywood. She has appeared in Netflix’s original series “Fuller House” as Lola and in the Amazon original series “The Kicks” as Parker. She has also had guest-starring roles in “Bad Teacher”, “Fatrick”, “Fresh Off the Boat” and “Nicky, Ricky, Dicky and Dawn”. In fact, Ashely was just promoted to a series regular for season 2 of “Fuller House”!
TNWU was lucky to be able to grab some time on Ashley’s busy calendar to catch up with her to see how she’s doing.
“Fuller House” got picked up for season 2 and you’ve been made a series regular… congratulations! And “The Kicks” is getting ready to premiere… how does it feel to have been a part of two different series this year?
It was really cool, I mean I was able to work on hiatus from “The Kicks” between season 1 coming out and season 2 filming, so I was actually able to do both at the same time! So that was really awesome because I know it would have been cutting it really close to the wall with filming “Fuller House”. It just kind of happened at the exact right moment where I could do both shows at the same time. I think I had maybe 2 weeks off… maybe, wait, it was a weekend. I had a weekend off from “The Kicks” and “Fuller House”. (laughs)
Will you tell us a little bit about Lola and Parker? How different (or alike) are the characters?
On “The Kicks” I play a character, a girl named Parker, and she is definitely adventurous and has her own sense of style. You’ll see that in the first episode that I’m in, you’ll see that she has her own way of dressing for sure! She’s also independent and not afraid to be a leader either – you’ll see that too. She’s really self-confident.
With Lola (on “Fuller House”) I feel that she’s really sweet…and a little bit sassy, but Lola is really sweet and really caring. She really cares for Ramona which is her best friend and Jack which is her little crush! She’s such an awesome character to play because… on the one hand, I have a character that is so independent and so confident and then I also have a character that isn’t self-confident but she’s so sweet, loving and caring. It’s pretty cool to be able to play both of them.
I know Sixx (Orange who plays Devin Burke on “The Kicks”) plays soccer – do you also play soccer offset?
I had neighbors who played club soccer when I was growing up, so they taught me how to kick – not with your toes! But I never was really taught how to play soccer. I knew going in (to the audition) that they were looking to book actors who played soccer, so I was really nervous. I knew that if I got the part I’d have to work really hard to fit all those years of learning (to play) soccer into a really short amount of time.
Soccer wasn’t my very first sport, so to speak, I did… I actually have a belt in Tai Kwon Do after doing Tai Kwon Do for 4 ½ years, so I do have a bit of athleticism left over from that! Not that I went in with a lot of exercising and stuff.
Did you watch any of the original “Full House” prior to auditioning for your role? If so, what stood out to you?
As a kid, I don’t think I actually watched continuous seasons of “Full House”. I did watch a few episodes here and there. I was like, “oh look at this cool show about this really cool family”. I didn’t actually understand that there was such a huge following that came along with “Full House” and even after the audition for “Fuller House” it didn’t actually click immediately. It took me a good minute before it hit me! Yeah, I didn’t really realize that there was such a big following for “Full House” that would carry over to “Fuller House”, so it’s really great to have that built-in support of knowing that people who loved the one show will be loving your show as well.
It is pretty nice that “Fuller House” comes along with its own following, but the thing that struck me the most about “Fuller House”, as well as “The Kicks”, is that both of the shows are family oriented. You can watch with your friends, your little sisters/brothers and with your parents and there is something there for everyone to enjoy and to talk about later. The shows can almost make it easier for parents (and kids) to bring up a problem based on what has been on the show.
Once you were on set at “Fuller House” was it difficult to fit in with a cast that had grown up working together?
No, not at all! I think it mainly took about a day… I kind of had to figure out who was who at first (laughs) but once I got past that things went really smoothly. I’m so incredibly grateful to be calling my “Fuller House” cast my second family. We spend so much time together, how could you not form relationships and end up absolutely loving people when you work with them that much.
Did they make it easy for you fit in and become a part of the ‘family’ so to speak?
They were so open and so loving too. They were like ‘oh, hi! Here, let’s run lines… do you need any help?’ It was really great to have the extra support and love from the rest of the cast.
What interests do you have outside of acting?
I love to do calligraphy, I love to bake and I like to do arts and crafts. I also like playing the guitar and singing and playing with my dogs. I really love dogs… I’m a dog person! (laughs).
Do you have any projects in the works that you can talk about and share with us?
As of now, I don’t, but there a few things that we’re still working toward right now.
What would be your dream role?
Oh, I’ve always wanted to play someone who wasn’t the brightest bulb. I think that would be kind of funny. I’ve not seen too many characters that are like that who are my age on TV. So I’ve always wanted to do that… I’m not sure why. I mean, I’ve played the mean girl, played the super independent, boisterous kind of girl and I’ve always played the really sweet girl so I kind of feel like I’m missing that one in my group of characters and experience. I think it would extend my range and be really fun too! (laughs)
We’re pretty nerdy at TNWU, is there anything that you ‘nerd out’ about? Will you share?
Let’s see… Pokemon Go is my top thing right now. I never thought I’d be playing it because I’d hear people talking about it and didn’t really get it; but once I downloaded it…! (laughs). I drive around the neighborhood at under 10 miles an hour because then I can hatch my eggs without actually having to walk. It has become a total addiction. I mean it’s good because you get exercise and stuff. Yeah, that is the top thing I’ve nerded out about.
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