Modern Muse: Ashley Blaine Featherson
Interview by Jill Winkler
“Dear White People” seems like such an important and interesting plot line! Can you give us a synopsis of what it’s about?
Dear White People follows a diverse group of students of color as we navigate a predominantly white Ivy League college where racial tensions are often swept under the rug. The series is a send-up of “post-racial” America that also weaves a universal story about forging one’s own unique path.
How do you describe the character you play?
Joelle Brooks is bold, intelligent, cultured, fashionable, hilarious (very quotable) and most importantly she is a fantastic friend. Joelle wears her heart on her sleeve and she isn’t afraid to stand firm in her convictions.
Are you similar or different to your character you play on screen?
Joelle and I share many wonderful similarities. I take my friendships very seriously and I love that we have that in common. Being a good friend and loved one is an honor and a joy. Joelle and I both wear our hearts on our sleeves. As bold as Joelle is…she is still emerging from her shell. She’s a sophomore in college and still learning who she is. That is where we differ…I am completely out of my shell and living OUT LOUD!
How did you first get into acting?
My older sister Nkena was into acting. We are 9 years apart so naturally I wanted to do everything she did. I was cast as the Bunny in “The Three Billy Goats Gruff” at 4 years old at Franklin Montessori School. I’ve been on stage or on screen ever since.
Did anyone specific inspire you to get into the industry?
I always wanted to be an actress. I’ve never had any other career aspirations. I vividly remember watching Kyla Pratt in “One On One” on UPN and saying to myself “If Kyla can do it…I can do it”. All throughout middle school I begged my mom to move me to LA so I could pursue my film and television career.
She’s a smart woman. She payed me no attention, simply kept encouraging me to study my craft, perform and get a degree in the arts. All of which I went on to do!
If you could cast yourself in any role from tv or movies past, who would you love to play?
Love Jones as Nina Mosley (Film). Smash as Karen Cartwright (TV). Parenthood as Julia Braverman (TV)
Since your show is premiering on Netflix, what are some of your other favorite Netflix guilty pleasures that you like to binge watch?
Any and ALL documentaries (especially crime or sports docs), Stranger Things, The OA, The Crown, Orange Is The New Black, Narcos, Bloodline, House Of Cards & Master Of None.
What is your funniest red carpet moment?
Hasn’t happened yet. Oh geez…now I’m nervous! All of my red carpet moments have been pretty serious!
What are 5 things in your purse that you can’t leave home without?
Red Lip (MAC Ruby Woo or RiRi Woo), Oil Blotting Sheets, Saint Laurent Shades, Black Ink Pen & TJ’s Electrolyte Water w/a splash of lemon juice.
What is your current handbag? Designer? Style?
Zara Large Tote Bag. It is my favorite everyday/travel bag!
What color do you wear the most of?
Who are some of your favorite musicians?
Donnie Hathaway, Sarah Vaughn, Billie Holiday, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, The Stylistics, The Whispers, The Isley Brothers, Anita Baker, Jill Scott, Chance The Rapper, BJ The Chicago Kid, Kendrick Lamar, Whitney Houston, Solange
What song always puts you in a good mood?
“Let It Go”-Janelle Monae
What 3 emojis best describe you?
Red Heart, Woman With Crown (Queen), Eye Roll
What piece of advice would you give your 15 year old self?
“Live without a care in the world Ash. Life only gets better.”
Describe your ideal day off of work.
Going on a nice hike, grabbing lunch, then and heading to the spa with one of my closest girlfriends!
Where would you most like to travel to?
What are some of your tips for putting together a chic and stylish outfit with minimal effort when pressed for time?
You can never go wrong with denim, black, a leather jacket, a hat, hoop earrings, or a red lip! What I love about this look is you can dress it up or down with a dress, t-shirt, heels, sneakers, boots, whatever your hearts desires!
What is a must have hair product for you?
EDGE CONTROL. Any kind as long as it’s GOOD! My favorite of the moment is LottaBody Control Me Edge Gel!
What do you love about Modeliste?
I love that Modeliste embraces femininity and glamour unapologetically. As a woman who also embraces both, it is quite refreshing!