Playboy’s Miss March Ashley Doris Tells Us About Her Love of Jump Ropes and Cockatoos [INTERVIEW]
Ashley Doris is pretty busy these days; she's Playboy's Miss March after all, and her issue is currently on newsstands. Lucky for us she's not only beautiful, hilarious and smart as a whip -- she's also pretty good at time management. She carved out some time to talk to us last week, and we're officially in love.
Congratulations on being Miss March! Tell us about how you got started with Playboy.
I've been modeling since I was 19 in Boston and New York -- and I had never been to Vegas before, by the way -- but in early September I was there for the Tropic Beauty Preliminary. I was walking back to my room with my roommate after being on the Vegas strip during the day, and there happened to be a Playboy casting call in the lobby area by our elevator to our room!
So did you just brave it and decide to walk in?
The casting director actually thought that we were there for the casting, and waved us over and I said, "Ohh, no thank you, we're not interested!" My roommate went over and checked it out and convinced me that we should go for it, so we were each other’s moral support. We both got called to do Playboy.com, but my roommate had a schedule conflict and couldn't do it! I went in to do some "digitals," just a couple of photos with a camera, but when I was waiting in the makeup room, there were two real test shoots going on, which is where the girls come in a limousine and actually stay at the mansion. The long-time Playboy photographer Steve Wayda walked by me and said, "Excuse me, we have some extra time and we think you're very beautiful -- would you like to shoot in the big room?" and I said "Yes of course, I would LOVE to!"
You are very lucky, you seem to be in the right place at the right time pretty often!
It's ridiculous; I can't even begin to describe how lucky I have been in this whole thing. I went into the room and had photos done and afterwards thanked Steve, and then he asked me when I was going back to CT. I told him I wasn't really sure yet, and he said "Well, don't go back YET," which was a cool little sign that they liked my photos. I stuck around and they called me a week later; I ended up staying at the Playboy Mansion for 21 days to shoot my spread and do my orientation, and that's how it all came to be.
It was so awesome of Steve to give you that hint that you should stick around!
Yes! When I saw him at the mansion with his wife when I was having dinner, I just said thank you so much for doing that, because clearly it worked out, and it was awesome of him.
So it’s been a whirlwind! Where are you right now?
I'm staying in San Diego; I shot my beauty video a little while ago and it is just so cold in CT right now that I just couldn't go back yet. I heard there was almost two feet of snow during the last storm. I'm going back to CT in March, but for once I'm really enjoying not being in the cold during winter. I've never spent a winter away before in my life, it's the first time I can go outside without a big coat and boots on!
Would you ever consider moving to California?
If there are job opportunities! I'll go where the work is; I'll move to Alaska if there's a lot of work there! It depends; I’ll have to see how March plays out for me.
You're the first playmate from Connecticut, ever! Tell us about growing up in West Hartford.
I really enjoyed it; it's a family-oriented suburb in CT, and it's just really safe. I remember being a 10-year-old kid, just riding my bike to my friends' houses without a care in the world. My elementary, middle high school and college are all within 3 miles of each other; I had a great experience growing up there. I don't know who I would be if I grew up in LA, I might be a really different person today. West Hartford is on some list of the Top 10 Places to Live, it's great there.
What's the biggest difference between CA and CT that you've noticed?
It would have to be the people -- The people in CA really do have a different attitude towards day-to-day life, and I think the weather is a big factor. When it's sunny every day, you're going to have a more positive, laid-back attitude toward everything, whereas in CT you have to deal with the elements on a daily basis. It takes time to prepare, and the cold is painful for your body, so you have to deal with that. It's bad for working out, too; when it's really cold out and you're under your covers, you're not going to want to jump up and get on the elliptical, or drive to your gym. I feel like I am skinnier in the summer for that reason, because I have a more positive outlook about working out.
What kinds of things do you love doing to keep in Playmate shape?
Lately I've been jump roping a lot! It sounds kind of dorky, but it's cardio and it doesn't feel like work, it almost feels like you're just dancing. I put on my Pandora and go for it for half an hour and then I do crunches, push-ups and squats. That's my daily workout.
So have you mastered the double jump -- where the rope goes under your feet twice every time you jump?
No way! But I can do that thing where you cross it and go through the loop! I don't get too fancy, I do the kindergarten version of jumping rope, but it works! Have you seen the professional jump ropers? It's ridiculous! They go on each other's shoulders and they're flipping around and stuff! I could never do that; it's like gymnastics and jump roping at the same time.
Who is your modeling hero?
I have two! I have looked up to Tyra Banks since I was 14, because she took her supermodel career and then used her personality to create other projects that had to do with modeling, but were more than just walking down the runway. She's still going after I don't know how many years, and she's still amazing. The other one is Miss April 2012 Raquel Pomplin -- she is unbelievably nice, and I'm from New England, so I am used to a certain kind of downtrodden attitude. I barely know her personally, but I saw her at the mansion and she came up to me and said "Oh my gosh, I saw your beauty shoot and it's beautiful you're going to love it.” She's also gorgeous, so it's going to be interesting to see who will win Playmate of the Year, but she definitely has my vote, 100%. She's so genuine.
Are you still studying marketing and communications?
I'm doing classes online, I had to switch my credits from Central Connecticut State to Southern New Hampshire -- it's a real college but they also have online classes. In two weeks I am hosting the Tropic Beauty World Finals in Vegas, and after that I am back to San Diego and then Connecticut… I would have failed out so long ago if I hadn't switched my credits online.
What do you want to do with your degree?
I’m still figuring it out. You can do so much with it, I'm not very worried about that. I have a big interest in real estate, because my mom owns a construction company in Connecticut, so she could help me with that aspect of my career. I think people used to say that communications was kind of a BS degree -- that's what people said to me, anyway -- but nowadays, if you don't know about communications, you're bound to fail at whatever you do.
We read that you love gardening, and were at one time working as a florist. You're probably not gardening while traveling, what do you love doing in your spare time?
I love dance! I have a 15-year background in ballet, jazz and hip hop, but also I really am into Cockatoos at the moment! I just discovered that they're very intelligent, almost like young children. They'll throw their food, but also sing to you and dance for you. There's a San Diego bird rescue that I'm going to take a bird-handling class at, and afterwards you volunteer your time with birds that don't have homes. In my centerfold (below) I have a cockatoo on my hand named Izzy -- she's what made me realize that they're smart and have emotions and feelings and the ability to love -- I didn't know that birds loved people! They love interaction with humans, they're almost like dogs, and they can live for 60-80 years!
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you be, and why? Not because of work, but the ultimate fantasy life, day-to-day?
Somewhere where the winters aren't so harsh -- I really want to say Cape Cod though, so maybe I would live there during the summer, because I could eat lobster every day of my life. You can't beat the New England summers, but in the winter maybe I would come back to San Diego where it's not so cold.
You've been interviewed by a bunch of publications lately, what's the one thing no one has asked you about, that you wish someone had?
I wish someone had asked me what I was like in High School! I've been asked what social group I was in, but it's completely different from what my mentality was like.
So, what were you like in High School?
I was young for my grade -- I was 13 going into freshman year, so at first I was a complete bookworm introvert, and friends with a lot of really intelligent people. As I evolved, I got into a lot of alternative rock music -- I did not love High School at a certain point, I was really removed from the social scene and didn't really understand it. I was definitely the alternative girl, not a cheerleader type. If someone had asked me when I was 14 what I would be doing at this stage in my life, I never in 1,000 years would have guessed this. It's kind of been like this whole big accident, or mistake. I feel like they're going to call me and tell me “Oh, we're taking back the magazine deal --so long Ashley Doris, you're Ashley Wilson again.” I'm glad the magazine is out, it's confirmation. No one can take it away from me, now.
Have you gone to a high school reunion yet?
I'm 23, so there was this awkward 5-year reunion this past Thanksgiving. People don't usually do that, do they? I think it was put on by one of those high school go-getters, you know what I mean? Those annoying student council people who are so into the BS that no one should really care about in real life.
Did you go?
I didn't! It's funny, I was back in Connecticut for Christmas when it happened, and I think I went to a nearby bar instead, and hung out with my friends instead of going to see a bunch of people I wasn't close with. I mean, it's only been 5 years; the people I am still really friends are still people that I talk to all of the time! The people that went were probably the popular kids who peaked when they were 17, and now they drink so much beer and aren't working out and have gone straight downhill. At this point it's not even revenge, because I care so little about their lives or them as people, but to the 15-year-old me, oh yeah, revenge is best served cold.
Ashley Doris has officially won our hearts. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook -- expect big things from this triple threat; she's a got beauty, brains and heart. Don't forget to check her out in the March edition of Playboy, in newsstands now.