Hypable is back with more in our series of Lizzie Bennet Diaries interviews – this time with star Ashley Clements who plays Lizzie Bennet herself.

It has been a controversial week in The Lizzie Bennet Diaries fandom, but before it all went down Hypable writer Marama Whyte had the chance to ask Ashley Clements, the star of the show, all about it. Hear Ashley discuss her her experiences on The LBD and her thoughts on this weeks developments in this exclusive interview.

Make sure to also read part 1 and part 2 of our interview with Mary Kate Wiles, who plays Lydia Bennet on The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.

Hypable’s exclusive interview with Ashley Clements

Hypable: When did you first audition?

Ashley Clements: My first audition was in December of 2011 actually, which is crazy to say, because that was over a year ago. I went in for my first audition, and that was with Bernie [Su, head writer, director, executive producer and co-creator] and Jenni [Powell, producer], and thought that that went well, they seemed to like me. Then I didn’t hear from them for a month, so I kind of forgot about it.

Then they had callbacks in January and they brought in all the potential Lizzies. There were three girls there for Lizzie and a couple for Lydia and there were six Janes, I want to say, and three or four Charlottes – and I was there for four hours and I read with all of them. So I met everyone before anyone was cast, and saw who could do what. And I was so pleased with who ended up getting the parts, like “Yes, you chose well, this is great – that’s who I would have picked, excellent.”

Was the Lizzie that you originally read very different from how she has developed? Obviously the writing would now mimic certain things in your voice or mannerisms that you have developed, but what about other things?

A part of me says no, but I just saw a part of the first episode the other day and I was like, “Who’s that? What’s happened?” because I’m on this journey with Lizzie and so much has changed for her over the last year and it’s funny to look back. It’s a little bit like opening up a diary – well these are called The Lizzie Bennet Diaries – but I personally grew up keeping real diaries, on paper, and when I would look at that I would be like, “Oh gosh, this is such a weird feeling.” And I had that as Lizzie, seeing the beginning again, going like, “Oh, we’ve come so far Lizzie. We’ve come so far.”

The original sides, well some of that text is not quite verbatim, but pretty close in early episodes. They had already written up to, I want to say 16 episodes or so, when we started. So some of those audition sides were from much later, were from episode 14 or something. They did, when we all got the parts, work to alter the voices of the characters – not dramatically, but just to shape with us.

Bernie and I would always have a read through – well, we still do – of the whole script, just him and I, just to make sentences and words seem more like they would come out of my mouth. Especially because now there’s six writers on staff too, so it’s also a matter of bringing all of those different voices in and making them sound like one person.

But the more we go on, the less stuff like that changes, the less I ask for little word changes and things, because everyone really is very much on the same page with who Lizzie is, and how Lizzie talks, and a lot of that has been adopted from me, from Ashley. Not to say that Lizzie and I are the same, or that she talks exactly like I do, but we have a lot in common and she is certainly written for me at this point. That’s been true since I got the part.

How would you describe your Lizzie?

I’ve been asked before what my favourite thing about Lizzie is, and honestly it is that she is flawed. It’s interesting, a lot of articles have been written about the show at this point, which is lovely, and a lot of them really point out she is very flawed and sometimes hard to like.

And I love that. I love that because she is a much more interesting character to play, to play someone who is struggling with things, and trying to figure things out, and is a good person, but somebody who like all real people, makes mistakes. I think she is admirable in that she is willing to learn from hers, which is certainly something that I always strive to do as well. So how would I describe her? I would describe her as loveably flawed, that’s my quick answer.

It’s a very good one.

But she’s also intelligent and witty and passionate, so passionate, and very loyal to the people that she cares about, and very well intentioned.

That’s true. In this version, not only of Lizzie but of all of your characters, they are less romanticized – probably because you have hours and hours to spend developing them.

We have hours and hours, and also, it’s a modern setting. Women in Jane Austen’s time used their free time to sew and paint and draw and read, and there was no internet, and there was a much smaller group of people that you came into contact with in your life. A modern setting changes so many of those things. They would absolutely have effects on personality I think, just in terms of: one’s temperament remains the same, but the ways that comes out and is seen is different when you have all this other stuff going on.

Yeah, it’s about context.

Yes, very much so.

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Quiz: What is your pet’s Ilvermorny house?

Why should you be the only one who gets a second wizarding house?

1:00 pm EDT, July 29, 2016

Will your pet be sorted into the same Ilvermorny house as you, or will you have to disown them for joining your rival?

Step aside Hogwarts, there’s a new wizarding school in town (or rather, across the sea)! With a new school comes new houses, and a new sorting test. You might’ve gone through an identity crisis after taking the test for yourself, but you’re not the only one who needs sorting. That furry, scaly, or feathery friend needs to know where they belong too, and we’re here to do just that! Last time we helped you find out what Hogwarts house your pet would be sorted into, so now we’ll help you figure out what Ilvermorny house they belong in.

It’s typical for pets to have similar personalities to their owners, so maybe your pet will end up in the same house as you. But to those who have house rivalries, brace yourselves: It’s also possible your pet will end up in a different house than you, maybe even your rival house! Will you be saying ‘bye bye birdie,’ or do you thrive in competition? That probably depends on your Hogwarts and Ilvermorny house.

Whether you have a dog, cat, rabbit, bird, or reptile, all pets are welcome at Hypable’s Ilvermorny sorting ceremony! Take the quiz below and let us know where your pet’s loyalties lie, and be sure to take it for each of your pets (unless they’re a squib. Is there an American name for squib?). Don’t want any of them to feel left out!

Now that you know your pet’s Ilvermorny house, maybe you’ll want to decorate their bed with their house crest (shoutout to the Hufflepuffs)! Or maybe you’ll forbid them from entering your room if they’re in a different house (shoutout to the Slytherins)!

Did your pet get the same Ilvermorny house as you?

Forget seeing Luke Cage and Daisy Johnson in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. According to Jeph Loeb, it’s simply too hard to plan.

Although the Marvel movies and TV series ostensibly exist in the same universe, and although Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. does its best to include Avengers references whenever possible, TV show characters are unlikely to ever show up in the movies.

This despite Chloe Bennet’s continued efforts to remind people that she is, in fact, Marvel’s first on-screen female Asian superhero, and the awesome crossover possibilities the Marvel Netflix series have opened up.

Marvel fans have long been aware of the difficulties of bringing TV characters into the movie ‘verse, but at the 2016 TCAs, Jeph Loeb provided a few more reasons for why it’s practically impossible to coordinate.

“Part of the challenge of doing this sort of thing is that the movies are planned out years in advance of what it is that we are doing,” Loeb says, as quoted by SlashFilm. “Television moves at an incredible speed. The other part of the problem is that when you stop and think about it, if I’m shooting a television series and that’s going to go on over a six-month or eight-month period, how am I going to get Mike [Colter] to be able to go be in a movie? I need Mike to be in a television show.”

In terms of planning out the character arcs, this makes a lot of sense. A Marvel movie might be mapped out years in advance of production, for not to mention release, which means any character scheduled to appear would need to have their stories planned for many seasons in advance. The continuity would certainly be hard to keep track of.

Of course they could still throw in cameos, which fans would probably really appreciate — and crossovers from movies-TV are much more doable, as evidenced by Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders), Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Lady Sif (Jaimie Alexander)’s multiple appearances on AoS.

But Marvel is wary of doing that too much, too, because “we never want to be known as an Easter egg farm. It has to work within the story. We never want to do Luke Cage gets into a cab as Foggy Nelson and Matt Murdock are getting out of the cab,” Loeb says, referencing The Man From U.N.C.L.E..

However, don’t lose hope yet. “Anything is possible,” says Loeb. “As I often get reported by you folks for saying #ItsAllConnected, our feeling is that the connection isn’t just whether or not somebody is walking into a movie or walking out of a television show. It’s connected in the way that the shows come from the same place, that they are real, that they are grounded.”

Would you like to see Marvel TV and movie characters cross over more?

If Emily Blunt and Lin-Manuel Miranda weren’t enough to get you excited about Mary Poppins Returns, maybe Meryl Streep’s name on the roster will do the trick.

Mary Poppins Returns is not a remake of the original 1964 classic but rather a sequel to the Julie Andrews-led musical. As such, it stands to reason that we’ll be getting some new characters this time around. One of those characters will be Miranda’s Jack, who will be a street lamplighter.

And, according to Variety, another one of those new characters will also be portrayed by none other than Meryl Streep, who will be taking on the role of Mary Poppins’ cousin, Topsy. And, yes, the legendary actress will be taking on a singing role for the film.

This will also reunite Streep with her Into the Woods co-star Blunt, as well as Director Rob Marshall and Producer Marc Platt. Streep played the Witch in Into the Woods, while Blunt portrayed the Baker’s Wife opposite James Corden.

Disney’s official synopsis for Mary Poppins Returns reads:

Blunt has been cast as Mary Poppins and Miranda will play a new character, a street lamplighter named Jack. Drawing from the wealth of material in P.L. Travers’ seven additional novels, the story will take place in Depression-era London (when the books were originally written) and follows a now-grown Jane and Michael Banks, who, along with Michael’s three children, are visited by the enigmatic Mary Poppins following a personal loss. Through her unique magical skills, and with the aid of her friend Jack, she helps the family rediscover the joy and wonder missing in their lives.

Mary Poppins Returns and will hit theaters December 25, 2018.

Are you on board with ‘Mary Poppins Returns’ now that Meryl Streep has joined the cast?