As Sage Baker on the CW's Privileged, Ashley Newbrough plays a snarky ice queen with a good heart buried somewhere deep inside. On tonight's episode, titled "All About Confessions," many of the characters reveal something major they've been hiding — and Sage's secret is one of the biggest of all. Earlier this week, Newbrough hopped on the phone with some reporters to chat about playing Sage, working on Privileged, and getting comfortable with her TV twin. Here are highlights:
- On Sage's big confession: "Sage reveals this secret, the secret that will explain why she's so guarded, and it's a pretty heavy deal, it's something she's been carrying her entire life — well, since she was 6, since her parents died. She's been carrying this secret for so long, and it's the first time she lets it off her shoulders and says it out loud, really. And I think it's good because it lets the audience in on her darkest secret, so it kind of shows you what really damaged her. You get to see the softer side of Sage. She's very, very vulnerable, which is something that never happens."
- On how having a love interest has changed Sage: "It's forced her to sort of be a little bit more sensitive and sort of watch what she says a little bit more . . . especially when it's Luis, because he doesn't put up with her crap, and he doesn't back down from any of her mean remarks or anything like that. It's definitely made her reevaluate what she says and how she treats people. . . Just kind of dealing with the feelings of having a crush on someone has just made her grow up a little bit and accept the fact that she's going to let him in and be a little bit vulnerable with him, which are all things that she's never experienced before, because as she says, she's never liked someone this much."
- On what attracted her to playing Sage: "I felt like you could tell she was damaged, and underneath all that ice and meanness she was a good person somewhere. Being only 16 and having lost her parents when she was 6, I think that all forced her to grow up really fast and sort of made her different than all the other regular mean girls on television shows or in life, because I think she has all these reasons for why she is so mean and guarded and why she hates letting people in so much. . . I also liked how she was so protective of her sister. She can be mean to everyone in the world but as long as Rose is happy, she didn't care."
To find out what she thinks makes Sage likable beneath all the nastiness, what it's like being the taller twin, and what surprised her about working in LA vs. working in Canada, read more.
- On making her mean girl character likable: "Whenever I have these lines where I'm calling people, you know, 'pear-shaped' or 'effeminate' or 'fat and deaf,' I feel so bad, and I always feel the need to go up to the actors and hug them or something, because I feel so mean about it. I think the likability comes from the comedy of it, because I've actually had a lot of people tell me that Sage is the character that says what everyone's thinking but they're too afraid to say it."
- On bonding with her TV twin, Lucy Hale: "The first thing we did was we went out to Pinkberry, because in the pilot they have Pinkberry moments, and I had just moved to LA so I had never had it before. So we had a Pinkberry moment, and then we got pedicures and went shopping and we honestly clicked so well right off the top. I couldn't have asked for a better twin sister costar, because Lucy is awesome. We actually are roommates now. We get along very well, we go shopping all the time, we do a lot together, so it's very easy to play twins on camera."
- On playing the taller twin: "Sometimes they have me not wearing shoes, if I'm off-camera, and then they'll have Lucy wearing her heels, or sometimes they'll build her up a little ramp — it's really cute, it's red, and they've got stars on it, so she gets a little bit of a height boost, and they take off my heels."
- On one big difference between Canadian and US shows: "One thing that's very different is the wardrobe — the wardrobe fittings, not the clothes really . . . In Canada you go in your own separate changing room, and you come out and they assess whether or not they're going to use the outfit and whatnot, but in LA, it's just like, 'OK, and change! And strip!' And you're just like 'What?' I was so thrown off at first because I was like, 'Is there somewhere I'm supposed to go?' and the lady looked at me like I was crazy, and I was like, 'Oh! Or not, I can change here, that's cool too.'"
- On the show's messages for young women: "There's a lot that Megan teaches Rose and Sage throughout the season that can apply to young girls everywhere — it's not just the rich and glamorous that can learn from each episode, it's the average girl, and I think that's awesome. I think they deal with some topics that maybe some girls don't want to discuss with their parents, and it's great, because then you get to watch Megan and the twins kind of go through it all. I think that's really good for young teens who are looking for any kind of guidance and maybe don't know where to go for it."