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Name: Ashley Santos
Role: Emily, American Horror Story: Apocalypse
Previous Work: Relationship Status, The Landlord
If you weren't an actor, what would you want to be doing?
I was originally going to school to be a lawyer. I wanted to be a prosecutor. That was the plan, but it was too much school.
What are three items you think you would need to survive the apocalypse?
I would say my cell phone, but all the cell towers would be down so that obviously wouldn't work. Maybe a polaroid camera, so I can still document things. A journal, so I can write about my experience and leave some sort of something behind for hopefully the next people coming. And Twix bars. I'm a chocolate fan.
What are three words you would use to describe yourself?
Personable, empathetic, and energetic.
You're working with such iconic, talented women. What's that experience been like?
It's been such an eye-opening, and honestly just a wonderful experience. I've been a fan ever since it first aired in 2011 and so I've seen every episode of every season and just the fact that I've been working with these icons I've been watching for years and literally studying was a "pinch me" moment. But to work with women [whose] work just gets better as they get older…it's really beautiful to witness. It's like eating candy. It's the best thing ever. It's really inspirational.
What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
"Just trust yourself." I think it's really easy to doubt yourself in this industry, even for something as simple as your acting choices as your career continues to develop. Just trust yourself and trust your gut.
When there's downtime on set, what are you usually doing?
As everybody on set knows, I hate being in my trailer alone, so there's no down time on set for me. I'm either hanging with some member of the crew, either the wardrobe department or the AD department, or hanging out with my other cast members. I love just being around people and having conversations. I'd much rather be around someone and be talking about something.
Who are three people you would invite to a fantasy dinner, dead or alive?
Oscar de la Renta. Sarah Paulson—not just because I work with her but because I've literally been obsessed with her for years; so getting to work with her, I just was trying not to embarrass myself. And Barack Obama.
What's something most people would be surprised to learn about you?
I guess people don't know because I'm young, but I am married and I have two kids. I have this whole family life outside of my acting life and it's really grounding.
What's something you could eat every day for the rest of your life?
When you're in a bad mood, what's something that always makes you feel better?
When I'm in a bad mood, the person that always makes me feel better is my husband. He always knows how to talk me out of [a bad mood], because it happens at least once a day. And the thing that gets me out of my bad mood is always sugar. [Laughs] Literally, like a child, if I have candy I'll be fine.
What's your proudest accomplishment thus far in your career?
Getting to this point in my career, being on American Horror Story. I still can't believe it really happened. When I booked it I just started sobbing because I watched the show for so long, so to be on it was a dream. Like every day I was on set, at least at one point, I'd get like teary eyed just to be here. And then watching it with my family was just icing on the cake. It's been great.