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India1-fActress India Eisley plays feisty schoolgirl Ashley Juergens in the hugely popular and Teen Choice Award-winning series The Secret Life of the American Teenager which airs on MTV here in the UK. And if that’s not enough for India’s first major role, watch out for the book entitled The Secret Diary of Ashley Juergens. Here, she talks exclusively to Flavour about acting and beauty…

Can you tell me a little bit about your role?
I play the younger of two sisters in a family that is sort of dysfunctional. My character started out as the very rebellious, cheeky character. Right now,she’s dealing with a few issues [Her teenage sister is pregnant and her parents are separated in the series].

What can we expect to see you in next?
I’ve been reading a lot of scripts lately. I’m trying to focus on film, so I hope to start something soon.

What do you do in your free time?
I am starting to get involved with charities that benefit animals. I recently shot a campaign for the Humane Society to stop puppy mills. I have always grown up around animals, and really couldn’t imagine it any other way. I also see most of the films that are released. On average I see at least two to three films a week. I also spend time cooking.

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Yes, we heard you are quite the cook. What would be your ideal meal to cook on a first date?
I do love cooking and baking. My mum taught me to make pasta; everyone who has tried it says it’s especially good.

Your parents musician David Glen Eisley and actress Olivia Hussey are established in the industry. Did they provide any sound advice?
To stay calm, focused, and take everything a day at a time. They’re always paying attention to what is going on around me in regards to my work, and that’s reassuring… they also really trust my instincts.

When working on films you are required to wear a lot of make-up. How do you keep your skin so clear throughout shooting?
I have extremely sensitive skin, which is quite annoying. I’m allergic to most things, so I have to use specific kinds of make-up. But outside of work I don’t really wear much make-up. And I make sure to wash off all of it after work. Drinking lots of water helps, though.

Did you have any British influences from your English mother even though you were brought up in LA?
I love baked beans on toast and Marmite, although my mother really doesn’t like it at all! Most of my favourite actors and actresses are English, but of course there are great ones everywhere… Gary Oldman, Michael Caine, Thomas Sangster, Emily Blunt and Samantha Morton are just a few. I love the cold weather as opposed to the warm. I’ll take a foggy and rainy day over a warm sunny day anytime!

How do you tan safely living in a hot climate?
I don’t really, I burn so easily… so I just accept being pale! I suppose it’s better health wise anyway.

You love to travel. Can you describe your idyllic holiday and what items you would take for the ultimate pamper?
Probably going back to Rome… The food, the shopping, and just the relaxed lifestyle! As far as beauty items go, I would take the only things I use; Cetaphil Cleanser, a hair brush and a toothbrush. I would have on hand my concealer by Fresh and black mascara by Tarte – all chemical-free. I really am pretty simple about it!

Words by Lea James

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