In her now-immortal novel Twilight, Stephenie Meyer describes Alice Cullen, sister of tween dream Edward, as a “devastatingly, inhumanly beautiful” pixie vampire with “obsidian eyes” and an “exquisite, elfin face.” Most actors would rather not admit that casting decisions were based on anything other than their craft, but 23-year-old Ashley Greene—who brought Alice to life in The Twilight Saga: New Moon and this summer’s Eclipse and is signed on for next year’s Breaking Dawn—has no such illusions. “Yes, I’m very thankful that Stephenie Meyer wrote a character that I happen to look like,” says Greene with a laugh. Given the series’ rabid “Twihard” fan base—legions of whom were locked in long before the film’s first scene was shot—if Greene hadn’t been an eerily perfect fit for Alice, the filmmakers would have heard about it. “The fans were already there,” Greene says. “Before they knew Ashley Greene, they knew Alice Cullen, and they all had an idea of how she looked.”

The Jacksonville, Florida, native was still hostessing at the Belmont, a bar and restaurant in Los Angeles, when she got the call about Twilight auditions in 2007. Since then, she says, “I’ve gone from zero to 60.” For Greene, like costars Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner, and Anna Kendrick, the vampire phenom has been “more than a big break,” she says. “Every one of us is working like a maniac!”

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Photos by Mark Pillai

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