Benson, 26, began acting as a child and scored a three-year contract to appear in the NBC daytime soap opera “Days of Our Lives.” She was 10-years-old.
Starting with small parts, she began appearing in movies like 2004’s “13 Going on 30.” She landed the lead role in 2007’s “Carson in Bring It On: In It to Win It,” the fourth film in the series.
She had to leave her soap to take the part and never looked back. She returned to television for a role in “Fab Five: The Texas Cheerleader Scandal,” and landed a small part in William H. Macy’s film “Bart Got a Girl.”
She landed her lead role in “Pretty Little Liars” in 2010. The first episode aired in June and quickly developed a cult following.
Her character, Hanna Marin, is one of four girls growing up in a small town. They come under a shadow after one of their clique is found murdered.
Her breakout movie role came in “Spring Breakers,” a tale of good girls gone bad on a trip to Florida for Spring Break.
She was cast opposite two veteran Disney actresses, Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens. Although she was the lesser known among them, Ashley more than held her own, especially in a bikini.
“In ‘Spring Breakers,’ I was basically in a bathing suit the entire movie,” she told Marie Claire magazine. “And then weird things, like Hello Kitty shirts. Our clothes were so childlike, but we played these crazy girls,” she says.
After shooting the movie, she went back to her bread-and-butter role in “Pretty Little Liars.”
At the tender age of 22, she was successful enough to plunk down $2.2 million for a 3,000-square-foot L.A. home.
Although a modest three bedrooms, the French country house style home has an opulent wood paneled library, state-of-the-art kitchen and a swimming pool. She recently listed the house for sale for $2.995 million, according to real estate site Trulia.
The show will end after the seventh season. Ashley recently hinted she may move to New York City, even though she was born and raised in Southern California.
“I dress like I should be living in New York: boots, leather jackets, sweaters, coats,’ she told Marie Claire.
Despite her stunning natural beauty Ashley is no dumb blonde. She has a keen intellect, a crazy huge music collection that includes Frank Sinatra and she’s comfortable discussing Ernest Hemingway.
She continues to shoot films around her “Pretty Little Liars” gig and has two pictures in the can: The 2015 drama horror film “Rattlers,” written and directed by Branden Kramer, and comedy “Chronically Metropolitan.”
The latter was shot in New York City with Chris Noth and Mary-Louise Parker. It’s scheduled for release later this year.
Benson has also been raising her profile in fashion. Beside appearing in Marie Claire, she also recently covered luxury magazine Ocean Drive.
She explains her style this way:
“I’m More laid-back, but when I do dress up, I really go for it. I like a suit look on a girl. My all-time fave [designer] is Saint Laurent. I’d wear it 24/7 if I could. Or The Row; I love how Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen mix masculine with feminine. My character Hanna, has always dressed super, super girly. But recently, they’ve been putting me in designers like Chanel and Givenchy. It’s opened me up to wearing fancier things during the day. I’m going to ask for everything when the show ends!”
Check out Ashley’s photos from Marie Claire and Ocean Drive. Let us know your thoughts and be sure to follow IM on Twitter for the latest celebrity news.