Ashley Leggat, Mean, Nasty...And Loving It!
December 21, 2009
by Mark McNeil
There's no business like show business -- especially when the show's being shot in your hometown.
Ashley Leggat -- the wonderfully talented 23-year-old actress, singer and dancer from Hamilton -- just completed two weeks of shooting a MTV movie at Mohawk College and at a private residence in Dundas. "Isn't that crazy that I finally move out of Hamilton (to Toronto) and then I come back here to shoot?" Leggat is perhaps best known for her lead role as Baby in the demanding hit musical Dirty Dancing, which played in Toronto for one year.
"When I lived here I couldn't book a job here. Everything was in Toronto." And one of the best parts about her time here, that wrapped up on Friday, is she got to stay over with her parents who live only a couple minutes drive away from Mohawk. Ashley's mom regularly came over to the set with Ashley's teacup Yorkshire Rambo. "She would bring him over to say 'Hi' and have Starbucks for everyone. They are awesome. They are the best family ever."
The movie draws from the MTV reality TV show Made that offers young people a chance to live their dreams. They may want to be a rock star, a basketball player or whatever. If the show's producers like the proposal, they'll find a bunch of teachers to teach them the tricks of the trade. Then the chosen one's abilities are put to the test in some way. In the movie, Ashley plays a cheerleader who bullies an unpopular girl's effort to get on the cheerleading squad. "I play a very mean cheerleader."
Ashley says she is more used to playing positive characters because "I am a very nice person" and those roles come naturally to her. But when she "walked into the room at the audition, they said in a second that I looked like Tiffany. I'm not sure why. Tiffany is not a nice person. But anyway I'll take it ... I haven't played the mean girl for a few years." The movie is expected to run in the spring but a specific date has not been set. Ashley has also made a name for herself playing the role of Casey McDonald in the Canadian TV series Life With Derek, Brittany MacMillan in the U.S./Canadian series Darcy's Wild Life as well as Kelly in the CBC series 11 Cameras. She has also been involved in numerous theatrical productions from the Wizard Of Oz to Dirty Dancing.
Ashley started in dance and theatre when she was only five years old performing numerous roles with Theatre Aquarius. She attended Sir Allan MacNab Secondary School and St. Thomas More and went on to Brock University to study English and psychology. It was literally in the first week of classes when her big break came. She was asked to star in Life With Derek. So she withdrew from university to take part in shooting 13 episodes. She says leaving school wasn't too hard a decision. "It was a once in a lifetime opportunity to be in Life With Derek. School will always be here for me and I know it is important."
She has been taking online courses through Athabasca University. One thing, she says, she is not interested in doing is carrying on with her dad's automobile sales business. Ashley's dad is Roy Leggat who is known for Roy Leggat Ford as well as several other Hamilton automobile dealerships. "I have four brothers to carry on the car business legacy. I don't know how I would look selling cars. Since I was born I was ready to perform."