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Ashley Aufderheide Brings 90s Magic to Netflix

The 18 year-old actress stars as the loyal, rebellious Gwen Runck in the follow-up series to "That 70's Show."

18-year-old actress Ashley Aufderheide plays Gwen Runck in "That 90's Show" the Netflix follow-up series to the hit show, "That 70's Show." MUD sat down to interview Ashley about her similarities with her character Gwen, acting with the legacy cast, and the best laughs from her time on the set.
Photo: Victoria Stevens

I started watching “That 90’s Show” last night and it’s absolutely hilarious. I’m so curious about the journey from auditioning to getting the role to now seeing it on Netflix?

I love this question. I auditioned in October, sending in a video of myself. Then in November, I did an Actor's Access, which is essentially like a zoom. The director and executive producers and all of that were in it. I also did one chemistry read with someone auditioning for Leia. So maybe it was three auditions, and then that was it for me. I was actually the first one cast, which is crazy to me, but then I had to do a bunch of other chemistry reads with other actors that were auditioning for their roles. So I did one with Callie, with Max, with Ren, and with other people, which was a fun experience.

When I got the role, I flew out to the West Coast, and we just started the show. It’s been a surreal experience that I cannot believe has happened. And we just had the premiere, and here I am now.

I gotta say, the scene where we first meet Gwen is incredible. It's just such a funny interaction and leaves an impression with the character. Are you two similar in any way?

Gwen is very bold. She's confident, she's a leader, and an extrovert. I'm also very bold, and I feel like if I'm thinking something, I say it. Gwen's the same, like we're both outgoing people. It's actually crazy because Gwen was originally, in her character description, she was a petite powerhouse with pink hair. And once I auditioned for it, they sort of changed who Gwen is as a character to match my vibe, which was pretty cool.

We get to see characters from the original show return for this follow-up series. Were yo a fan of "That 70's Show?"

I hadn't seen the show until I got the audition, so I had to do my research. I watched an episode and immediately fell in love with it. And even if I hadn't gotten the role, I would be binge watching, that's for sure. Every week I got to work with members of the legacy cast, Deborah Joe and Kurt Wood. They were amazing. I mean, everyone in the legacy cast – their timing, their delivery. It's incredible. They're very professional and funny as people as well. A piece of advice that I got from them was definitely to stay authentic to who I am and just have fun. I mean, it's a comedy after all. We're in front of an audience. I wanted to just embrace the moment because I'm so fortunate to be in that position.

Wow, so the show is actually filmed in front of a live audience?