Aubrey Peeples Thinks You’ll Be Happy With The Nashville Finale

Photo: Ben Cope.
Aubrey Peeples is just 21 years old, but she's already got quite the acting career. She shared the screen with Nicolas Cage in Rage. She landed a series role on Nashville. And, later this year, she'll be playing the lead role in the '80s cult TV classic-turned-film Jem and the Holograms.

But, Peeples still has plenty of things she wants to achieve. For starters, she's been sitting on an acceptance letter from Harvard for about two years. Plus, there just may be some music and writing in her future. We caught up with the Florida-native to talk about all the exciting things the next few years hold, what's important to her as an actress, and of course, the season finale of Nashville.     
You've deferred your admission to Harvard twice now. Do you definitely still want to go?
"The second time I put it on hold; the first time I deferred after I graduated high school. I was about to go. Basically the week before I booked Nashville, I was packing up my apartment in L.A. and then I found out I got the part. So, I put it off again. I would love to eventually go there. It's a big goal of mine. I don't know exactly when it's gonna happen, depending on my work schedule, but it's something I definitely want to do." And, you're still interested in pursuing journalism?
"I don't think Harvard has an undergraduate journalism program, but I'd love to do something along those lines. I've always loved to write. I'm constantly writing different things. But, on top of that I'm really interested in grammar. I know that no one's interested in grammar, but I love to edit. People in high school would sometimes give me their papers to edit. Harvard has a create-your-own-major program, and they don't really do majors on one specific career, but I'd love to do something that would lend itself to being advantageous to being a freelance editor or journalist." Was there anything in your life that sparked this interest for you?
"Not necessarily. I love to write, as a lot of artists generally do. I'm a big reader, so that probably goes hand in hand with loving to write. It was a tough decision whether to go to school after I graduated or go to L.A. I didn't really want to go to school for acting. I thought about it for a while but decided it wasn't for me. I was already starting to book some jobs and do what I love already, so I didn't want to go to school for something for four years that I was already getting to do in the real world."
You already have such a successful acting career. But, do you have any dream roles?
"Absolutely. I would love to play a role that's really physically demanding, either a mental disability or some physical handicap, just because I really think you can create a character that's so far apart from yourself. It's obviously a big challenge. I'd love to do something like that because it's the extreme version of building a character. There are definitely books I love that I'd love to adapt, actors who I'd love to work with. To me, being successful is a very individual thing. I just love being able to provide for myself by doing what I love. Bryan Cranston said that once in an interview, and it really inspired me. There's constantly new things I want to do, but I don't know what they are yet. I guess I'm finding out along the way."

Recently the #AskHerMore has made headlines to encourage reporters on the red carpet to ask women more questions than just who made their dress and who did their hair. As someone who faces those questions, how do you feel about that?
"I'm all about that. I never know the answers to those questions. I consider myself a semi-feminist. I don't think I'm all the way. I just heard about some feminist movement recently where women in New York were taking off their shirts and parading around the streets because it's legal to not wear a shirt [there as a woman]. I'm not that far into feminism. But, I do totally believe in equal wages, equal rights. I don't even ever know who I'm wearing, because it's not something important to me. I'd love if there was more of a culture of not necessarily assuming every woman was obsessed with her clothes and jewelry and hair."

Semi-feminist is an interesting way to describe yourself. Why do you think some women are afraid to even use the word "feminist" about themselves?
"It has a stigma to it, nowadays. And, I think that's partially the feminist movement's fault. I'd need to do a lot more research to speak completely accurately about this, but like I said about that movement — again, I don't have all the details — but just from hearing about it, even if that's a rumor, I don't think that speaks very well about feminism. I don't wanna speak against a movement I don't know all the details about, but I think that feminism should be more focused on equal wages, like female teachers being paid as much as male teachers. It should be focused in a professional light, and often times it ends up — like any civil rights movement — getting the extreme version. I don't think we should necessarily be focusing on chivalry or taking our shirts off. I think we should be focusing on being respected in a professional way, like anyone should be. The extreme version is the one that gets talked about in pop culture, which is why I think women are afraid to label themselves as such."
What's something you'd like to do — either personally or professionally — by the time you're 30?
"Oh, gosh. So many things. I'd love to write a screenplay and star in it, maybe direct it or help produce it. I'd love to pursue other writing interests, maybe write a book. Mostly though, what I really want to have happen over the next few years aside from acting more, is to release an album. I write blues/rock music. I've been working on that a lot being in Nashville. I'm hoping in the next few years I'll have at least one album out. With acting I want to continue to do film. I mean everybody wants to win an Oscar. But, I just want to continue doing what I'm doing. I'm really happy with the path that I'm on." When it comes to your music, what artists would you like to collaborate with?
"There are definitely writers in town I'd like to work with, some blues writers. But, I do a lot of writing by myself because I tend to write very personal things. I definitely have some dream producers for a record. My ultimate goal would be to have T Bone Burnett do a record. He's so cool. He doesn't know that yet, but that's my dream. There are definitely people I find super influential in my music, like Bonnie Raitt, The Black Keys, Jack White, anything along that blues/rock feel." Let's talk about Nashville. What's it like working with Connie Britton?
"We've only just started having scenes together as Layla and Rayna. She's so freaking awesome. It's been great. She's such a badass role model. She's a tough single mom with an amazing career. I saw her in Friday Night Lights before I started working with her."
Photographed by Ben Cope
Can you tell us anything about the Nashville finale?
"I can tell you that a lot of things that audience wants to happen, will happen. I was actually really surprised. A lot of things that have a lot of tension built around them come to fruition. I don't wanna say what those are, because I've already said too much. Maybe some relationship success happens — which never happens on Nashville. Layla is very angry in the finale. I'll say that." You've got a pretty exciting lead role coming up in Jem and The Holograms. What's it like to play such an iconic character?
"I was so honored to be a part of this special project. I love the family that's been created around it. Everyone was so passionate about making this cartoon into something successful and special for today's culture and teens. I didn't know what Jem and the Holograms was when I booked the audition, and I didn't know that's what I was auditioning for because it was all very under wraps. Closer to booking it, I found out it was Jem and started researching. There was such a community around this cartoon in the '80s. Being a part of it is so special, and not just special for me, but for so many people. It's sort of like getting to be a part of something that's already been such a big deal in the past, like stepping into a bit of history. It's such a big honor." What celebrity cameos can we expect?
"There are some who have some pretty big roles. Juliette Lewis. Molly Ringwald. And, we have a cameo from the original Jem."
Nashville airs tonight at 10 p.m. on ABC.

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