With a hit TV show, two movies this year, and the paparazzi documenting her every move, It girl Ashley Benson morphs into Hollywood’s elite.
It used to be you knew you had made it in Hollywood when your agent called with the news that you were starring in a TV show or had landed a huge part in a movie. But these days, you know you’re on the A-list when Internet trolls create a death hoax about you, complete with a Facebook page for fans to leave their condolences. In November, Ashley Benson joined the ranks of other former child stars like Miley Cyrus and Britney Spears, as well as acting legends like Tom Hanks, Harrison Ford, and George Clooney, who’ve all suffered false demises at the hands of an anonymous keyboard.
Benson, 26, is most definitely alive and well. However, she is embracing her dark side. Not in her personal life, or even as Hanna Marin on her addictive who-done-it drama, Pretty Little Liars—but on her head. The golden girl has recently gone brunette, and at the moment she’s driving through Beverly Hills on her way to get her formerly flaxen hair touched up to become an even richer chestnut hue. This may not sound like headline news, but in the world of TMZ and Twitter, where young starlets are monitored more closely than white-collar criminals, it definitely is.
The social media darling—with nearly 10 million followers on Instagram and nearly 4 million devotees on Twitter—is dressed down in a black sweater, jeans, and black knee-high boots as she’s feverishly running errands. On the schedule after her hair appointment: a workout, a fitting for an awards show, a magazine photo shoot tomorrow, and another the following day. Then immediately after the awards show, she’s off to New York. It’s all just par for the course when you’re an in-demand actress.
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