Ashley Greene Says Fans Tell Her Twilight 's Alice Was Their 'Gay Awakening': 'So Incredible'
Kimberley French/Summit Entertainment Ashley Greene in The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009)
Ashley Greene says her character in the Twilight films meant more to her fans than she could have ever imagined.
The actress, 35, played Alice Cullen in all five installments in the vampire-film franchise. And in an interview with Insider published Tuesday, Greene said Alice served as "a gay awakening" for Twilight viewers who became fans years after the first movie premiered in 2008.
"I guess one thing that has changed is a lot of people have said that Alice was their gay awakening," she said, telling Insider she "didn't get that when the films first came out" but "can fully recognize how and why now."
Greene said she became emotional the first time a fan shared such a connection with Alice, explaining, "The first time someone told me, I cried."
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Deana Newcomb/Summit Kellan Lutz, Nikki Reed, Ashley Greene and Jackson Rathbone in Twilight (2008)
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"I was like, 'That's so incredible!' " she said. "You know the impact that Twilight had on people, but to kind of go that extra step and be able to allow people to be their true selves is really special."
Part of the Cullen family, which included Robert Pattinson's protagonist Edward Cullen, Alice was a friendly, outgoing vampire who could see into the future. An eventual close friend to Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), she was married to Jasper Hale (Jackson Rathbone).
Although it's been almost a decade since the final Twilight film, Breaking Dawn — Part 2, was released in theaters, Greene told Insider that fans "definitely still call me Alice, which I don't mind."
"She was such a big piece of my life for so long," the actress explained. "Everyone sees Alice as this best friend and this positive impact in people's lives."
David Livingston/Getty Ashley Greene
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Greene previously opened up about her experience with the famous franchise while speaking to PEOPLE ahead of the launch of her new Twilight rewatch podcast, The Twilight Effect, with Kast Media.
The actress said last month that her time on set was not "always rainbows and sunshine," explaining, "We did this for five years and there was a lot of ups and downs, and some drama, and we were like a family, but also in our 20s, and so there were kind of tiffs here and there."
She added, "So I think, it's one of those things where, for the most part, it was a good experience, but we were human beings, and we were in our 20s … so you can imagine who you were in your 20s versus who you are now."
The Twilight Effect, which Greene co-hosts with her best friend, Melanie "Mel" Howe, will release its first two episodes March 15.