At 17, Greene graduates early from high school (with honors!) and heads to Los Angeles to pursue acting. "I went through this stage where I would just go out, not be responsible, not focus on work or class," she tells Nylon magazine. "My management was like, 'Listen, you could go either way. You could be this person – a reality show actress. Or you could go this way – award-winning actress.' That was a real shock."
Greene lands the role of vampire Alice Cullen in the supernatural romantic drama Twilight, adapted from author Stephenie Meyer's best-selling saga. The fan-favorite character serves as sister to undead brother Edward (played by Robert Pattinson) and best friend to his human love Bella (Kristen Stewart). "I hadn't even heard of the [Twilight] series before I was cast," she tells EW. "I did my research and found out what I'm getting myself into and was just blown away."
"Twilighters" come out in droves for the film's release, making the vampire flick the weekend's top-grossing movie, with nearly $70 million. "It's been amazing so far and…the fans are really supportive and it's all been really good," Greene tells Vanity Fair. "I'm enjoying it right now and it's really exciting, as long as people don't, you know, follow me home."
Greene finds herself at the center of a nude photo scandal when images of the star surface on the web. But the 22-year-old star goes on to win Choice Fresh Face Female at the Teen Choice Awards – and the heart of Gossip Girl star Chace Crawford, who Greene is photographed kissing at the airport.
After shooting Eclipse with director David Slade, Greene hits the Los Angeles premiere of New Moon. "It's unforgettable. It's a whirlwind," she tells PEOPLE. "I love that the media is surrounding it because I'll be able to look back and enjoy it. It's a momentous time in my life." The sequel pulls in a record $258 million worldwide, becoming the third-largest debut on record – behind The Dark Knight and Spider-Man 3.
The third Twilight movie, Eclipse, rakes in more than $150 million during its first week at the box office, making way for two more sequels based on the final book, Breaking Dawn. But Greene and costar Kellan Lutz find themselves in salary disputes over the final installments. The two eventually settle, with reported paychecks of around $1.25 million for each film.
After being spotted together over the summer, Greene and Jonas" take their relationship public, strolling arm in arm in Beverly Hills. "[Joe] is head over heels for [Ashley]," a source tells PEOPLE. "He thinks she is down-to-earth and absolutely beautiful. He hasn't been this into a girl in a long time." In March, the pair announces the end of their romance.
Greene moves on from her Jonas romance with Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark's web-slinger Reeve Carney, with whom she's spotted around New York City.
Breaking Dawn – Part 1 rakes in more than $139 million during its first week at the box office before going on to best the competition in its second week. "It was fun going to set every day, you know, because you just have to be extremely happy. A little ball of joy," Greene says of playing Alice, who plans Bella and Edward's wedding in the fourth Twilight movie.
Raking in an astounding $141 million over opening weekend, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 becomes the saga's most successful installment, and provides a bittersweet end for its cast, who "secretly coordinated a surprise dance-off during a scene." "We were all in on it, but [director] Bill Condon didn't know," Greene tells Seventeen. "[All the vampires] were supposed to charge at each other and destroy each other, and instead we just started dancing! Everyone did it–the Cullen clan and probably 20 vampire extras! It was such an amazing way to end it all."
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