With so many female-driven films and strong roles at this year's fest, and in the spirit of the opening night film, we'll be profiling some of the most kick-ass females representing at SXSW this week. Next up: Skateland star Ashley Greene.

Like many of her cast mates, 23-year-old actress Ashley Greene has enjoyed a meteoric rise in popularity thanks to her involvement in the Twilight films, in which she plays the cheery, pixie-like vampire Alice Cullen. And, like many of her co-stars, Greene has taken advantage of her newfound celebrity to pursue non-Twilight projects between filming on New Moon, Eclipse, and the planned franchise finale, Breaking Dawn. One of those projects was Skateland, a Texas-set coming-of-age drama set at the beginning of the '80s, in which Greene plays the best friend to actor Shiloh Fernandez's lost protagonist, Ritchie Wheeler.

For Greene, the role of Michelle was a chance to stretch as an actor, to exercise muscles she hadn't been given the chance to explore in her pre-Twilight days. Fans who have only seen Greene as Bella Swan's perky BFF should enjoy watching her take the lead in Skateland, in which she's asked to riff with her male co-stars, express subtle emotional beats, and play out a tender love scene with Fernandez.

Cinematical spoke with Greene in Austin, where she was attending the SXSW premiere of Skateland.