Shelley Regner is back as Ashley. Or is it Jessica?
That's a running joke in the "Pitch Perfect" film series.
"In the end, it's so confusing that we really don't know, ourselves," Regner said.
To clear the confusion, Regner plays Ashley, and Kelley Jakle plays Jessica, the two Bellas who are always around and seemingly interchangeable.
The first two "Pitch" movies were filmed in Baton Rouge, Regner's hometown. For the third installment, filming was moved to Atlanta, which made it a little difficult for Regner.
"It was great to experience a different place, but there were times I missed being with my family when we were not filming," she said.
Regner spoke by phone from her new home in Los Angeles, from where she's been commuting back and forth to New York to film the television series "New Dogs, Old Tricks." The series is based on the 2016 film "What Happened Last Night," in which Regner had a starring role.
But Regner flew straight to Atlanta when the Pitches called, this time joining them on a USO tour.
"All of the Bellas have graduated college in 'Pitch Perfect 3,' and they're together on this tour," Regner said. "It's also the last time they'll be together, so it's our last movie together."
That is, it's their last time together on screen. The Bellas keep in constant contact through phone calls and group text messages. Still, the mood was sad when filming concluded on "Pitch Perfect 3."
"When we are able to get together, we're usually not all together at the same time," Regner said. "Two or three of us are always away working on another project. This film was a reunion for us — all of the Bellas are back."
And the fun begins after the competitive collegiate a cappella group have won the world championship. They've graduated and gone their separate ways, quickly discovering that real life can be difficult. They each may have fantastic voices, but that doesn't guarantee them employment, until they're given an opportunity to reunite for a USO tour.
The Bellas experience comedic mishaps and encounter competitors along the way, but the tour proves to be something more important than a chance to perform — it helps the Bellas work out their individual challenges.
The Bellas win the national championship in the first "Pitch Perfect," released in 2012. The movie was filmed on stages and theaters throughout Baton Rouge, including a key scene in LSU's Greek Theatre.
Regner was freshly graduated from the LSU School of Theatre when she auditioned for the film. She was trying out for a background role when she performed Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" for the casting director.
Regner had no clue that she would become one of the Bellas.
Then came 2015's "Pitch Perfect 2," when the Bellas mess up, then redeem themselves by winning the world title. Filming returned to Baton Rouge, where scenes were shot not only in theaters but inside the 13th Gate haunted house.
Yet there's one key Baton Rouge Bellas appearance that will never be seen on screen. Make that a low-key experience, because they were simply LSU fans when following Regner into Tiger Stadium in 2011.
The filming on the first movie had extended into football season, and Regner remembers her fellow singers being overwhelmed.
"They'd never experienced anything like (Tiger Stadium on a Saturday night) before," she said.
Regner and the Bellas met up one more time on Dec. 12 for the Los Angeles premiere of "Pitch Perfect 3."
"I was the tour guide during the filming of the first two movies, but all the locations were new on the third movie," Regner said. "But I did get to see new places, and it was nice to be able to rest when I wasn't filming. I didn't have to be anywhere."
Back home, Regner will step into the role of maid of honor in March for sister Lauren Regner's wedding.
"My sister is getting married, and it's an exciting time for all of us," Regner said. "And you can say this is a new role for me, because there are so many things I have to do as maid of honor."
For now, she's chilling in Los Angeles during the holidays, relieved that she doesn't have to board an airplane for some distant location for at least a little while.
Regner's also performing in cabaret shows, as well as in Los Angeles-area theater productions. But she'll always be a Bella.
"We're close," she said. "And it's been an amazing experience."