May 19, 2017
By Lorna Soonhee Umphrey | April 3, 2017 | People
The cast of Pretty Little Liars chat about their last and final season on the show, what they love about working with each other, and the ever-so-tiny reveal about the final season.
When you get the cast of a hit series on stage, it’s enough to cause a raucous. But when it’s the cast of Freeform’s teen hit show, Pretty Little Liars, it’s almost a mob waiting to happen. At this year’s PaleyFest 2017, we listen in on where each character left off with their various love triangles and trysts from last season, what they’re dying to reveal about the final episode but can’t, and why they really love each other—both on and off screen.
Executive Producer I. Marlene King sidesteps inquiries about any details in the final season, but talks about this season as an homage to the fans. “We really wanted these last 10 episodes to be a love letter to the fans. We have been so blessed to have such passionate fans who stuck with this show about a dead girl who wasn’t even dead for seven seasons,” she says. “We thank you and I wholeheartedly feel like these 10 episodes are a gift to the fans.”
When asked about Caleb revealing his undying love for Hannah, Tyler Blackburn describes this moment. “It was magical. It was a long time coming. I feel like Haleb is meant to be. I was excited to do that,” he says.
Is she or isn’t she? Sasha Pieterse confirms the rumor. “Allison is pregnant. We don’t know who the father is, we think it’s [Elliott] Rollins.”
“It’s a bit of a difficult decision to make,” he says. “This woman that you were in love with, who I thought was dead is not, and I’m also in love with this other woman who I’ve been with for quite some time, we have a very long and a very elaborate history. So, yeah, Ezra is kind of stuck between a rock and a hard place. It can be a bit brutal at times.”
Janel Parrish plays Mona who’s an on-and-off ally to the Liars but when asked what it was like being the first “A”, she responds, “I do have a little bit of pride as the first one to wear that hoodie.”
When asked what it’s meant to her to play a character who comes out of the closet while in high school, Mitchell says, “To play a character that has had an impact on a lot of people’s lives in a very meaningful way is huge. You can’t ask for more than that. Yes, it’s entertaining but I’ve loved being able to speak up about causes that are very important to me and that needed to be spoken about.”
I. Marlene King clearly admits that Shay Mitchell wasn’t her first choice when it came down to making her final decision to take the role as Emily. She explains, “We had a really hard time finding our Emily and it was down to the wire. We brought two Canadian actresses down to test for the role. And I was leaning towards this other actress, she was my number one choice. You have to say to the studio or network, this is my first choice, this is my second choice. Then they have to act in front of you in the room and Shay just nailed it. And so, the other actress left, and then Shay left and I’m like, am I allowed to change my mind? And they’re like sure, and that’s how Shay Mitchell won the role of Emily.”
Sitting between Shay Mitchell and Tyler Blackburn, Ashley Benson is in constant giggles like a schoolgirl. She admits, “We are actually the hardest people to work with to get through a scene. Once you start, it’s really hard to control. It is fun because there is a very genuine friendship with everyone, and I think it’s so nice to be able to see when we’re all together, we’re all having fun and it shows on-screen to you guys.”
PHOTOGRAPHY BY MICHAEL BULBENKO FOR THE PALEY
May 19, 2017