It wasn’t just 26-year-old Lucy Hale’s radiant smile that Pretty Little Liars fanatics lined up to see during her live interview with AOL Build in New York City yesterday. Teenage and adult followers of the show were there for one reason: to find out exactly who 'A'—the character that has tortured the leading crew for years—finally is. So did she spill? Sort of. The actress candidly explained just how impressed she was with the season six finale, and even discussed how the show will evolve, why she thinks it’s such a hit, and what’s currently on her own DVR. Below, a sampling of highlights from the conversation.
A’s identity will finally be revealed—and even she was shocked.
“I’m not just saying this to get you guys more excited about the finale, but it really is so bizarre. I think they might have been drunk when they came up with it. Because, I’m like, where did this come from? But it does sort of all make sense. What I’m always impressed about is that the fans of the show will go back and re-watch all the episodes and come up with their theories, and I’m like, 'Well, crap, they’re right! How’d they come up with this?' So when you find out who A is, if you backtrack in the show you’re like, ‘Oh my God, this is why this happened, this is why this makes sense.’”
And you’ll obviously also know who Charles is.
“So you kind of find out who that is, why they go by the name Charles, why they got involved, and why they’ve been tormenting us for five years. All of those questions finally get answered. I cannot tell you how it comes out of no where, totally out of left field, how they thought of this story line and apparently they knew that they wanted to do this with the show since the very first season. I want to tell you guys so badly. I want to say so many things, but it’s a shock, to say the least."
After season six, the show will return, but the girls will all be out of college.
"They decided that they wanted to flash forward a little bit, so it’s about five years in the future, still playing younger than I am but glad to be playing an adult. And so pretty much it’s the girls living an A-free life for five years and Alison begs them to come back to Rosewood and that’s sort of where the remainder of the sixth season and seventh season will take place. Sort of seeing how their lives developed over these five years, and they have new relationships and then, of course, you know the big whirlwind of A that continues and that’s why they come back to Rosewood."
Expect Ezra and Aria to reunite.
"They’re like an old married couple and they’re still so young. Where we are in the time jump, they said goodbye to each other, they go and live their separate lives. He develops a relationship with a woman and I’m with someone else but it’s sort of, when they see each other again it’s just undeniable. I want like a big marriage episode, but we’ll see."
Hale credits the fans for the show’s success.
"I truly believe it’s because of the fan base and when we started the show it already had a cult following. They break Twitter every week and it’s internationally successful, which is really crazy. And I think it’s because of the hype of the people that watch this show that encourages the writers and the producers to really, no pun intended, but like, bring their A game each episode. I really enjoy seeing everyone’s reactions and still people get excited after six years. We’ve strung them along. I feel so bad because everyone’s just like, when are we finally going to find out? But the fans have really stuck with the show and I think that’s what’s made it take it to the next level."
Hale and Aria are actually quite similar.
"I always gravitated towards Aria because we’re so similar, like we’re both very stubborn, a little bit sassy, but like I said, very headstrong and very smart and I’m not saying that I’m smart, whatever, but just related to her on a lot of different levels. And I guess the biggest difference would be, she’s kind of like a hopeless romantic, obviously, and she’s been fighting for Ezra for like six years now. So we’re kind of different in that way but we have really strong family values and friend values."
She hopes the show empowers young women.
"Aside from the cliffhangers and the drama and the darkness of the show, what I really loved is that there are four really strong female characters and it’s also, you don’t always see on TV really strong friendships, and so I love that, too. I think that it’s important for girls to see that they can stick up, especially the whole bullying stuff that’s going on right now. I mean, our show revolves around one person bullying these four girls and so they’re really fighting back and I think that that, aside from everything else, that’s the underlying message."
Mark August 14 on your calendar.
"There’s something on August 14, which is something I didn't even know I wanted to do but it happened and it’s really a dream come true, musically related. So as of right now, the album was released last year but this thing that gets announced in August is sort of the only thing I’m doing in music for now. But I think I’ll continue to make albums the rest of my life if I get the chance to."
She loves Orange is the New Black.
"I think that obviously the show is so well written, but with the cast, it’s all female and there’s so many different characters. Each one of them is so specific and different and I think that that’s really hard to do because on our show we can sort of see ourselves blending into each others' characters—and then we sort of like have to check ourselves and be like, ‘Oh, I’m not Spencer, I’m Ari, I can't say it like that.’ And I think that on Orange Is the New Black they really pinpointed who each person is. It’s such a character-driven show."
The Pretty Little Liars season six finale airs Aug. 11 at 8 p.m. on ABC Family.
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