On PRETTY LITTLE LIARS, now in its third season on ABC Family Tuesday nights at 8 PM, Shay Mitchell plays Emily Fields, one of a quartet of high school friends – the others are Troian Bellasario’s Spencer, Lucy Hale’s Aria and Ashley Benson’s Hanna – being tormented by an anonymous and possibly homicidal stalker. “A” was unmasked last season, but someone else, indeed apparently more than one person, has taken up the mantle.
Mitchell, who originally hails from Toronto, takes a moment to catch up on where Emily and the LIARS gang are at the moment.
AX: In what we’ve seen so far, what has been the plot development that’s surprised you most?
SHAY MITCHELL: I think how all of the girls handle A this season and who breaks down the fastest. That was probably the most surprising to me, because I think a lot of the viewers would assume it to be one of the girls more so than the others, but they will be shocked as to who really unravels.
AX: As far as the action scenes, when you have to run and fall, are you relieved that you’re the one in the Converse sneakers?
MITCHELL: Yes and no. Because I would love to do that in heels, actually. They make fun of me, to be like “Bond Girl” and Mission: Impossible, and those are roles I would love to do, because you’ve got a girl that’s kicking ass in heels. So I actually want to switch with Hanna, and I think [Benson] would probably prefer it, too, to be wearing my Converse and I’ll wear the heels. I think I could run faster than anybody still, even in high heels [laughs].
AX: It’s three seasons in and you’ve gotten three years older, but Emily has not.
MITCHELL: Emily has not [laughs].
AX: Is it hard to maintain, ‘Okay, I’m still in high school …’?
MITCHELL: That’s a good question. There are a lot of face [skin care] masks that go on [laughs]. You know, Troian is a year older and the other girls are a little bit younger, but yeah, when you’re back in the high school and you have lockers surrounding you, it brings you back to that. I can definitely remember my high school experience, so I just kind of bring that with me.
AX: Given that Emily is a lesbian, is there actress you’d like to work with as a possible love interest for your character?
MITCHELL: There are so many actors I admire. I really do love working with Lindsey Shaw, though, who plays [Emily’s current love interest] Paige, so I really want to see their relationship go along further. I’m a huge fan of Lindsey and I love working with her.
AX: Are you worried that Paige may be on the A team?
MITCHELL: You never know. I mean, look at Toby [Keegan Allen]. And it could be one of us [the core group of four]. You never know. I think you’re kind of always suspecting people and keeping a closer eye on them. But at the end of the day, yes, that would be very tough, because I don’t know how Spencer’s going to handle it when she finds out about Toby.
AX: Troian Bellisario wrote, produced and starred in a short film during your hiatus. Do you think you might get into filmmaking?
MITCHELL: No. We are so different, all of us girls. Lucy goes off and does her singing career and her album; Troian’s writing and directing and acting in her movies; I more like working on my blog and the entrepreneurial side of me comes out when I’m not acting. So as far as all of us girls doing our own things, I would not be doing the writing/directing.
AX: Speaking of blogging, or at least Tweeting, how is Norman Buckley to work with as a director?
MITCHELL: Norman Buckley is so much fun. He’s one of my favorite directors and he is absolutely amazing. He is always taking pictures – I feel like he’s a social media king. More so than any of us actually.
AX: Is there anything you’d like to say about PRETTY LITTLE LIARS right now?
MITCHELL: No. Just be ready to buckle your seatbelt, because this second half of Season Three is going to be a very crazy ride.
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