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'Pretty Little Liars' stars Troian Bellisario, Shay Mitchell, and Lucy Hale talk Season 2

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(Read caption) Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson, Lucy Hale and Shay Mitchell attend a book signing in Los Angeles on June 5. The four star in ABC Family's 'Pretty Little Liars,' which began its second season June 14.

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Returning after its super-hot freshman season for an even more electrifying second season, PRETTY LITTLE LIARS continues to see Aria, Hanna, Spencer and Emily haunted and tormented by the mysterious ‘A.’ Just who is ‘A’ and what he or she really wants remains murky and now more life-threatening than ever.

Troian Bellisario and Shay Mitchell
What’s your reaction as you’re coming off this amazing first season and you’re about to start your second season?
Shay: Surreal. I mean it’s not the only word. We’re having so muchfun with it, and now we‘re on the verge of the first episode of the second season. So, yeah, we’re having fun.
Troian: There’s a really big like cycle. I don’t know if you’re experiencing it. But like when I think back — I’ve seen pictures of the fourth episode of the first season and like shooting certain sequences — that felt like eons ago ‘cause so much has happened. But, for the girls, it’s only been like a few weeks or something like that. So it’s just kind of funny that to us it feels like a lifetime ago. So it’s cool.

So do we find out what happened to Ian?
Troian: You definitely find out about Ian. I mean, they all saw him swinging dead and there’s no body whenever anybody came to check. So you definitely find out what happened.
Shay: It’s cool that the season 2 premiere episode takes place moments after the season finale, so you’re not left wondering what happened in that hour afterward. It’s moments after we left the church.

Will we see more of Noel?
Shay: Poor Noel.
Troian: Yeah.

Was that final sequence in the church choreographed liked a dance scene?
Troian: Yeah. It was so much fun to film. There was actually a really surreal moment. It was the end of shooting everything. We were all so tired and I was at the bottom of the stairs. I had been choreographing the fight. I really wanted to do the fight because I’m an energetic dancer, and honestly it’s easier for me to act between the fight if I’m in it. I’ve done a lot of fight choreography in theater school, so I was like, ‘Just put me through the paces — like what do you want? Do you want me to smack my head on the back, do you want me to grab him — like what do you want?’ And so we had been rehearsing it, I was at the bottom of the stairs and I run up these flights of stairs, do all of these things, run up the whole stairs essentially. So I was at the bottom of the stairs waiting for them to call action and I was like, ‘There’s smoke everywhere. My life right now is on the WB lot, waiting to call action, and I’m about to shoot an action sequence where I almost died. Wow, that’s really cool.’ It was really fun.

What has been the biggest shock for you when you read the scripts?
Shay: Every episode! Every time we have a cast read, all of us are like, ‘oh my gosh!’ Hearing the actors speak their lines after you’ve read it, you’re like, ‘That happens?! Oh my gosh! That’s going to be a bad ass scene.’ You’re just imagining what that scene is going to be like when you actually watch it. I think in every episode there is something very dramatic that happens and we’re kind of like, ‘Whoa!’
Troian: Obviously finding out what happens to Ian is a huge shock for us. I was shocked the show went in the direction that it did ’cause I was expecting it to be light, campy, fun, charming, then this scene happened and I was like, ’Oh!’ It got really intense.

Do you see your characters as bad girls or just normal people?
Shay: I would definitely say normal people. Definitely not bad girls. Even Allison. She has her moments. But, at the end of the day, everyone is like that once in a while.
Troian: The cool thing is a scene that [Shay] and I shot about a week ago when we decide to find out why Allison had been acting out.

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The publicity for the first season had the girls covered in dirt looking like they had just buried someone. Would you say the characters are getting closer to or further away from that perception?
Troian: I think we’re getting further away from it, but it comes back. It’s funny, we’re about to shoot a scene that — I won’t tell you who it was with — and it’s like we’re being haunted. Are we moving forward? Are we being allowed to move forward? Is this something that’s always going to be on our shoulders, like our dead best friend? Or is it something that we’re going to learn to let go of? It is kind of appropriate when you see the new set of advertising. It’s like a very different type of world. So we’re moving out of it, but certain aspects are still there.

Where are Spencer and Tobey at this season?
Troian: The cool thing is when Spencer and Tobey came together, they were like the Bonnie-and-Clyde of Rosewood. They were like the outcasts. She was the one whose sweater had been planted. So they found each other. What is really cool is that it is a real relationship. So it’s really fun to get to scenes where we have differences. Like, ‘oh my gosh, you’re really going to take that side, are you?’ We’re both really stubborn characters. So it’s fun to see their relationship move onto a more normal level.

Lucy Hale
Is there something you can tell us about Season 2 that we should be looking forward to?
Lucy: The girls have to go to therapy. There’s sort of a love triangle — a real love triangle. I can’t say who it’s with, but it’s really exciting. Aria is trying to form an adult relationship ‘cause Ezra is no longer her teacher. So there’s that. Her parents are back together. We’re still trying to figure out what happened to Ian, if he really did kill Allison, and A — you know, all those sorts of things.

Do you know who ‘A’ is?
Lucy: Noooo. I don’t think anyone does. I don’t think the writers do. About halfway through last season, I gave up. So now I don’t even care. So it will be interesting when it all sort of wraps up.

How would you describe Aria’s journey for the 2nd season?
Lucy: They really don’t tell us where the season is going, but the girls have really gone through a lot. A is now trying to get them to turn on each other. But the good thing about the show is that they’re bond is rock solid. But in her personal life, she is dealing with her brother who tends to rebel a little bit. So she sort of feels a little bit responsible for that. And, like I said, someone else sort of catches her eye. So she’s got a decision to make about ‘which way do I go?’ And what do I do? That’s about all I know. We literally go script by script, and the writers try not to tell us anything.

How far into Season 2 are you right now?
Lucy: We just started the 2nd episode.

Do you ever go to the writers and say, ‘I’ve got the perfect line for A?’
Lucy: We actually should! They are so good at what they do. We’ve got some good ones coming up.

How about a candy jar where you can put suggestions?
Lucy: Like ‘A’ ideas? You never know they might actually use one!

Are your and Aria’s personal styles coming a little bit closer as the show goes on?
Lucy: I feel a little bit older than Aria. I mean, she is so young. But I definitely feel like the wardrobe is starting to work. It’s helped me break out of my shell and try things I wouldn’t have tried. Aria is like the trendsetter. She’s willing to try out things that nobody else is willing to try.

Do you see the show as a positive influence?
Lucy: I see the show more and more as a positive influence. Every bad decision we make comes back to haunt you. So I guess the lesson is: don’t lie. I think with these girls, you really get to see them grow. I think that is a good message. It used to be all about A, and now they each are dealing with their own battles and I’d like to say that they’re learning from it.

What are you excited about that is upcoming?
Lucy: I think she’s really thrown off-guard by this new guy that she’s attracted to. I think that will be exciting. It’s a major part of her storyline. It will be interesting to see what she does.

Is the show staying along the same lines as the book or is it starting to divert?
Lucy: We’re sort of going in one a specific direction. But there’s some things that are in the book, some that aren’t. I don’t know. There’s going to be four new books. So it’s hard to know. I’m not sure. ‘Cause we’re already at the end of the series already at the end of season 2. So one way or another.

Have you read the books?
Lucy: I’ve read 7 of 8.

If the series is very successful, how long do you see it going?
Lucy: I don’t know. If we’re lucky enough to keep going, I can see it going for a while. But you never know. Things change. It’s kind of interesting to see. The show moves so slow. I think the first season was only a couple of months. So it could be going for a while. We’ll just have to see…

Don’t miss out on finding out what really happened to Ian and all the other juicy surprises when PRETTY LITTLE LIARS returns for its second season on Tuesday, June 14th at 8:00PM on ABC Family.

Tiffany Vogt blogs at The TV Addict.

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