The cast and creators of
Pretty Little Liars appeared at PaleyFest panel on October 11, at
the Paley Center for the Media in New York City, an event open for both
fans and media alike. The panel started by showing a five minute preview
for the upcoming season six of Pretty Little Liars. In attendance
on the panel were stars Lucy Hale, Ashley Benson, Sasha Pieterse, Troian
Bellisario and creators Marlene King, Oliver Goldstick, and Joseph
Early in the night,
the girls demonstrated their self-given nickname "pretty little
weirdoes." The moniker is credited to their funny personalities and the
all-around silliness they exude. They were down to earth and shared more
little tidbits about the show, their cast mates and their tight
friendship than fans could ever imagine.
If you haven’t
watched Pretty Little Liars from season one, it’s okay. Now is a
good time to start. While answers will be revealed to some of the
previous seasons’ mysteries that should satisfy current fans, the show
can now be picked up and easily followed by new fans! With a five year
jump in time, the new season will start like an entirely new show, so it
may be an ideal time if you never tuned in before now.
The cast shared their excitement with the
fact that Sasha Pieterse is now a permanent member of the cast rather
than just existing in flashbacks. Though, Pieterse said "I have been
buried four times!" she is excited, because though she has been on the
show regularly in flashbacks, she will now make her presence better
This panel of young actresses was full of
laughter and fun. Their close friendship was evident.
Goldstick, the show’s executive producer, told us, "When we are watching
television I think we all say, ’I want those friends. I want that group
of people. That’s my tribe.’ Because all we are looking for ultimately
is our tribe. Whether it’s high school, college, or right after college,
we try to find like-minded people who will be there for us. No matter
how crazy our show gets, we always try to stay grounded and believe that
these girls are still friends."
On the stage at the Paley Center, they
shared giggles, some private jokes amongst themselves and reminiscences.
Ashley Benson even said, "I just burped," clearly comfortable with
everyone around her. Benson admitted, "I’m the most likely to crack up
randomly and make others laugh!"
It seems so unique to see all cast members
not only good friends on set but also off the set. You could really see
that they had a strong love for each other.
The show has a popular promotion poster
displaying Lucy Hale’s character of Aria in the center, "shushing"
everyone. Hale joked that she had started this pose and it became a hit,
and since then, Hale laughed, "Everyone is copying me!"
The girls claimed that shushing correctly
is not as easy at it looks. The secret to a perfect shush is having your
finger in the dead center of your lips. While doing so, you have to look
directly into the camera. Sounds easy right? Not. You have to look sexy,
while looking demure, shy, confident and on and on....
It’s not easy being a Pretty Little
Liar. The actresses spilled that it is very embarrassing and very
nerve-wracking to do this successfully. When it is time to do the shush,
if they do it wrong, they have to do the take all over again.
learned that sets are not just sets for the girls of Pretty Little
Liars. They have become more of a home after so many years. Troian
Bellisario talked about why she took a picture of her room on set and
posted it on social media. It was a very emotional time for her. After
the last day of filming in her room, the set was going to be dismantled.
Bellisario told people on set how sad she was that she was never going
to see her room again and she would like to say goodbye to it. It was
then when someone in the crew exclaimed "they’re taking it apart now!"
Bellisario told the audience, "I bolted
across the set to get to my room before they took it down!" Taking it
all in, Bellisario, just sat in the middle of the floor. Why? Because,
she spent the last six years in that little room, filming for hours upon
hours. It became almost like her real bedroom at home, with so many
memories attached to it. Bellisario grew up in that room.
A question was asked about how the girls
feel about their characters’ fashion and each girl happily answered. "My
style is very classy and grown up", stated Pieterse. She laughed that
she really loves her character’s fashion sense and that the other girls
are envious. laughing.
Bellisario shared that with the five year
jump, she was asked how she would like her hair to be. She told us all
that she told the designer that she "would love to chop it off and dye
it a crazy color," but she knew that it wouldn’t happen because she was
still portraying Spencer and not a totally new character. So, she told
them she wanted bangs!
Lucy Hale told us that "one time I wore a
pencil skirt for an episode, which is super unique!" She shared that her
fashion actually helped her "in real life." Aria’s style was/is so weird
and crazy, and yet Aria pulls it off – with a sense of confidence. So,
Lucy Hale channeled her inner Aria fashion in real life.
We talked with executive producer
Goldstick about what the biggest change regarding the five-year jump.
Goldstick laughed, "I am very
tired. The biggest difference as far as the filming and all, is the
girls have a different sense of ownership. They have been playing these
characters for so many years and all of them are very confident. Hanna
[Ashley Benson’s character], having moved to New York, has a different
confidence and swagger she may not have had in Rosewood High."
panel discussion led to discussions about each character’s future in the
new season, five years down the road in show time.
"I was first surprised I became a teacher,
but then I realized it made sense," stated Pieterse regarding her
character’s future. Alison had always been passionate in English. She
told everyone that she has a new special man in her life, though as of
the preview for season six, she isn’t married yet.
Hale said that her character, Aria,
channeled her creative side and went the publishing route. "I have
always known I have wanted to go to college," Hale said, regarding her
character. However, Hale admitted that she was surprised that her
character went into publishing, rather than photography. Hale also said
that she eventually has to go back to Rosewood where we see "stuff hit
the fan again."
Bellisario said her character of Spencer
is moving along with her political aspirations. "I am super smart,"
Bellisario exclaimed. She is called back to Rosewood to help her mother
with a political campaign, running for a seat in the senate.
Ashley Benson shared that Hanna is
engaged. You also get to see her new life in the fashion world.
The actresses were asked about a crossover
of shows. The girls all agreed that if they could have any crossover
with any show, they would be ecstatic. While two girls picked one show
and two girls picked another, they were both unique choices. Bellisario
and Benson said that they would love to work with Orange is the New
Black. They laughed, "We would fit right in on Orange is the New
Black! Catfights everywhere." Hale and Pieterse said they felt the
show would be a great connection with Girls, because their
characters can be very catty at times.
seems like Pretty Little Liars has been a hit since day one, but
when did the girls realize how big the show was going to be?
Pieterse shared an interesting story. She
was on Catalina Island right after she had just graduated from high
school. The pilot for Pretty Little Liars was just taped, but had
not aired yet. A girl caught a glimpse of her and said "Oh my gosh are
you the girl who’s playing Allison in Pretty Little Liars?"
Pieterse was shocked because season one hadn’t even aired yet, so this
girl recognized her just off of the preview.
Hale said that she saw the billboard in
Brazil, as well as fans camping outside of their hotel room in another
country. The international success of the show really struck a special
note for her, making her realize it was bigger than she thought.
Marlene King, creator, said she realized
how big it was going to be when it was a worldwide trending topic on
Twitter eight hours before the show premiered. Goldstick said he
realized how big the show was going to be when a girl at a London
airport was non-stop questioning him who A was.
What is the secret to a
successful show, you wonder? Well, according to executive producer, Joe
Dougherty, "You have to plan
what you are going to eat for lunch very early in the day! Otherwise,
you will be thinking about lunch during the first three hours when you
are trying to write stories and remember what you did the day before.
Yes, television runs on its lunch. Lunch is the most important thing."
Goldstick told us that the secret to
having a good show was "Staying
awake" He laughed. "No, probably, in a show like this... I have done
many shows, I would say... the relationship between the characters have
to be so solid and relatable. And, unconditional love which is a big
part of what we want."
shared that if she could tell her character anything, she would tell
herself to decorate her dressing room ".... much earlier." She never got
around to it because she always "thought the show wouldn’t last as long
as it did." Eventually she was given an ultimatum – if she didn’t pick a
color to paint her dressing room, they would paint her room pink. Pink
is Bellisario’s least favorite color, so she ended up having her
dressing room done blue, and then got matching pillows for her sofa and
Hale would tell
herself to not only live more in the moment, but to pay attention to
those moments – every single one of them.
The girls were all getting very
sentimental about the show and about it possibly wrapping up in the near
future. Hale exclaims, "I spent more time with these people than my real
Not only is the cast like family, but so
is the crew – everyone is beloved. The show has had entirely the same
crew for seasons now. Everyone clearly has became very close and would
not be too happy about the show coming to an end after season six.
Goldstick told us, "It’s been a real
pleasure. We have had a lot of fun. I have worked on long running shows.
I have been on shows later in their seasons, like six and seven of other
TV shows in the past. But, I had never been with a show since day one
and all the way through. It is a real nice history."
Of course, everyone wants some hints:
what about a season seven? How
far will the season would go? We even asked Dougherty what his thoughts
were on a season eight. He said that, "It
is all going to depend on how people feel about what we are doing in the
end of season six and seven. We have no interest in dissatisfying or
disappointing anyone. So, everything is possible."
King said that it is sounding like they
will, in fact, go into season seven. It seems rather clear that no
matter how many more seasons they spend on the air, these pretty little
girls will continue to be together in some way or another for the rest
of their lives.
CLICK HERE TO SEE WHAT ELSE SASHA PIETERSE HAD TO
SAY TO US EARLIER IN 2015!