When I got the chance to briefly talk with Troian Bellisario (Pretty Little Liars) she didn’t have much time. I expect that this Los Angeles native has gotten used to lack of time being a constant in her life, as Pretty Little Liars has been a tremendous hit on ABC Family. Aside from the obligatory hours of filming, every press outlet and fan wants a little piece of her brain. (One fan tweeted at me that I ought to ask Bellisario why she doesn’t tweet more. I figured I already knew the answer to that one – she’s incredibly busy!) In fact, the one thing she could use more of is sleep. Troian said, “I try to sleep if there is any free time because we’re all really tired all the time pretty much so sleeping is a big thing. I also try to write and to just to work on other projects that I am trying to keep afloat while I’m doing this.” But I know that you guys, just as much as I, want to know about one specific project – Bellisario’s role of Spencer Hastings on PLL. And that’s what we talked about.
A is almost kind of like a super villain on the show, what are Spencer’s Super Powers?
That’s great. (Laughs) Well, the interesting thing about Spencer (is that she) has a whip-smart intellect. It’s both her super power and it’s her kryptonite because she is able to, I think, almost be ahead of A at certain points and come up with plans to try to trap A or to try to trick A. So she has this incredible mind that’s able to get the girls as close as they possibly can to discovering who A is, or discovering how to protect themselves at the last minute.
“That also is, like I said, her greatest weakness because her mind works so fast sometimes she doesn’t take a moment to think and determine the difference between A’s red herrings and A’s actual moves. Just as often as Spencer is right about something she also grabs something that A gives her and runs with it and it’s hugely wrong. It’s what she did with Toby when she just adamantly went this is the guy; this is who killed Alison with finding proof and she was very headstrong about it and it got them into nothing but trouble and it was something that she had to come around and accept that she was completely wrong on.
Spencer has a very defined sense of style – but what’s an outfit we’ll never see her wear?
Oh, that’s hard, maybe a giant clown suit. I feel Spencer can go so many different ways. I feel like Spencer could totally traipse into Aria’s closet and put something on and be a bad girl for a day. She could even go into Hanna’s closet, probably less into Hanna’s closet, but she can always—in some aspects she dresses down and she is a little bit more casual like Emily.
“Spencer trades hats very easily. She can go very high-brow very prim and proper or she can just be wearing like literally sweats after field hockey and just be the same girl—that’s what’s kind of cool about Spencer is that it’s not really her style that defines her, Spencer defines her style all the time.
Speaking of style, what are your favorite style pieces on Pretty Little Liars?
I don’t know. Honestly, I always have a favorite piece and then I spend an entire episode in it and I want to get it off my body and burn it. Just because it’s like you find the most amazing outfit or dress or coat and you’re like this is amazing; I will never get sick of this and you won’t unless you wear it straight for seven days for 14 hours a day. Then trust me, you’ll want to burn it.
It’s really hard for me to think because I always remember in the beginning of certain episodes I’m like this is the best thing Spencer’s ever worn and then by the end of it I’m like, please never make me wear that. But, I will say we do have awesome outfits coming up; the clothes are adorable and really insane.
So you don’t keep the clothing?
No, everybody always asks me that question and they’re like, “Oh, my gosh! You must have such great clothes.” I’m like no I go home in pajamas every day. We unfortunately are not allowed to keep anything and that’s because they want to keep it in case they have to revisit the item or we want to pull it up later.
What advice would you give to your character, Spencer?
Chill out. Seriously, take a chill pill. Life is too short and you need to spend one night maybe going to the movies instead of like sneaking around the house and trying to find Ian. Maybe sleep, maybe find time to do your homework. I don’t know how Spencer maintains such good grades and like literally never does her homework.
If you weren’t acting, what would you do?
If I could do anything else, in a fantasy world I’d be rock star. I mean who doesn’t want to be a rock star? I think that was a quote from Sam Shepard and Sean Penn when they were making the so-called disaster The Late Henry Moss somebody asked them what they would do if they couldn’t be actors and writers and they were like, “What we’d always want to do—be rock stars, because that’s what everybody wants to be.”
When I was younger, I had a very intense obsession with death and I was fascinated by forensic scientists, but also morticians. I had this draw to work with the dead in some sense so maybe I would go back to that. I don’t know.
What other TV do you watch?
I have not had cable for the past five years and I really never watch TV. The only show that I really ever got into was when I got all five seasons of Six Feet Under on DVD in college and that became my obsession. Now I’m really trying to keep up with Game of Thrones because I read the pilot and I auditioned for it and I fell in love with it. I think they’re doing such an amazing job. Yes, I guess that’s really the only show that I keep up with, but I’m really more of a—if I have time I want to go see a movie because I like that containment.
Okay, you MUST know who A is, right?
Oh, my gosh, I feel like I could answer this question a million times and nobody would ever believe me. They will not tell us who it is. To be honest I don’t even think they know who it is. I don’t mean that they don’t have a few different choices, but every time I speak to them they are keeping their options as open as possible. I think that—maybe Marlene, our executive producer and our creator of the show has a hard fast choice and she’s now working towards that, but I remember there was a time in the writer’s room where they told me she has six different options for people that could be A.
Okay guys, who do YOU think is “A”?