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Ashley Benson on 'Pretty Little Liars': 'Everybody Who's Anyone Watches It'

by Jean Bentley, posted Aug 3rd 2010 5:00PM
Ashley BensonIf you love scandalous high school dramas and you're not watching ABC Family's 'Pretty Little Liars,' you probably should be. (Didn't you read our post earlier?) But if you're not going to take our word for it, listen to star Ashley Benson, who plays popular, blond Hanna, one of the titular liars. "[The show] is just so catchy," she said. "The characters are great and there are cute guys and girls." Plus, she added, "the whole mystery of it all keeps you wanting more."

'Pretty Little Liars,' based on a series of YA novels by Sara Shepard, follows a group of teenage girls as they try to figure out who murdered their friend Alison. At the same time, they're being threatened via text message by an anonymous blackmailer named "A" who happens to know every single one of their juicy secrets -- one girl's having a steamy affair with her English teacher, another is hiding a budding romance with the new girl in town. It makes for some pretty edgy subject matter, especially for ABC Family.

After the jump, find out what secrets Benson spilled about the show, including the surprising origin of the creepy theme song, tackling taboo story lines and being an outcast herself.


How are you like your character, Hanna, who was the quiet sidekick before Alison disappeared? Can you relate to her at all?


Of course. I can relate to her when she was the outcast and not popular and she got made fun of, because that was totally me in elementary school. I was popular, and then I got booted down to being the outcast. So I was definitely made fun of, I didn't want to go to school, that whole thing.

What's the absolute juiciest part of the show?

Honestly, I think every episode is so juicy because you get one step closer to knowing out who A is, and you have all these new people who are coming in who want to destroy the girls' lives. So much goes on in the show, but I think every episode there's some sort of juicy thing that you're left with.

What was the most fun scene to film?

I love when we have scenes all together, the four girls. We get along so well and it's always a blast to do a scene with them. We all have our separate story lines and people we hang out with, but when we're all together it's nice because we have such good chemistry and we always make each other laugh.



Do you guys hang out off set?

We do. We do a lot of things together. We've just gotten so close -- they're like a second family to me.

'Pretty Little Liars' touches on some controversial issues, like Aria's affair with her teacher and Emily's relationship with Maya. Were you surprised the show actually faced these issues head on?

I was a little bit, but it's real. There are people who go through that every day. So I think it's good we're touching on realistic things, and I think it's good for the audience to know that's okay. It's one of my favorite parts, that we do that, because it lets other people know that they're not alone.

Has ABC Family ever tried to tame some of the plot down?

If it's inappropriate they won't put it in, but everything that's been on the show was in the original script -- they're keeping it pretty PG-13. But also, ABC Family is changing and it's developing. This is just a new direction for their network, and a lot of their shows are dealing with all kinds of teen issues. We're not going overboard, but it's being real and I really like that.

The theme song and opening credits are pretty fantastic, what do you think about them?

I have to take some credit here, because I was the one who brought that song to the producers and told them "You have to have this as the opening credits song." I'm a huge fan of The Pierces -- that's the group who sings 'Secret.' I was listening to the song while we were filming in Vancouver and I was like, "Oh my god, that's the best song for the show." I pitched it to the producers and the creator and they said "Maybe," and it turned out to be the song. So I couldn't be happier. It's just so spooky and eerie, and it's perfect for the show.



Did you expect the show to be such a success?

I did, but not like it is now. It's just insane. Everybody who's anyone watches it. People are now coming up to me, and it's just, like, the weirdest experience of my life. But I couldn't be happier that things are going so well. I'm so glad that it's had the success it's had. We're all just so happy to be part of something like this.

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Hayden

Is pretty little liars over for the summer cuz I got really upset and I think it was but if it was I want to no

August 10 2010 at 10:00 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Kris

I thought the show was rather poorly done in the pilot. Bad acting, writing, etc. So, I think the reverse is true =/

August 04 2010 at 2:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Winjosonly nly

Ashley Benson is good actor her face is very charming and sexy .... so I am very impress her activity and role so it's different..
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August 04 2010 at 12:11 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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