Elle: Your ELLE.com shoot was inspired by a #TBT photo you posted of Sarah Michelle Gellar on Instagram. We assume you’re as big a fan of the movie as we are?
Lucy Hale: Yes! It’s just a classic for our generation. It’s so, so good. And I have so many connections to that movie. The director [Roger Kumble] has directed a few PLL episodes. My friend Jordan Ross co-wrote the Cruel Intentions musical that was going on in L.A., and now he’s a producer on the NBC’s Cruel Intentions pilot.
Elle: You recently told James Corden that you want Pretty Little Liars to end tragically. Did you mean that?
LH: Yeah, I did! It would be so boring if, after all these years, and after all this torture and drama, everything just ended nicely. I think that the ending should leave people with their jaws on the floor, not really knowing what they just watched. I really think we should go out with a bang and really confuse people a little bit.
Elle: So you want PLL to pull a Sopranos.
Elle: Here’s a pitch for you: So many characters have taken up the mantle of the mysterious “A” throughout the series. What if the show introduced a new A and then just cut away?
LH: Yes! I want something that doesn’t fully answer all the questions and just drives people nuts. I think that’s the way to go.
Elle: There’s a lot of talk about the seventh season being the last. Is that confirmed?
LH: Well, not really. As far as I know, as of now the seventh season will be the end. But, who knows? I never want to say too much because anything can happen. I mean, there have already been rumors of a movie. It’s just too hard to say.
Elle: After six seasons, the show still has a rabid social media following. Do you find yourself constantly engaging with fans on Twitter?
LH: Social media is a huge part of the show, and all the actors and producers and writers have been very vocal on all these different platforms. I used to feel the need to explain my character and stick up for my character, but now I just sit back and see how people naturally react. People can get so upset or angry at our characters or storylines, and I used to take it personally. I would take it to heart if people were mad about something my character did. I still engage every now and then, but I’ve sort of let all that go.
Elle: You went blonde recently. Did that get a reaction from your fans?
LH: It’s so funny — I get so much attention for my hair. When I cut it off, people just freaked out. When I went blonde, people freaked out. When I went even blonder, people freaked out even more.
Elle: You should go full Sinéad O’Connor and watch people lose it.
LH: See, the thing is, people ask me if I would ever do that for a movie part and I’m actually, like, dying to. I just finished shooting a film a couple of weeks ago with Alexandra Shipp, who plays Storm in the new X-Men. She had to shave her head for the movie and she told me how freeing it was and how she just feels like she can’t imagine going back to having hair. So, it’s not out of the question for me.
Elle: This season the show skipped ahead five years in the future, but your character, Aria, seems to be ending up back with her first love, Ezra. Do you find that fans are still shipping the couple after all this time?
LH: Oh yeah, people have the “ships” that they love, and I think they love the show’s original relationship the most. I think that’s flattering — they recognize we had good chemistry. All of the girls on the show have explored different relationships with different people, but I think it’s inevitable that Aria and Ezra in particular are going to be together. I don’t know what’s going to happen in season seven, but I personally hope to see them end up with each other.
Elle: Are you surprised that, six years later, the show’s fans are as enthralled as ever?
LH: A couple of years ago I thought, Surely, the show is at its peak. Surely people have had enough of us! But what makes our show so special is our cult following. These aren’t people who tune in every once in a while — these are people that tune in every week, re-watch episodes, and tweet about the episodes. And I feel like it’s only gotten more intense. What’s always blown my mind is the international success of the show. I was in Brazil a week ago, and it’s just crazy to see how the show translates everywhere. Everyone loves drama.
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