Ian tells HollywoodLife.com why he’s ‘super excited’ to see where Ezra — and his relationship with Aria — goes next.
Let’s get one thing straight first: Ian Harding knows just as much about “A” as the rest of us. He may be one of the most important characters on Pretty Little Liars — arguably the most important, following the Aug. 27 summer finale — but even he is totally at the mercy of Marlene King and her team of brilliant story crafters.
That said, HollywoodLife.com got a chance to speak with the actor behind Mr. Ezra Fitz — or should I say “A” — on Aug. 28, and we got the scoop on all things “A,” from how long he’s had to keep this massive secret to how he speculates the twist could affect his character’s future with Aria (Lucy Hale).
Read On For Our Q&A With Ian Harding:
>> Hello, “A.” How’s it going?
Pretty good, I’m just making lunch.
>> Is it a sinister lunch?
Why, yes. It’s the blood of children and the tears of a virgin.
>> That sounds delicious. I’m looking at a picture of you from last night’s episode. Did you practice making those scary faces?
No, I was actually just really tired! I’d just taken a red-eye from D.C. or something like that, and then that last final shot was done at night. I was really sleepy, so I think that scary face was just because I was half asleep. … They were like, ‘Wow, he’s really into it.’ But no, I was just half-conscious.
>> Well, it came out well. And congratulations on fooling us for three years.
Oh, it’s fun times. I was actually only aware of this character shift in February. We were planning something else, and then the writers told me they needed me in because they were going with a different story line. I knew he was going to go in a different direction this season, but we didn’t know to what extent.
>> That episode destroyed Twitter. What did your mentions look like? Were you even brave enough to look?
Sometimes I can’t really believe this stuff happens. … I find it insane that I have almost a million followers on Instagram and Twitter when I just tweet things about my dogs. But I hopped onto Twitter, and for the most part it was really positive. Most people were like, ‘Oh my God, you broke my heart, but I need to keep watching!’ I was like, ‘Sorry?’ There’s only so much I can do with me not writing the series. … The reactions were intense; I saw a few videos that I thought were hysterical.
>> Aria and Ezra kissed briefly on that episode. Was that supposed to look like they’re on the road to a reunion?
Well, as you can see, there’s clearly still love there that they’re going to have to address. There’ll be a relationship, but clearly their dynamic is going to switch. For the past three seasons, it’s been Aria more-or-less lying to Ezra. But now that’s shifted to where we know that Ezra has a secret that he’s not telling her. That’s going to be a fun little dynamic to watch.
>> So do you think Ezra really does have feelings for Aria, or was this all just part of his plan?
I would be truly shocked if he didn’t. The writers could turn it around and reveal him to be an axe murderer, but I feel like that’d be so cheap. I think the more interesting choice, and usually what the writers tend to go for, is that he does love her in some shape or form.
>> You mentioned being ‘shocked.’ Was that your reaction when you found out Ezra would become ‘A’?
Actually, my reaction was, ‘OK, great!’ I was really excited about it. It’s interesting having played this character for four years, then suddenly getting a whole new element to him that you get to mess around with. I really wanted to do it as an actor. I know fans would like me to have a continuingly blissful relationship, but alas, that makes for boring television. And it made sense to me; a bunch of weird stuff started happening when he came to town. I’d say my reaction was mildly surprised and super-excited.
HollywoodLifers, were you ‘mildly surprised’ like Ian, or were you totally blown away? And are you also ‘super excited’ to see where Ezra goes from here? Drop a comment with your reaction(s) to Ian’s interview, as well as your best theories, below!
— Andy Swift