Chandler Kinney is having a moment. Just weeks after the premiere of Zombies 3 on Disney+, Chandler is now starring in the hit HBO Max series Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin. The new show focuses on a new generation of Liars and is the perfect mix of iconic slasher films and the teen dramas we know and love.
HollywoodLife got EXCLUSIVE scoop from Chandler about what lies ahead for Tabby and the others after the first 3 episodes. From the situation with Wes to the mysteries of the past to exploring the “cracks” in Tabby’s relationship with her mom, the drama is just beginning. Read our Q&A below (and watch the video above):
Let me start with Wes. He is creepy and very inappropriate. I have a feeling he’s not going to take Tabby bolting well. Is he going to be a problem for her going forward?
Chandler Kinney: That’s a juicy question. Yes, Wes is creepy AF, but played by the loveliest human Derek Klena. He’s so, so sweet and was always just wonderful in every sense of the word on set. Is Wes gonna be a problem for Tabby moving forward? I mean, I think they definitely are in a bit of a weird situation-ship together. I think that there probably should be some clear boundaries set, so Tabby I think finding herself in a precarious situation with someone that she has known for a while — her boss — obviously a guy who is sitting in a position of power over her, absolutely, there’s a bit of things go down a little bit. But I don’t want to spoil anything.
Speaking of other co-workers, there’s Chip, who’s so cute. He’s just the most adorable person. Obviously, Carson [Rowland] is so fun, and I’ve seen him on Sweet Magnolias. Does Tabby have any feelings for him [Chip] romantically?
Chandler Kinney: As you said, Carson is wonderful. What an amazing human being and incredible performer and friend. Love, love, love him. Tabby kind of has Chip in the friend zone. I don’t think Chip wants to be in the friend zone. I think he’s pretty forward with the way that he feels about her. They’ve been best friends for a couple years. Obviously, they have their shared love of film. They love working together in film class and sharing their passion. They do some really cool film projects over the course of the season, which tie into a much larger storyline for Tabby specifically. But I don’t think Tabby really sees a whole lot there, which you got to see Chip in the first couple of episodes and you’re like, “Why? He’s so nice.” We’ll just have to see how that unfolds.
In the wake of Karen’s death, which was obviously very traumatic and shocking, Sheriff Beasley is desperate to take the girls down. Kelly really comes in for the save there and basically says why Karen was up in the rafters. She was going to do something to Imogen. She really came in clutch when they needed it. Can Kelly be trusted? Does Tabby trust her? Do you think she is a trusting person?
Chandler Kinney: I’m really excited for the whole Karen/Kelly storyline. Mallory Bechtel… I always have to shout out the people… She does such an incredible job of clearly there’s the twin dynamic, but the way that she differentiates between them is so specific. She has these like little micro intricacies for each one, so I really have to sing her praises. What an incredible performance. Kelly, you know, she comes from the Beasley family. I will tease that the Beasley family has some very, very dark things going on there that will be dug into over the course of the season. But overall, I would say bad news, the Beasley family. Sheriff Beasley — Eric Johnson is genuinely one of the best people I’ve ever met and worked with — he’s a scary dude. He’s really, really scary. I think that’s what’s cool about our show is that we have these external horror aspects of this anonymous assailant who is almost fictionalized, [who] has this very creepy mask going on. If you look closely, it’s stitched together flesh. So that’s very scary and that gives life to a lot of the really cool horror sequences that we have throughout the season. But also, our show is very grounded in the internal horror of it all, which is these very real-life events and occurrences that happen to people every single day. The sheriff I don’t think is a great guy. I think that was pretty apparent in the first couple of episodes, so we dive into the themes of that as well. But yeah, so does the apple fall too far from the tree? Who knows?
We are starting to get more information about this Y2K party, which is the basis of the whole show. The girls are starting to learn more about what happened to Angela Waters a little bit. Is this going to be like a relentless pursuit? I feel like once Imogen and Tabby start really peeling back those layers, they’re going to go all-in on what the moms were up to. What really happened that night? I feel like this is just the beginning of that exploration.
Chandler Kinney: Absolutely, Tabby and Imogen, which Bailee [Madison] and I sometimes lovingly referred to them as Tabogen, they’re a dream team. They both share this really beautiful quality of relentless determination. They truly stop at nothing, so that hot pursuit of trying to chase down the truth and uncover the mystery of it all is a very exciting, thrilling adventure. But it does take them to some very dark places. It’s absolutely a story of friendship and also their friendship in the series really opens them up and helps them be a little bit more vulnerable with each other and face the truth in their own lives. So it’s not only a pursuit for truth with Angela Waters and the past sins of the mothers, but it’s also finding the truth in their own personal lives and some of the things that they’re dealing with personally.
And then in that, the deeper they go down this rabbit hole in the search for truth, this could impact Tabby’s relationship with her mom because there’s a lot that, obviously, the moms have not told the girls at all, especially Tabby’s mom. I feel like this could really fracture things between them and keeping secrets and whatnot.
Chandler Kinney: Absolutely. I think outside looking in for Tabby and her mom, Sidney, [played by] Sharon Leale. That beautifully complex mother-daughter relationship is very complicated and it’s emotional. And as you said, we do really dig into the truth between the two. That’s kind of the dynamic that happens between all these daughters and the moms. And so I think for them, outside looking in, their relationship seems objectively fine, but the closer and more intimate look you have at it, you see that there are some cracks there. There’s a bit of a wedge between them. I think Sidney hasn’t been super honest about things that have happened in her past and therefore it feels for Tabby that she can’t be honest with her mom about some of the things that she’s experiencing. So, of course, we will get into that as things unfold.
Will we find out about Tabby’s dad?
Chandler Kinney: That’s a great question, and that was a question that I had when I first signed on to the project because the mother-daughter relationship is centered in our show, which is amazing because it’s a women-led show on and off screen. That was a really lovely story for all of us to tell. I think for Tabby, I don’t know if we’re going to really get into that so much. I think dads do play a role, though, in the show. You will see a couple of dads I think in some way or another. And I’ll leave there.
And there’s a lot more blood in this than in the original series. Have you ever thought scrolling through the script, could I be on the chopping block? Like, could one of the Liars die?
Chandler Kinney: Yes, absolutely. It’s definitely a concern. We weren’t given the entire storyline when we first signed on, which sometimes that happens with projects, and sometimes, I feel like more rarely, you have a situation where you really don’t know what’s going on. You just have to trust your entire creative team which, thank goodness, we have such an incredible one. But we were really finding out things as we got the scripts, as we were filming. So yes, that was absolutely a concern. You just never know, especially with these crazy worlds. People do die in this season, and not everybody had that knowledge when they first stepped into their character. It definitely was a bit scary, kind of looking left and right and being like, who’s going next?
Because this is Pretty Little Liars, I have to ask because I asked probably every single cast member on the original series, do you know who A is? Have you been told? Does anybody know?
Chandler Kinney: You’re just gonna have to tune in.
You’re going to get asked this question a million times.
Chandler Kinney: The thing I think that’s really fun about our show and what was really amazingly executed in the original was that you think you know what’s going on and then that whatever that is, it’s completely flipped on its head. That is certainly an element that we carry with us in Original Sin, and so even if we think we have an idea of who it’s gonna be, that could all go out the window the next second.