Sasha Pieterse plays Alison, the sometimes evil and calculating dead friend of the girls of Pretty Little Liars. Check out this interview where Sasha talks about what we can expect for Season 2. Season 2 of Pretty Little Liars will feature a whopping 25 episodes!
First off, how has your life changed since season one of Pretty Little Liars? When you first started, did you ever imagine it being this successful?
Sasha Pieterse: You know what? You’re right; I did not! [Laughs] My life has changed quite a bit actually, all for the good though. It’s weird because every time I go out in LA I usually get recognized at least once every time I go out which is crazy, but such a compliment. It’s been such a great experience and it’s definitely been life changing and I never ever imagined that the show would be as successful as it is and that’s just amazing. We had hopeful expectations, but to see the fans react has been quite unbelievable and I still think – I mean, I’m speaking on behalf of actually our whole cast because we still feel this way – it’s like it hasn’t really even registered yet how big the show has gotten, so it’s very exciting for us still.
Were you always up for the role of Alison to start?
No, actually. I went out for Hanna originally and tested for Hanna actually and then they did this huge switcheroo. In fact, Bianca [Lawson], she plays Maya, she was up for Hanna as well. Ashley [Benson], me and Bianca all tested for Hanna at first and then they readjusted the roles and everything. I think it’s kind of cool that we all ended up working together. We all got along so well, even then. So, yeah, it was really cool and I couldn’t imagine playing anyone else other than Alison now either.
And now how about Alison herself? How do you feel about her journey through season one up to where we’ll find her in season two?
They’re slowly seeing a deeper side to her. They’ve always had those catty moments, especially in that first season. But if she was always like that, I mean, how could you like her? And the girls liked her and so I think you’re seeing a little more of that and you’re also seeing a little more about her family life because Alison, she knew everything about everyone else; she knew all their secrets. She had all the juicy details on them, but no one really knew much about her and so, as the first season went on, you saw “The Jenna Thing” and then near the end of the first season, you see her re-visiting Jenna on her way home from Georgia. That the girls never knew. A is slowly revealing things to them, good and bad, and so, up till now, in the second season, I think it’s going to be really interesting to see [how] the audience reacts to the things that Alison says and I can’t wait for them to see it. But, yeah, I think there’s a lot of history with her and her family that no one really knows about, so you might be finding out more about that!
Are you getting just as much of the story as we are? So much of the mystery is around her and I’d imagine it’d be tough for you to play a character when you don’t know her whole story.
Right, exactly. I kind of know, [laughs] I sort of know the beginning and the end. Obviously I know the beginning, the end I know sort of where they’re going with that, just in the middle, it’s kind of gray. It’s actually exciting for me because every script that I get I’m like, ‘Oh, wow! That’s happening!’ And also, there’s so many webs and there’s so many decisions of who A is and then who killed Alison, but it’s really cool for me to find out as it goes fully; it all unravels.
And what about working with your co-cast? Can you all just hit the set and get right back into it? Does anyone have any preparation quirks or certain things they like to do or try on set?
What’s nice about us is we’re usually pretty – I don’t mean this in a boastful way [laughs] – I think we usually prepare so that when we go to rehearsals we can jump right into it and flow. And all of us get along really well, too, so that makes it easy. Especially the four girls because usually they’re laughing and having fun together or they’re serious and because they have such close relationships, it works really well. I know Ashley, she pranks everyone on set. She’s the prankster of us. [Laughs] It’s all fun as soon as the scene’s done, we’re laughing, we’re talking about whatever it is we’re talking about, what’s for lunch today, silly stuff like that. But especially when I’m mean to someone, when I’m yelling at someone in the scene, and it’s usually Spencer [laughs]. If I’m in a scene yelling at Spencer, as soon as it cuts I’m like, “Oh, Troian [Bellisario], I’m sorry!” We laugh together because it’s like, “Oh, you sound so mean!” It makes it fun and easygoing. Our crew is really great, too, because everyone is just there to work and get it done, but at the same time, they’re still easygoing and we’ve got a really great, nice cast to work with and Marlene [King], our producer, and all of [the producers], they come to set all the time and they’re watching it and so you’re getting their support as well, so it makes a big difference.
And this time around, you’re adding someone new to that group, Andrea Parker. Have you had a chance to work with her yet?
Um … yes. [Laughs] I can’t say too much though.
I had a feeling. But, in general, with the other characters, their parents have been so integral from the start in terms of guidance and punishment. With Alison, she’s always been presented as this person who flies solo and doesn’t abide by any rules but her own. Will that change now?
She’s always been the kind of person that beats to her own drum, but I think you are gonna be seeing more of either why she’s like that – you know, a lot of teenagers rebel and they act like everything’s fine when it’s really not. So, yeah, I think slowly, but surely you’re going to be seeing really what makes Alison tick and you could possibly see the vulnerable side to her, which we haven’t really seen yet.
How far along are you in terms of shooting season two?
We are on the sixth episode. We’re like a quarter of the way in. It’s also been amazing that we get 25 episodes this season, so that has been a real treat.
Are you fully aware of the story from beginning to end this season? Is there still some writing that needs to be done?
For me at least, yeah, there’s a lot that I don’t know yet, but that’s exciting. And that’s what’s also cool is that because I don’t have a scene with everyone – I never get a scene with Ian or anything like that – Ian Harding, who plays Ezra. Because we all get along so well the table reads are nice because it’s like a mini reunion and that’s like every week, so that’s been pretty nice.
For a minute there, I was wondering when you said you had no scenes with Ian.[Laughs] Character names and real names always get mixed up. Yeah, Ian Harding. [Laughs] Not Ryan [Merriman].
Without knowing what happens in the end of the season, is there anything in particular you’d really like to see happen with Alison?
I would love to get even deeper into the more vulnerable side of Alison and I would really like to know and see where they go with her family because there’s a lot you don’t know about it. I think that’s kind of the direction they’re going, which makes me excited because you’re just unraveling more of the storyline. It was such a tragedy to the girls when Alison disappeared and so I think you’re finding out more and more about why it was. Rosewood in general, even now, they’re still kind of mourning her disappearance and as much as that is an honor, it’s also kind of strange because there should have been some closure with, you know, the police bringing out the body. Lot of people don’t know and I think that’s mainly what it is, so the more information they find out about her and her family and the more the girls remember about the summer she disappeared, that’s going to be putting the pieces back together; that’s for sure.
Check out the rest of the interview here