The final half season of Pretty Little Liars premieres on Tuesday, April 18, and now, the cast and crew can finally open up about on-set secrets. Like, say, how one really felt about the grand romance that is Aria and Ezra.
Cosmopolitan sat down with the PLL cast for an oral history of the series, and while they didn't share who Uber A is or which characters are getting married, they did reveal some of the weirdness that occurred during their seven years on the series. Harding, for example, clearly has some complicated feelings about his character's relationship with the much-younger Aria (Lucy Hale).
While Ezra and Aria's relationship seems to be inching towards endgame (they are engaged, after all) plenty of fans were skeptical about the Ezria ship. That became especially true when it was revealed that Ezra only started dating Aria in order to get intel about Alison (Sasha Pieterse) — another underage girl he dated — for his own version of In Cold Blood.
During Cosmopolitan's oral history, Harding shared a moment in which showrunner I. Marlene King told the cast that one of the show's romances caused issues for an advertiser:
"One company dropped its advertising for our show in one of the early seasons, because they didn't agree with [a] relationship. And I was like, “No shit, [Ezra and Aria's] relationship is illegal!” And Marlene said, “No, it's not yours, it's Emily’s relationship [that's the problem].” So I could be seen as a statutory rapist, and people are like, 'I know, but love knows no bounds, as long as there is a penis and a vagina involved.'"
But yeah, Harding's not wrong about the illegal nature of Aria and Ezra's relationship: that shit was pretty weird, if not quite as weird as killer dollhouses, accidental decapitations (RIP, Noel Kahn), and evil doppelgängers.