After seven years, 150 episodes, and more potential A's than we can count, the final season of Pretty Little Liars is premiering tonight. So as a major PLL superfan, I just had to get the cast in to the Refinery29 headquarters one last time (tear!) to dish on their favorite storylines, their last day on set, and how they'd end the show for their characters if they could. And, of course, to try to get some dirt out of them.
Lucy Hale, who plays Aria, started off by letting us know we can rest assured: We will finally learn who A is by the end of this season. Like, the real A. (Hallelujah!) Troian Bellisario, who plays Spencer, says fans will be "very happy with the way the show ends...a lot of relationship goals will be achieved; a lot of mysteries will be solved." Sasha Pieterse, a.k.a. Ali, added that it's very romantic, and Emily's Shay Mitchell calls the the last 10 episodes "a love letter to the fans."
That's as much as I could get out of the squad. (Turns out they can keep a secret!) I did, however, hear all about the final day on set. Bellisario says that the cast received yearbooks that they signed for each other between filming, almost as if they were really graduating from Rosewood High. (I hope they were each awarded Best Shocked A Face.)
"Ashley and I wore black sunglasses the entire day that covered half our face," Mitchell adds. "My eyes were so swollen," says Benson. "I was like, 'I don’t know if I’m going to be able film!'"
When Benson told us about Aria's final scene wardrobe, a kinda-sorta spoiler may have slipped out:
"I was literally just looking at my phone on the plane over here...at the video of our very last take," she said. "We were like all on set...you saw the crew and all that, and it was like tears, and they were like, 'Lucy, put on your robe, put on your robe,' because you were in your thing..."
Hale was quick to interrupt Benson, though, and remind her that she can't tell us why she was a little, um, underdressed in the final scene they filmed. Ever the pro, Benson covered up her almost-slip: "She was filming a kind of risqué scene, so she couldn’t be, like, nakey-nakes... She had to get in a robe so we could properly say, 'that’s a wrap,' with the photos and all that stuff!"
And those tattoos each cast member got on their Shhh fingers? That was all Benson's idea — and Mitchell was the only one against it.
"I didn’t want to be a part of this at all!" she says. "I don’t understand what’s wrong with Henna, why can’t we get something like that? Not because of the permanent factor, but because of it’s painful. And on your finger, it’s even more painful! So, I mean, I ended up doing it, I just held onto everybody’s hands and was sweating profusely. But, I made it."
We couldn't resist asking how they would each write an A-free ending for their characters, after seven years on the show and a major time jump. Benson envisions Hannah as a big-time fashion editor living in Paris with her husband Caleb and their two sets of twins; the girls all agreed Ali would be a family therapist; Emily would be a swim coach at UCLA. According to Hale, Aria would be the next J.K. Rowling — though Bellisario joked that she could envision her getting into some Fifty Shades of Grey-type books.
And, of course, Spencer would still be trying to solve crimes. "I wanted her to be a criminal pathologist who’s working with the FBI who, like, comes home at 11 p.m. and just has her scotch to keep her warm," says Bellisario. "And every once in a while, she looks at her phone and checks Toby’s number and looks at his Instagram feed!"
For more from the Liars — including their all-time favorite A storylines and a fun game of Never Have I Ever, in which they each admit to fibbing about PLL a time or two — watch the full video below.
The final season of Pretty Little Liars premieres Tuesday, April 18 at 8 p.m. on Freeform.