The future looks bleak as the Liars are still stuck in Charles’ twisted web in the season six premiere of Pretty Little Liars. But who really is Charles and what is his overall motive? Sasha Pieterse tells us EVERYTHING you need to know about the series’ sixth season, which is airing on Tuesday, June 2nd @ 8PM ET/PT on ABC Family.
Moments after where the season five finale left off, Aria (Lucy Hale), Emily (Shay Mitchell), Hanna (Ashley Benson), Spencer (Troian Bellisario) and Mona (Janel Parrish) are trapped outside of Charles’ Dollhouse with nowhere to go and must now deal with an angry tormentor. Just when the Liars thought Charles couldn’t get any worse, his games take a more demented and darker turn. As the girls struggle to survive, the puzzle of Charles’ story begins to come together.
Meanwhile, Ezra (Ian Harding), Caleb (Tyler Blackburn) and Toby (Keegan Allen) continue the fight to find the girls with or without Rosewood P.D.’s help.
In our interview with Sasha Pieterse, the 19-year-old “pretty little liar” talks about where we find Ali in season 6, Charles’ mission, Varjak and Red Coat, how dark season six will really be, and why the Liars have to watch out for Andrew Campbell. Make sure to read the full Q&A below!
Where will we find Ali after the time jump during Season 6?
Sasha Pieterse: “Well, I can’t tell you too much obviously because it’s a secret, [laughs] but I’m really excited about it. I think all of us are really excited about it. It’s something new and different that the fans haven’t seen before. It’s an interesting twist because so many different weird things happened to the girls at this time in their lives in high school and now this is something totally different. They’re grown up and their life has moved different directions and I think the fans are going to really enjoy seeing that.
I also think that we’re really going to enjoy acting and playing that out and seeing how characters are working together again. So, I’m very excited.”
What’s in store in with Charles’ new mission to complete his doll collection with the real Alison?
Sasha Pieterse: “I can tell you that Charles is somehow related to the DiLaurentis family, which is a huge spoiler [laughs]. So, use it wisely, but I think that’s exactly it. Charles is obsessed with the girls and obsessed with everything that he has created in his mind. So, to have the real Alison is his obsession and his dream.
So, that is going to be really strange in the summer season that we’re having. It’s going to be really eerie and dark as usual, but there’s things that you haven’t seen before as well. This is a new element for Pretty Little Liars and we finally found out who A is. Everything is going to fall into place, makes sense and we’ll find out how this has all come about as well as the history of Charles and the reason he is so obsessed.”
How long will Alison be staying in the dark when it comes to Charles being “A” and his relationship to her?
Sasha Pieterse: “Honestly, I don’t completely know yet! Not everything is written yet. We’re still in the process of filming. So, I’m kind of in the dark about that too and I enjoy finding out all these different secrets that are coming about and what Marlene will share with me and what everyone knows.
There’s things that I found out about Charles already that I cannot share with you, but I can tell you that it’s going in a super cool direction and not something that I would have expected. I think the fans are going to really enjoy it. We’re really enjoying playing our characters right now because everything is so different and everything that we’re going to be filming is so different. So, this is totally reinvented and it’s a lot of fun.”
Is the name “Charles” going to ring a bell for Alison when the girls return and tell her or will she be as clueless as them?
Sasha Pieterse: “She has no clue who this person is. I’m pretty sure I’m able to say that [laughs]. It’s completely a shock to her. And so, that also brings up if Charles is somehow related to the DiLaurentis family how come no one knew about him and that unravels a whole other different but cool storyline actually because as much as everyone knows what’s happened and the girls are trying to figure it out, they’re also following their own storyline and their own demons.”
Are we ever going to find out who Varjak and Red Coat are as well?
Sasha Pieterse: “I have to be vague on that for sure, but this is the summer of answers [laughs]. There’s definitely some surprises in there that I wouldn’t have even expected. Marlene is great and I think the fans will be satisfied and it’s going to be a cool way to connect everything.
They’re so smart. They’re geniuses. It’s insane what they come up with and even when you think that there’s nowhere it can go, Marlene and our writers prove me wrong. So, it’s a really cool storyline and I think the fans are going to really enjoy it.”
Did you ever think Alison was guilty, and how did you go about playing that as an actress?
Sasha Pieterse: “Alison has been so fun for me because I also never know. She’s had so many different storylines. There was a part of me at one point that I did think that she was guilty, and then I thought about it and realized as twisted and as messed up as she is in all of the lying she does, generally there’s a reason for it. As everyone found out that she was alive, we also realized that she now isn’t as selfish as she was before. She’s learned so many different things about herself and about the world and about the reality of “A” and how dangerous “A” is and trying to protect her friends, even though the girls didn’t think so for a while.
I think some of the fans were convinced. She kind of prevailed. And now, she’s trying to make everything better and she’s also trying to learn about her family life. Everything is a lot more serious to her. It’s not about the clothes that she’s wearing or how to diss someone. It’s much more about protecting her, protecting herself, her friends and her family and really finding out what Rosewood is hiding.
She’s really grown as a character and that’s fun for me. It’s been such a crazy arc, and to now sometimes be vulnerable and nice has been a nice change because she was never that way. And, everything that she’s feeling now is genuine. She’s not manipulating anyone anymore. She’s really trying to figure out her demons and what caused her to do things. She’s realizing that there were things in her family and things that she was told when she was younger and now it’s a total subconscious thing and there were so many reasons for the things that she did that she didn’t even know. They were so engrained in her.”
Do you think there’s any worlds in which it’s still possible that Alison could be “A”?
Sasha Pieterse: “In Marlene’s world anything can happen [laughs], but I honestly do believe that she’s innocent. I don’t think that she’s “A.” I think she’s done some weird and terrible things and maybe she sacrificed some sanity in the girls in order to accomplish something else. I definitely think that she’s extremely manipulative, but I think she’s grown out of that. I don’t think there’s a possibility for her to be “A” anymore. She’s gotten way too hurt for that for it to be a genuine reason for her to be “A.”
So, no, I don’t think that she could ever be “A,” but you never know [laughs].”
How did it feel to play such an intense scene when Ali was found guilty of murder?
Sasha Pieterse: “It was weird. That was our first time in a courtroom for the show, which you think would be strange. You think we should have had a lot more court scenes [laughs]. Being convicted felt a little real. It was really strange. I mean we had the handcuffs and everything.
I think being in an actual courtroom and being in that environment, having such an emotional scene, yes, it was very intense, but fun at the same time. It was really important for everyone to see how emotional and vulnerable Alison was, especially since we now know that she didn’t do it, and that’s a very real thing. That’s a very twisted thing. People go to jail for things they didn’t do so many times that it was interesting to see a girl go through that. It was definitely fun to play.
The girl that played my lawyer, she’s so sweet. She was Ross’ girlfriend on Friends and I had no idea! [laughs]. So, that was fun talking to her too– we had a really good time building those scenes.”
How dark is Season 6 going to be, and how would you tease our readers into watching the sixth season of Pretty Little Liars?
Sasha Pieterse: “It’s really dark, and that’s why I mentioned it earlier, that we have such a broad age range of viewers. The girls go through very adult things and this is definitely the darkest season that we’ve had encountered and I think that is because we brought Charles into it. Now that you’ve realized that this is someone that could be a lot closer than anyone ever knew, I think it’s frightening.
We start to find things about Charles and it just gets more and more disturbing. It’s interesting. This season is kind of horror-esq. Not completely because we still have our little comedy aspect and the girls still go to school, but there’s a lot of twisted things that, I mean at their age, they should never be going through. This is not a normal situation.
It’s very dark, especially considering everything that happened to them in the dollhouse. You’ll start to find out what it was, and it’s really dark. That’s really the craziest aspect of it. Let’s be honest – this is an ABC Family show, but these girls got tortured and kidnapped by this person that they don’t know that knows everything about them. That’s a really dark subject. That’s a really weird aspect of the show, especially originally a teenager’s show.
As much as it’s fun, yes, it’s weird and a lot of times, there’s nine-year-olds, seven-year-olds that’ll come up and be like, “I really love your show,” but it’s so surprising to me that those kids are watching our show. I know a lot of it will go over their head, but we’re dealing with really dark things. So, it’s been interesting to see how broad the viewers are, which is great. It’s really dark and I wonder how the parents are going to react. They’re watching it with their kids too, but it’s been a really fun place.
Our show still does it in a really classy way and still makes it really fun. For all the viewers who have to watch the show with their lights on, they’re going to have to grab a blanket and lock all their windows and doors to watch this.”
If you can give Ali any piece of advice going into Season 6 what would it be?
Sasha Pieterse: “To be honest – that is literally my answer [laughs]. She needs to be honest now with everyone and go wholeheartedly into things instead of always trying to protect herself. She’s so scared of failing and getting hurt now, which obviously that is okay. It’s a genuine reaction for her given everything that she’s been through, but that would be my advice to her – start letting go of all the fears that she’s had even though Charles is still on the loose.”
What is the biggest change you think we will see in the upcoming season?
Sasha Pieterse: “It’s weird that the police know the truth now, but I think it’s even stranger that the parents do because now you hear the parents talk about “A” and all the terrible things that “A” has done. That’s a weird change because there’s not a lot the girls can hide from their parents now. There’s still a lot that they can, but now they know the dangers of Rosewood and “A” with Charles.
So, it’s curfews and having to know where they are all the time and not trusting them when they say they’re going to a sleepover because they feel like they’re not actually; that kind of stuff. Fair enough, they got kidnapped and that would be an absolute crazy fear for a parent, but the fact that they’re using the word “A” now is really strange to see on the page and to hear her say it.
I think the fans are going to be a little weirded out about that because now the parents are in on it in a way and that was something that you would never have imagined before.”
What will Alison’s relationship be like with Mona?
Sasha Pieterse: “It’s pretty strange. They’re nervous of each other, probably Mona more than Alison, but I think they’re starting a friendship in a very strange way. As much as they’re different, they’re very similar too. They’re now learning how to be around each other without protecting themselves because now everything is out there. Everyone knew now that Mona would stay and now she’s not. Now Mona also is trying to convict Alison of murder and know that Mona knows that that wasn’t accurate, it’s this weird vibe between the two of them.
But, at the same time, Mona was kidnapped as well and Alison helped save Mona too. So, it’s a weird dynamic, but I think their friendship will grow as time goes on.”
What can you tell us about Andrew and what he has to do with Charles?
Sasha Pieterse: “I have to be vague about that, but it’s a really good question. Andrew is a weird component in all of this. I can’t really tell you if he’s Charles or not, but he definitely has something. It might not be what you think it is, but he’s really cool. He came out of nowhere. But at the same time, he was always there. I know fans aren’t necessarily surprised because they’re going and re-watching the episodes that he was in and are now really suspicious of him, which they should be. It’s this weird dynamic, especially now between him and Aria and why he’s doing what he’s doing. So, I think the fans will enjoy the outcome of what happens to Andrew for sure.”