AE: Many of your films revolve around teenagers. Obviously Pretty Little Liars is teen-centric as well. What makes you gravitate toward this terrifying age group?
JB: I’m definitely attracted to teen stories. I mean, I have been in the past, number one because I was just out of my teens when I started. It’s such a critical moment in our lives where we’re just defining ourselves. Dramatically, there’s a lot going on.
AE: Did you enjoy being a teenager? Were you a happy teenager?
JB: I was a very happy teenager with lots of secret desires for my best friend. I was happy in my secret desires.
AE: Did you come out when you were a teenager?
JB: Hell no.
AE: How old were you?
JB: Well I was 16 when I came out to myself but … I don’t know what you mean by out … I mean, I was out to my boyfriend when I was 18, but the first time I hooked up with a girl I was like 22.
AE: Which pretty little liar is a teenaged Jamie?
JB: Emily! Totally.
AE: Question from an AfterEllen.com reader - Will we ever find out more about Emily’s friendship/relationship with Alison? I adore her relationship with Maya and can easily see why Emily would be attracted to Maya but, based on what we know about Alison so far … I have no idea why anyone liked her at all, much less wanted to make out with her. JB: Yeah, you understand more… There are flashbacks in my episode of the two of them in their private moments and you see why they’re friends. She’s a typical girl but she’s really beautiful and basically she’s very seductive to Emily and doesn’t mind hooking up with her…
AE: Question from @natthedem – What do you think about the evolution of the portrayal of gay and lesbian teens on television?
JB: I think it’s getting much better. So, I think the evolution is great.
AE: In your films you have control over casting. When you come in on a show that is already running you don’t. Is it challenging to direct a group of strangers who already have established characters?
JB: No, sometimes it’s easier because you’re not starting from the ground up. You’re just dealing with the dramatics of the scenes, not the arcs of their lives, so there’s a nice shorthand when you work in TV. They already know their characters. And Marlene casts really great, talented actors so that’s very helpful.
AE: What did you think about working with this group specifically?
JB: They were all really sweet, super eager, really talented. Sometimes with older actors they’re more like, bitter and just trying to get a paycheck so that makes it a little harder sometimes.
AE: Do you have any of your own projects coming up?
JB: I’m doing a queer thriller that Guin Turner wrote called Breaking the Girl. It’s kind of like a lesbian version of Strangers on a Train.
AE: Who is "A"?
JB: How are you?