If you don’t know you her name, you know her face. Actress Bianca Lawson has played memorable parts on several television shows, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer to Dawson’s Creek to her more recent role of Emily on The Vampire Diaries. And if you have some how missed all of these shows, you’ve definitely got to remember her as Nikki in Save the Last Dance.
Now 31, Bianca has maintained a successful career, making appearances on Bones, The Cleaner, The Secret Life of the American Teenager, among several others. But she’s officially been introduced to a new generation as one of the stars of ABC Family’s hit new series Pretty Little Liars. As Maya St. Germain, Bianca is 17 again, playing a lesbian character with an interest in Emily, who isn’t out to anyone in her life. But someone knows Emily’s secret, just like they know all of her best friend’s secrets, too, and is threatening to tell the people she doesn’t want to know (which is pretty much everyone.)
Bianca took the time to answer some questions on how she got the part, what we can expect from Maya in the future and how she has stayed so youthful looking through the ’90s and beyond.
BL: I actually have to confess I love Heather’s PLL recaps. I read them like every week religiously. She’s hilarious! I love them.
AE: So this is your first lesbian role, is that right?
AE: That’s typically how the lesbian roles go on television, which is why we’re all so excited about Pretty Little Liars. It’s actually a positive story.
AE: Definitely. What attracted you to the role of Maya? What was the process of you getting the role?
AE: She seems so sure of herself, especially compared to Emily who is kind of figuring things out. I know you can’t tell us too much about what hasn’t been shown yet, but I did see that Jamie Babbitt will be doing a "coming out" episode for Emily so there has to be something – is Maya a big part of that for her?
AE: Will Maya become a bigger role on the show?
Beyond that, I don’t know too much — what the next chapter will be exactly. Yeah, I’m not allowed to reveal too many secrets but it’s going to be really good. Everyone will be really happy with it and I think the writers are doing such an amazing job, especially this storyline and I think they’re really making it really kind of honest and deep and not sort of that typical kind of cheesy lesbian thing. They’re really — there’s a kind of — delicacy isn’t the right word. There’s a lot of heart in it. But that’s one of the reasons why I’m so glad to be on the show and why I’m so proud to be on the show.