“Pretty Little Liars”‘ Ian Harding is the ultimate lesbro, thinks he could beat Shay Mitchell at arm wrestling

AE: What kind of projects are you looking for?
IH: I’m auditioning all over the map, from big comedies, to really cool independent projects, to a rom-com here and there. So I’m auditioning for these big things, but I’m also open to something like a web series. Actually, one of the coolest things I can do now that I’ve had some success with Pretty Little Liars is help promote my friends. I have a friend who is working on a web series script right now that I think is really interesting, and if I can work it out with my filming schedule, I would love to do that.

AE: You know, it’s funny that you say that. For so many of you guys on Pretty Little Liars, this is sort of your first big break. And so you haven’t lost yourself in the Hollywood machine. Shay Mitchell is always telling me about the ways she wants to use her fame to reach out and change the world, and you’re telling me about how you want use it to help your friends, and I’ve read plenty of interviews where you talk about things like environmentalism and gay rights. Do you feel a responsibility to use your voice to promote those causes?
IH: Definitely. I’ve just always loved nature, I’ve always loved the environment. And as for gay rights, I’ve never understood how it can be illegal for two people to love one another. I don’t want to quote Spider-Man to you, but it’s true: With power comes responsibility. A person who has any kind of notoriety, if they use their voice to speak up about the things they believe in, they can change minds. And, for me, I believe the world is slowly melting, and we should do something about that. And I also believe two men getting married in Brooklyn has nothing to do with anyone’s heterosexual marriage in Texas. Marriage equality and saving forests: Those things just really matter to me.

AE: Such an Ezbian. Let’s talk about Ezra Fitz for a second. Is it a safe to assume he’s going to make it through season two alive?
IH: Hmm. Let me say this: Some crazy s–t happens in season 2B, but as of right now I’m still employed.

AE: We know that “A” on the show isn’t going to be the same as “A” from the books, and I’ve seen some theories floating around that Ezra is “A.” Want to comment?
IH: That would be incredible.

AE: Heading into season three, what keeps you excited about Pretty Liars?
IH: It’s so many things. Like I’ve said, I’m still pretty new to this, but from what I’ve heard the camaraderie we have on set is not very common. There’s always a sense of fun and ease. Lucy [Hale] is always a blast to hang around with. Holly [Marie Combs] too. The other girls, when I get to see them, are always so much fun. I enjoy all of it. Sometimes it’s romance. And other times I’m getting punched in the face.

AE: Yeah, you took a big hit two weeks ago.
IH: I got straight-up clocked by Cody Christian!

AE: I want to see more of that! After this season, after “A” is revealed and we start heading into new mysteries, I want to see Ezra get more involved in the Scooby-Doo Gang. I want to see him doing some sleuthing and some kung-fu. Would you be up for that?
IH: I would love that! I would be so down for that. If he got more involved in the mystery solving, or — this is another idea I had — let’s say he’s walking down the street and someone tries to take his wallet, and Ezra just snaps the guy’s neck! And the audience is like, “Oh my God, does he just kill people? Is he insane?”

AE: You need to pitch that to Marlene right away!
IH: I think I’ve probably mentioned it, and the response I got was sort of a sympathetic chuckle.

AE: If you did get thrust into the action, do you really think you could hang with the girls? Shay Mitchell told me she does her own stunts, and Ezra’s over there just reading his books.
IH: I could crack Shay like a … lima bean! Wait, no. That doesn’t make sense. What’s something that easily cracks? A twig? I could snap Shay like a twig!

AE: Could you, though, Ian? Could you really beat Shay in an arm-wrestling contest?
IH: Oh, I wouldn’t do it with strength or violence! I would do it with my wit! Since the pilot, we’ve been playing this game to see who can make the other person laugh first, and I always win. I was on set the day Emily almost died at school. Shay was doubled over in the hallway, trying to tap into that place where it’s like, “What does it feel like when your spleen ruptures?” And Mr. Fitz was in the background, so I was like, “Shay! Shay! Hey, Shay! Yoo hoo, Shay! Shay!” And she cracked. She cracks every time.

AE: So you think you could best the Liars?
IH: It’s a tough question. Shay’s a badass. Troian does karate. Ashley would, like, turn into a wolf and eat me. And Lucy’s just vicious. She probably has a switchblade.

AE: In her hair?
IH: Actually, when we were filming the finale the other day, I noticed the camera angle made her jawline look like a knife! If she necked me in the wrong way, I’d bleed to death!

AE: That’s a legitimate danger with all the canoodling Ezra and Aria do! OK, one last question and I’ll let you get back to your kale and sundried tomato gratin: What would you like to say to AfterEllen.com readers?
IH: I would like to say I’m a big fan. I really enjoy your recaps. I like the site’s sense of humor. I love what you’re doing and what a difference in makes in people’s lives. Sarah’s in the kitchen and she says she’s been reading AfterEllen since high school. So thank you for making me a Lesbro. It’s an honor.

Pretty Little Liars airs Monday nights at 8:00 on ABC Family. 

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