Jamie Babbit is probably best known for her films Itty Bitty Titty Committee and But I’m a Cheerleader. She’s also one of the hardest working directors in television, with recent credits including Drop Dead Diva, United States of Tara, The Middle, and Cougar Town, just to name a few. Jamie directed the upcoming and highly anticipated “coming out episode” of the new ABC Family show Pretty Little Liars, entitled “The Perfect Storm.”
Babbit recently talked to us about directing the episode and the evolution of gay teen stories on TV, but wouldn’t budge on the identity of “A.”
[Warning: some spoilers ahead]
AfterEllen.com: So everyone at AfterEllen.com is obsessed with Pretty Little Liars, mostly because of the Emily storyline.
Jamie Babbit: You know the creator is a lesbian. You should interview her! That would be better than me. [Jamie is referring to executive producer Marlene King, not the PLL book author Sara Shepard.]
AE: You directed the August 3 episode of Pretty Little Liars. Spill it.
JB: It’s kind of like The Breakfast Club. There’s a big storm in the town and so all the kids get trapped in the high school and have to spend hours together. It’s a really moody episode with the big storm happening outside. Emily has been sneaking around since the first episode with her girlfriend and she finally comes out to all her friends in this episode.
AE: Is she outed or does she intentionally come out?
JB: A series of events happen that are very cathartic that make it better for her to just tell her friends what’s really happening. The whole series revolves around this mystery of who killed A. And so, the girls are always dancing around who killed A, what happened with “A,” and basically what we realize is that Emily was having a secret affair with A.
A scene from Pretty Little Liars
AE: That she was actually having an affair with her, as opposed to just … ?
AE: With “A” or with Alison?
JB: With “A.” With the girl that got killed.
AE: Is Alison “A” for sure?
AE: So she had the secret affair with Alison. Who got killed.
JB: Yeah. We find out that before she was killed they were having an affair. They were together.
AE: And you do not know who A is, correct?
JB: I do know who A is, but I’m not at liberty to say.
AE: Is it the same as in the book?
JB: Um, I don’t know.
AE: Do you know who killed Alison?
JB: Once again, I do know, but I can’t say. It’s the big secret of the show! I can’t give that away!
AE: How do the friends respond when she comes out?
JB: They are really supportive.
JB: They’re super-supportive. She’s basically really scared to come out to them because she feels like they’ll reject her. But in the end, once she comes out, they’re all totally fine with it.
AE: What happens with the dad?
JB: That’s after my episode. In my episode, she comes out to all her friends but her parents don’t know yet.
AE: Is Emily going to remain a lesbian? I think in the book she doesn’t, or she dates a guy or something?
JB: As far as I know she’s staying a lesbian. It depends how long the show goes!