If we were to take a poll on AfterEllen.com of your favorite couple on Pretty Little Liars, it’d be obvious that Emily and whomever girlfriend she had at the time would win. But it’s almost a sure bet that the pair that is Ezria would come in at a close second. The duo is made up of Aria (Lucy Hale) and her former teacher Ezra (Ian Harding), and Lucy told me that she thinks lesbians like them for two reasons.
“It’s the total scandal of it all,” Hale said at the ABC TCA party recently. “It’s so wrong but it’s so right.” Also, “He kind of dresses like Ellen, somewhat.” (OK, I pointed out the awesomeness of his outfits and that I’d like my wife to wear them, but still.)
The other part of the appeal: Ms. Hale herself. The gorgeous brunette with big soft eyes is the one whose penetrating stare and “shh” ends the show’s opening sequence, accompanied by the haunting theme song about secrets taken to the grave. As Aria, Hale is BFF with the other three little liars, including out lesbian, Emily (Shay Mitchell). Pretty Little Liars is a huge hit, but it’s taken some flack from organizations like the Florida Family Association for both Ezria’s teacher-student storyline and Emily’s lesbianism. But, overall, there is way more love for the show and Hale said she can feel it from the fans.
“The fans of Azria are very loyal and very hardcore and the same goes for Emily her storylines,” Hale said. “I think it’s awesome because this stuff does happen in real life. Just talking about the gay storyline, that doesn’t always get talked about in teen series. I can’t even think of a show. It’s so amazing how accepting, for the most part, people have been. It’s pretty awesome.”
Hale acknowledged that Emily’s friends (Aria, Spencer and Hannah) never once wavered in their support when she came out to them. “Never for a second,” Hale said. “I feel like it’s such an amazing message. I know I speak for Emily, Ashley [Benson] and Troian [Bellisario] — we are all supporters of the gay community. “
Since the beginning of the second season, there have been a lot of spoilers indicating Maya’s return, and how she and Emily have both changed a lot since they initially met. But Lucy told me she’s actually rooting for another one of Emily’s former lady loves: Paige.
“I’m a huge Paige fan,” she said. “I feel like, just based on how I’ve seen Shay as an actress have chemistry with someone else, with Lindsey [Shaw], I feel like they mesh better together. But as characters on the show, Emily and Paige, I just feel it’s a more interesting storyline. I feel like you’re going to see a lot more Paige.”
“My question is,” Hale continued, “why does Emily get more action than any other person on the show? All the other girls and I are like ‘What?!’ She’s had girl after girl after girl! It’s awesome.”
But among the four friends, Hale said she noticed some fans are actually hoping for a pairing of Emily and another PLL. “I feel like people are rooting for Hanna and Emily to get together. I feel like in our show, anything goes.”
So could Emily and Aria ever share some more-than-friend feelings? “As an actress,” Hale said, “I’m down for whatever!”