Bianca Lawson talks marriage equality, Emaya, and that “Pretty Little Liars” finale rumor


Caution: Possible spoilers and chit-chat about spoiler rumors below!

When Maya St. Germain walked into the Rosewood Grill near the end of Pretty Little Liars Season 2a, we all gasped out loud. But as surprised as we were to see her return from drug rehab, nothing could have prepared us for the fact that she actually stuck around. It’s not just that Emily has a way of blitzing through girlfriends; it’s that Bianca Lawson seems to guest star on every show we watch. (Where does she find the time? And why doesn’t she have her own show already?) During Season 2b, Maya and Emily have gotten even closer, confessing their love to one another and doing some pretty serious canoodling. So imagine our dismay when we heard a rumor that Maya was going to meet an untimely end during the season finale. I emailed Bianca in a panic and she agreed to chat with me about the rumors, about how much she loves Emaya, and about her growing army of lesbian fans. Bianca Lawson, what in the world are you up to these days? Every time I turn around, I see your name attached to a new project. Lately, it’s been Teen Wolf and The Secret Circle.

Bianca Lawson:
That Secret Circle thing is so funny. People kept coming up to me every day, like, “Oh, my God, you’re going to be on The Secret Circle!!” And I was like, “I am?” Unfortunately, that’s just a rumor. But I am definitely shooting Teen Wolf.

AE: Awesome. I recap that show for our brother site and I was so bummed out when they killed off the only badass woman at the end of last season. Are you taking up the mantle of badassery?

Hmm, what can I say about my character? She’s a counselor at the high school. She’s an ally for — how can I say this? — specific people. As the episodes go on, who she is will be revealed. It’s really exciting, but I can’t say much about it!

AE: That’s OK! I already know you’ll be my favorite part of the season! So, let’s talk about Pretty Little Liars. The first thing I’ve got to ask you about is the rumor that’s running around on Twitter and Tumblr that Maya is going to die in the finale. Tell me it’s not true!

My absolute honest answer is that I have no idea who dies. I’m not in the finale, and the way I’ve always gotten my information about Maya is when I get the script. So I don’t know who “A” is; I don’t know who dies; I’ll be finding out with everyone else!

AE: Well, that makes me feel marginally better. So, how was it for you to return to Rosewood? It was such a welcome surprise when Maya came back and actually stuck around.

Oh, I loved it so much. It’s so interesting: I was in a lot more season one episodes, and when you go away and then come back, it’s almost like reentering into a little family. Getting to see everyone again was great. Getting to work with Shay [Mitchell] again was the best. We hadn’t seen each other in all that time, so our reunion off-screen really played out on-screen. The dinner scene in the restaurant, we actually shot that before the entrance, so all of that nervousness and anticipation and excitement and what is this going to be like, it was all genuine emotion. It was wonderful for me.

AE: Shay told me she was so excited to see you when you came back. And [director] Norman Buckley has told me more than once on Twitter that you’re such a genuinely lovely person. So, I guess it was wonderful for them, too!

I love Norman. He has directed so many of the episodes I’ve been in. I wish I could work with him all the time. And Shay is such a hard worker, so sweet. It makes it so much easier to play a romance when you’re playing opposite someone you really like.

AE: Let’s talk about that romance. We’ve seen how much Emily has grown and changed since Maya left. But Maya has changed too; it just happened off-screen. Can you talk a little bit about that?

It’s actually really interesting. You know, between seasons one and two, there was that visit to the camp. And when she came back, she was trying to be her old self, trying to play it off like it was OK and fun and she made friends there. But as the episodes have progressed, you’re starting to see a crack. You’re starting to see that the things that went on there weren’t all happy songs by the campfire. Something traumatic happened to her at the camp, and she’s kind of experiencing some PTSD. What you saw in episode 220 was those fears getting triggered. She is terrified of being sent back.

We’ve had lots of discussions about it, but you never really know how a storyline is going to go. But there’s definitely something specific Maya is struggling with. You’re just seeing it manifest itself in surface acting out and surface sensitivity and panic.

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