ABC Family/Eric McCandless
ABC Family/Eric McCandless
For six seasons, Pretty Little Liars fans have been waiting for one answer. And on Tuesday night, they finally got it. Spoilers ahead!
A's identity, one of TV's biggest mysteries ever, has finally been revealed: Charles DiLaurentis aka Charlotte DiLaurentis aka Cece Drake!
First introduced as Alison's (Sasha Pieterse) former mentor/BFF/another shady suspect in season three, Vanessa Ray had no idea when she joined the ABC Family hit that she was actually playing one of the small screen's most iconic villains.
And when E! News chatted with Ray after the girls and viewers finally came #FAcetoface with A in the midseason finale, she admitted, "I feel free!" But when did she find out, she just so happened to be in the middle of planning her wedding. With all of her family and friends in town for the big event. Seriously.
E! News: Cece is A! Amazing! How long have you been keeping this secret?!
Vanessa Ray: Well, I found out, I believe it was June 6th or 7th, maybe. It was hard because I was getting married during the filming of the episode. So I was surrounded by friends and family and I was so excited about the wedding, but I also had this massive, exciting secret. It just made me laugh with joy. I was so excited about it. I couldn't wait to get to work on the show so I could talk to other people about it who got to know.
How did Marlene King tell you that you were A?
Usually, I can't even get an e-mail with the script because it's so secretive and I have to wait to read the script either at the table-read or I come a little early to set and read it. But this time, they said they were couriering over the script, and I was like, "Oh?" And I thought, well, maybe it's just not that big of a deal? Maybe no secrets are revealed...and then I get a text from Marlene, and she was like, "Did you get the script yet?" I was like, "Oh hey, girl, I think they're sending it over right now." She was like, "You're going to have a lot of questions. So if and when you do, I am here for you all day." I finally get the script and I was doing other things, again for the wedding, and then I got another text from her. And as much as after reading it I was bursting with wanting to tell the world, I mean she's been sitting on that for three years and she's known it was Cece all along, so she was like, "Stop what you are doing, this is important!" So finally I sat down and started to read it, and I cleared the room of all the people that were visiting and stuff.
What was your reaction when you read it and did find out that Cece was A?
I got to page four and it said, "A turns around and it's Cece Effing Drake." They like to do that a lot, when they reveal something...like, "Holy crap, it's Cece Drake" or whatever, so it was "Cece Effing Drake." I think "Sara Effing Harvey" was also one. When I read it, at first I was like, "No...wait..." I was so stupid. Then I read over, like, "Game Over, Charles...Cece...Game Over, Charles....oh my god, is this the episode where they reveal who A is? Oh my god, is that A? Is that really A?!" Then I screamed and I threw the script across the room and my soon-to-be husband came out and was like, "Oh my god, are you OK?!" And I was like, "I don't know what I I can tell you!" I felt like the script then had supernatural powers, like it was going to come to life actually in the room as I was reading it. I had all the feelings. All the feelings you could have, I had all the feelings.
Who is the first person you told? Were you even allowed to tell anyone?
I wasn't allowed to tell anyone. I mean, my husband figured it out. He was like, "Are you A? Are you A?!" You're A!" I wasn't really allowed to tell anybody because it's such a big secret and also the hard part was a lot of my friends knew I was working on the show. Usually, everyone wouldn't have known I was working on the episode, but everyone knew because they were all in town for the wedding. I thought I had blocked off the week before the wedding just to finish working on the wedding and make dream-catchers [Laughs.] and final crafting decisions and pick out flowers, but instead I was working on the show. So everyone was like, "Where's Vanessa?" "Well, she's working." "Oh, is she on PLL this week?" So everybody figured out that I was working and then closer to the date, I was like, well, I want all my friends to see the episode. So everybody knew I was on the episode. I couldn't tell everybody why I was on the episode and then I didn't really want anyone to know I was on it. Marlene and I had talked a lot about it. I would get fans who follow me and they would see I was in L.A. or something and they were like, "She's working on the show!" I would get so protective of the secret that I would want to reach out to them and say, "Don't say anything!"...but I couldn't say that because that would just add more fuel to the fire. I had to accept that everyone was going to have their theories...but I really didn't want anyone to know because I just had been so excited. It's like stealing a reveal from somebody is the worst thing.
Check back with us later for more scoop on the big A reveal from Ray and showrunner Marlene King!
Pretty Little Liars returns January 2016 on ABC Family.