Guilty as charged: We love Pretty Little Liars!
And now one of our favorite characters, Spencer Hastings, is facing the music herself as the prime suspect in her best friend's murder. With the hit teen thriller racing toward its first-season finale, we grilled Troian Bellisario about her character's legal troubles, Spencer's new romance with the former murder suspect—and the actress' hopes to play Katniss in The Hunger Games movie...
In Monday night's episode, the police discover that Spencer had a relationship with her sister's boyfriend, Ian, and "now feel like they have a reason to suspect Spencer because she had a motive to get rid of Allison: she was jealous," Troian reveals. "They barge into her house to search her room and turn Spencer's world upside down."
Even if her family and friends believe she is innocent, Troian adds, "Spencer is so dedicated and fascinated with who killed Allison, a lot of people start to look at her and say, 'Does this girl need help? Is she making stuff up?'—which is totally maddening for Spencer because she is just finally working things out."
With a little help from her new boyfriend Toby (Keegan Allen), who was originally charged with killing Allison. "The great thing about Toby and Spencer," said Troian, "is that [their romance] truly came out of nowhere— our characters are so different. Keegan is one of my favorite people on set and we are just really good friends—maybe it was just seeing us hanging out on set that [the writers] started to write our characters closer."
Whatever the reason, we love the unlikely couple and their romantic sleuthing into our top suspects for Allison's murderer: Spencer's brother-in-law Ian (Ryan Merriman) and Toby's sister Jenna.
So is Jenna (Tammin Sursok) really as evil as she seems? "The crazy thing about Jenna is that she is totally evil and she has a perfectly legitimate reason to be," Troian said. Good point: Jenna's sporting those shady shades because Allison & Co. accidentally blinded her. "The girls believe Jenna is really dangerous—they don't know what she's capable of—and yet they feel awful for her and they can never fully apologize as much as they want to."
Still, Troian said, "There is a really great scene coming up of Spencer facing off with Jenna, because Jenna gets pretty jealous" of Spencer's relationship with her brother. "Toby finally freed himself from Jenna's desires"—ew!—"but ever since the accident he has become responsible for her because he took the fall. Now he is under the constant pressure of Jenna to be there for her and she is a pretty terrifying force and can always use that against him to try and get what she wants."
What does Jenna want? And what is her connection to Ian? "A" is hinting at something by using the bag Ian gave Jenna as a clue for Toby and Spencer, and show runner I. Marlene King told us "Jenna will get a love interest by the end of the season—and it's sort of a shocking revelation as to who that is." Could it be Ian...or Ezra? (Rosewood High has a problem with its staff hooking up with students. What's next—Sean getting his V-card punched by new teacher Ella Montgomery?)
Troian promises the finale will be a shocker: "You are not going to believe what happens. [The finale] was so much fun to film, it was absolutely crazy."
With Pretty Little Liars on hiatus, Troian is free to explore other acting opportunities—like the starring role in The Hunger Games movie. "I would love even to just read for Katniss because I really loved The Hunger Games books," gushed the actress, who is currently in second place in our casting poll. "Katniss is such an incredible character. She is in such a creatively beautiful world and such dire circumstances, but she's also such a strong girl that's becoming a woman and I would love to play that. I haven't been read for it yet but I know that we've been talking to the people about at least getting me in the room. And the fans have been really supportive in my lust for that role and I just hope that they keep voicing their opinions."
What is your opinion—do you want to see Troian play Katniss? And if Spencer is innocent, who do you think will be revealed as Allison's murderer on Pretty Little Liars?