Oh crap, you've just learned you're being killed off and/or resurrected on your show. But it's not airing for two months. What do you do?!
TV stars, welcome to Spoilerology 101, your intro class to living your life without the fear of spoiling your own show. Listen, as TV reporters, we know how crafty the press and scoop-seeking fans can be, which is why we've recruited a special guest for your first lesson: Pretty Little Liars star Janel Parrish, whose character Mona (Spoiler Alert!) was killed off and "resurrected" in a single season, with neither storyline being spoiled.
And Janel is sharing what she's learned from keeping several major secrets (Mona's death! Mona being alive! "A"'s name!), offering her fellow actors five ways to talk to fans and do press without spoiling anything:
1. Play Coy
"I'm usually pretty coy when we're talking about it, so you know, ‘Well, you never know what happens in Rosewood,'" Parrish explains, "leaving it open-ended."
2. Offer Up a Different Truth
You don't have to spoil the big reveal, but you can give out a vague tease, like when Parrish said she would be returning for flashbacks after Mona's death, which generally only focused on Alison in the first four seasons. "I would say I'm the new Flashback girl, which is true."
3. Shameless Plug
An easy way for someone to find out what's going to happen next. Janel's go-to? "You'll have to tune in next week!"
Listen, actors like their jobs. If they tell you a spoiler, they lose their jobs. Probably. "I can't tell you that, I'll get in trouble!" Janel offers as a good guilt-trip to have at the ready.
5. Turn the Tables
Distract scoop-hungry people by asking them questions, Janel suggests. "I turn it around and ask them, 'What do you think?'" We can attest that this theory works as Janel did it to us, asking us who we thought Charles was in relation to the girls. Two minutes later, we were still explaining. Darn, she's good!
Thankfully, PLL boss Marlene King was able to offer up some major spoilers when we exclusively chatted with her after the big "A" reveal, not only about why they chose Charles as the big bad, but also on season six's major time-jump!