Pretty Little Liars' Ian Harding on Shocking "A" Reveal: "Ezra Is Not a Sociopath"

Exclusive! The Pretty Little Liars star opens up about his character's shocking double life and if he really loves Aria

By Leanne Aguilera Aug 28, 2013 9:03 PMTags
Ian Harding, Pretty Little LiarsABC Family

Who couldn't sleep last night because of the mind-blowing summer finAle?!

You all should be raising your hands right now, because that was one intensely twisted episode of Pretty Little Liars. After learning that (Spoiler Alert!) Ezra is A, we went through a wide range of emotions: Shock, anger, heartbreak, fear, confusion and, of course, complete and utter betrayal. (How could you, Mr. Fitz?!)

To help make sense of all these feelings and find out what the heck is going on, we just got off the phone with the hooded vigilante himself, Ian Harding. From the shocking reveal, to Ezra's connection with Ali (Sasha Pieterse), and whether or not his love for Aria (Lucy Hale) love was pure, we asked all the questions that you are dying to know right now.

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First things first, let's talk about that jaw-dropping reveal of a pissed-off Ezra in the Ravenswood lair. Harding exclusively tells us that he was excited to express a new side of Mr. Fitz after all these years of playing a good guy. He says, "We were able to see Ezra actually get angry, which is a new thing, and so I think all three seasons of emotional repression came out at the closet door."

The actor continues, "I think what he was trying to convey is there is something that Ezra is trying to hide or something that he's trying to protect. Whether that is Aria, or his reputation, or this thing that he has on the side, whatever it is, he's has been kind of caught with his pants down in some sense."

So how long has how long Harding has known that he was the leader of the A team—or so we suspect? The PLL star reveals that he has known about this shocking new twist for months! "I've known since February, it's been while. They brought it up at the beginning of the season as 'You know this is an idea that we have, something that would be a fun thing for you to play and a new shift for the character, would you be down?' and I said, 'Absolutely, so let's do it!'"

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We don't know about you, but we're still a little confused as to what Ezra's official title is. Is he A? "Beach Hottie" with the board shorts? An undercover agent, à la Toby (Keegan Allen), hoping to protect the girls? Harding explains that as of right now he's not even sure. "I don't know if 'board shorts' and A and me are the same things, we don't know yet," he admits.

Whoever he is, the 26-year-old actor says he is looking forward to exploring his dark side when the show returns in January. "Ezra is such a good guy, even with the whole like high-school-girlfriend thing, he's still just such a good guy and so I wanted something to change it up a little bit."

Speaking of Aria, many fans were absolutely devastated to learn that Ezra has been deceiving his high school sweetheart this entire time. So here's the big question: Did Ezra ever love Aria? Harding answered without skipping a beat saying, "Oh yeah! I think he does, absolutely!" Please excuse us while we do a confused happy dance...

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He explains, "Ezra is not a sociopath, in my opinion. Granted, the writers are the ones who control the storyline, so they could have a completely different opinion. But I don't think that he is some like whack-job who is just there to torment people and then going to be like laughing manically in a straitjacket by the end of the season." Sorry Radley, looks like you're going to be missing out on one very sexy patient!

"I think that he does love Aria and I'm interested to see what has driven him to do some shady things, but I don't think he's a bad guy. He's just driven by something that has made him do questionable things." Harding continues, "I trust the writers. I don't think it's going to turn out that he's just this weird sociopathic killer. I don't think it would be as tacky and contrived as that. The potential storylines are all pretty interesting and completely justified by the stories."

Looking ahead to the next half of season four, Harding admits that he would be interested to see if Ezra is going to have intentions, similar to Toby's, of protecting his girl. "I'm interested to if Ezra is protecting her in some way, and what form that would take. There have been some interesting scenes that we have shot thus far that I'm really itching to see how it's justified involving Lucy and a few other things so I'm not sure what that connection would be." We certainly can't wait to find out!

Don't miss the Pretty Little Liars Halloween special, Tuesday, Oct. 22 at 8 p.m. on ABC Family!