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Pretty Little Liars

Exclusive: Tyler Blackburn on Being a Tween Sex Symbol and How PLL Has Changed His Life

We’re all anxiously awaiting the return of Pretty Little Liars. Good thing we’ve got more of our exclusive chat with Tyler Blackburn to tide us over. In Part 2 of our interview, Tyler — who plays Hanna Marin’s sketchy ex Caleb Rivers — tells us about kissing Ashley Benson, his real life tips for wooing the ladies, and what to expect for Caleb and those gorgeous little liars in Season 2.

Wetpaint: Caleb is very good at hacking into technology. What’s the worst hacking offense you've pulled off in real life?

Tyler Blackburn: I’m actually not a techie person in real life. I know how to work my iPhone. I wish I had some awesome story about hacking into the government’s systems or something but, nope, nothing.

Have you ever gone through a girl’s phone?

I think that that is circumstantial, to be honest, but I would rather not. I know a lot of people, if they’re suspicious of something, they want to find out behind the person’s back and confront them about it. But I’m someone who, if I feel suspicious of something, I’ll just ask the person straight up. Obviously they could lie, but I like to communicate rather than be sneaky. So I never have — unless it’s like looking at pictures or something, but nothing weird.

Caleb is in the doghouse when it comes to Hanna on PLL. What’s the best thing you’ve done in real life to win a girl back? Or just to win a girl?

For me, I think that it’s really important to just create a really solid friendship. One time I had tickets to see Adele and I had met this girl a couple days before the concert — and I know it’s not that impressive, but we had a very nice evening — so I invited her that day. I said, 'What are you doing in two hours?' and she was like, 'Um, nothing I guess.' I said, 'Let’s go to this concert and we’ll have dinner afterwards.' It was a spur of the moment thing but it ended up being really fun. We had a really fun time. We had a lot of laughs.

When you film kissing scenes with Ashley Benson, approximately how many takes do you do before you get it right?

[Laughs] I think I think we have natural chemistry, so not many — I’m just kidding. We definitely do different angles, different shots. I would say on average maybe like six to ten times per scene.

In what ways do you relate to Caleb? How are you different?

I’m not homeless so I don’t relate to him in that way. But I do relate to him just in the sense that he’s someone who tries to do the right thing, but struggles with inner demons that make him make bad decisions. Not that I make a lot of bad decisions, but I definitely have in my past. I feel like a lot of people have this idea of what they want to do and where they want to be and they struggle with finding that. I feel like that’s Caleb.

The other little liars are all wary of Caleb and don't really think Hanna should date him. Can he win any of them over?

I think that what he’s done to Hanna just has really put a bad taste in their mouths. He's really going to have to work to redeem himself with everybody. If he does that enough and shows his real, true colors, I think that he can win them over. But it’s gonna be process.

Romance is fickle in Rosewood. Do you think Caleb could ever fall for someone other than Hanna?

Hanna is kind of the girl for him. They have enough in common to where he feels that she’s changed him as a person. That’s pretty significant. I don’t really know. I think for now it’s just going to be Hanna. I think it’s just going to be one of those situations where he is just head over heels. [She's] kind of the girl that got away.

Who's your closest friend on set? Do you see other cast members off set?

On set I do have most of my scenes with Ashley Benson, so I’d probably say I was closest to her by default. But I talk to all the girls and a lot the guys. I have seen Ashley and Shay [Mitchell] off set. Shay and I actually just filmed a PSA together for 17. It’s a campaign against cyber bullying, so that was a really great experience.

How has being on PLL changed your life?

It definitely put me on the map. I do get recognized most of time when I leave my house. It seems like Twitter and Facebook and stuff like that have [contributed to me getting recognized]… I guess just the fact that I have fans now is an interesting concept. But it’s been amazing at the same time. [The fans are] so devoted and so giving of themselves. In this business, the more you work, the more casting directors want to meet with you and stuff like that, so that’s definitely helped.

Any funny fan run-ins?

They’ve all been pretty respectful. I went to Toronto and did a show called New Music Live, which is basically like TRL, so there’s a bunch of fans in the audience. This one girl gave me a picture of herself and on the back of it was all of her contact information — her phone number, her address, her email address, Facebook, her blog, everything. That was pretty funny, but also really cool.

How is it being a sex symbol now to tweens?

I don’t like the word “sex” with “tween.” [Laughing] But it’s funny. It doesn’t make me uncomfortable but it’s interesting because I can be really goofy, and I can be so un-sexy sometimes. As long as they know that I’m not like a Ken doll walking around, but a normal human I’m fine. But obviously for TV and stuff like that, it works out in that way.

For more from Tyler Blackburn, read Part 1 of our exclusive interview here.

04.19.2011 / 01:22 AM EDT by Ian Spiegelman
Related: Pretty Little Liars, Interviews, Tyler Blackburn

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