If you ever need inspiration for following your dreams, look no further than Pretty Little Liars star Shay Mitchell.
From struggling model to successful TV starlet, Shay has proven that a little hard work and determination can go a long way. Now Shay is paying it forward and participating in the 2013 Acuvue 1-DAY Contest, which will give four lucky teens the chance to meet their idols.
Wetpaint Entertainment spoke to Shay about how excited she is to be a mentor, and of course, we couldn’t help but ask her a few of our Pretty Little Liars Season 4 burning questions. Are Emily and Toby still BFFs, despite his “betrayal”? What can we expect from Paily this season? Is Ali alive?! Check out our full interview with Shay below.
Wetpaint Entertainment: This contest is so amazing because you get to be a mentor for a day. How excited are you to be a mentor to a fan? Do you have anything fun planned?
Shay Mitchell: I’m so excited! Any chance you get to spend time with someone, where you could be a little, small part of their journey to reaching their dreams, is such an amazing thing. For me, it’s all about finding out what they want to do and then going from there to decide what they should do. But I’m excited to have that day for sure.
How important is it for you to be a positive role model for fans?
It’s really important to me. That’s why I love playing Emily, and I think all of the girls are each a role model for a lot of different girls because they’re each dealing with different things. For me, in my personal life, it’s amazing because high school is such a tough place. I had the worst time when I first got to high school. It was lonely, and so if I could share a little bit of my advice with someone else, that would be really amazing. I’m happy to do it.
Speaking of Pretty Little Liars, how’s filming going for Season 4?
It’s good, but it’s crazy! I keep talking to people, and they’re like, “What happened? What was in the trunk?” And I have to be so careful every single time to make sure I don’t say what’s in there. I have to keep reminding myself that they haven’t seen that part yet. Even though we’re filming Season 4, no one has seen it, so I always have to remind myself to be careful about what I say.
And there’s so many photos! Norman Buckley can’t stop tweeting behind-the-scenes pics.
Norman is the social media king. He loves it! And he’s always snapping photos. I always know what’s going on even when I’m not at work. I’m like, “What is Ashley [Benson] doing today?” And then I look at Norman’s page and it’s like, “Oh, OK. I know what she’s filming.” He’s amazing. He’s directing two episodes at the same time.
Obviously, we can’t talk about what’s in the trunk, but can you give us some scoop on Emily and Toby’s relationship in Season 4? She was his fiercest defender last season.
I don’t think Emily and Toby ever lost that friendship because she’s always been there for him, and he’s been there for her as well — despite the fact Spencer and the other girls might have thought he was bad. Emily is always going to give him the benefit of the doubt, so I feel like their relationship has always maintained that close friendship level. I hope we continue that in Season 4 because I always love shooting with Keegan [Allen]. But as far right now, there’s been a lot of scenes between Toby and Spencer, which is good because we’ll see if they continue to patch up their relationship or if things don’t go so well.
The fans are definitely going to appreciate the Spoby scenes, but what about Paige and Emily? Can we expect more Paily scenes in Season 4?
Yes! There is! We actually had such a fun day the other day. We got back in the pool. I can’t say what happens, but it was really fun because last season, Lindsey [Shaw] and I took swimming lessons on set. This coach taught us how do everything correctly, and I actually did my first on-camera dive recently. Lindsey was there, and she was so funny. But we have a lot of great scenes for all those Paily shippers out there. There will be a lot of special moments between those two, which I always love. Working with Lindsey is such a blast.
Toward the end of last season, we saw Emily become Spencer 2.0 and lead the charge for “A” clues. Is she still sleuthing in Season 4?
Yeah! I think ever since Emily came out, there was a point in Season 2 where everyone was calling her “badass Emily.” She started to come out of her shell, and she became a lot stronger. Now she’s the one who really takes the lead, so I do think Detective Fields continues to sleuth in Season 4. More than anything, she just wants to look out for her friends and protect them all. Now she’s leading the situation, going in head first, which is really cool to play. There’s going to be a lot more of that. I love Detective Fields.
We know the Liars are going to work more with Mona this season, instead of against her. How does Emily feel about working with their former enemy?
It’s awesome! Usually, when we were shooting scenes with her in the past seasons, there was never a lot between Mona and Emily. She didn’t really have much to do with Mona in the beginning. Aside from being with the rest of the girls, she never had any one-on-one scenes, like she had with Spencer and Hanna, and even Aria. Now, she’s kind of in the group. You’re going to see the girls question, “Can we trust her? Do we trust her? Is this all right? Are we telling her too much?” So it’s one of those things where we cross our fingers and hope that she’s on our side for the good reasons.
Marlene King has promised a lot of answers this season, particularly in the first episode, and a lot more Sasha Pieterse, so what can you tell us about how Ali will be involved in Season 4?
Ali will definitely be involved a lot more because where we last left off, it was all about what happened that summer and was she really pregnant. So a lot of those questions will be answered. There’s going to be a lot more flashbacks as well, as the girls try to put all the puzzle pieces together, so we are definitely going to be seeing Alison a lot more and see other relationships that she had with certain people who might have a big clue in the whole thing.
Last season, you had that scene at the grave that was really chilling!
Oh, gosh! Yeah, that was really crazy. There’s been so many intense scenes. That’s why when anybody asks, “What was your favorite scene?” or “What was your favorite episode?,” I honestly can’t even say because every time we come to work it’s just another crazy scene. Even some of the stuff we shot yesterday, trust me when I say you won’t be disappointed because this season is starting off already so crazy.
To find out how to enter the 2013 Acuvue 1-DAY Contest for a chance to hang out with Shay, click here. You have until May 30, 2013 to enter. Good luck, PLL fans!
Catch the next episode of Pretty Little Liars on Tuesday, June 11, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC Family.