Troian Bellisario Opens Up About that Huge ‘Pretty Little Liars’ “A.D.” Reveal
In the series finale of Pretty Little Liars, A.D's secret identity was finally revealed. Now that the news is out in the open, the cast and crew can finally spill all the inside info about the huge reveal and how it all came to be.
Troian Bellisario, for one, is excited about finally not having to keep all these secrets.
Spoiler alert for the Pretty Little Liars series finale!
"It's so unnerving! It feels so weird talking about it," she exclaims.
"Like, 'Oh God, am I going to get into trouble?'" Troian says, laughing in an exclusive interview with ELLE.
After keeping the secret for years (yes, years!) Troian is spilling all the details about that massive reveal that fan theories had been correct about: Spencer’s evil twin is “A.D."
Troian dishes about when Marlene told her the plan, the first cast member to learn about the Alex Drake twist, and how it feels to play an evil twin.
First of all, you better be sitting down because Troian has known who “A.D.” was going to be for two years.
“I was first told in the beginning of season five. Marlene took me aside and told me, ‘I have an idea, but I don't know if the network will let me do it…’ Then she sat me down and explained this whole ending to me. She said, ‘You cannot tell anybody. It might not even happen.’” Troian says.
Since Season 5? Before Charlotte was even revealed?!
“So I sat on it for over a year. Then at the end of season six, she said, ‘We're going to do it.’ It was like the starting gun at the races,” she adds.
When she got the full story from Marlene King, it took two hours for her to explain the whole thing, Troian says. Remember, at this point, we didn’t even know about Mary Drake or that Spencer was adopted by Veronica.
If you’re wondering how Troian can keep a massive secret from the cast and all the fans for more than two years when we can barely keep a secret for more than two minutes, she has some news for you.
She has spilled many times that she’s playing “A.D.” and we just didn’t take her seriously.
“People would ask, ‘Who's A.D.?’ And I'd say, ‘It's me!’ And everyone would just laugh,” Troian says.
We’ll never doubt you again, Troian!
As for who on set found out first, of course it had to be her on-screen OTP, Keegan Allen.
“Actually, one of the only other people who knew early on, who was on set the day Marlene and I first spoke about Alex, was Keegan. So he and I were kind of the secret-keepers,” she says.
Even though Troian did change her approach when she was playing Alex versus when she was playing Spencer, many of the cast either didn’t notice or just thought, “Troian is off today,” she jokes.
“When we came out to the cast about Alex, Ashley said, ‘Wait, you were a different person in that scene and you didn't even tell me?’ I said, ‘I wasn't allowed to tell you!’ She was like, ‘Man, I'm feeling really betrayed right now!’” Troian says.
In the episode she directed, we had another major on-screen Twincer moment with Alex and Wren in the airport. Unlike Hanna’s “dream sequence,” this one played out very strange when taking it on face value. It was the first real big show hint about the “A.D.” reveal, and Troian knew it.
“We knew that the scene would be a huge tipping point for certain members of the audience. We all agreed that the people who are going to get it are going to get it,” she says.
“For some people, the reveal of Spencer's twin will be a total slap upside the head, and it'll be great. For other people, it'll be fun to feel ahead of the game. It doesn't take the fun out of the mystery. It makes you feel like you're a part of it,” she adds.
Troian does admit, however, that Marlene didn’t exactly plan for a Twincer from the beginning. She calls Spencer’s uncanny connection to Radley in the earlier seasons as “fortuitous” for the big “A.D.” reveal, not as Easter eggs or breadcrumbs.
And in fact, at first Troian was reluctant to play into the show’s more fantastical storylines. (Ahem, a long-lost, British, evil twin.)
“I beat my head against the Pretty Little Liars machine for a very long time. Then I had a conversation with Norman Buckley, a director who's probably directed more episodes of the show than anyone else.
"He said, ‘The circumstances may be fantastical, but the emotions are real,'"Troian says, remarking on a turning point for her in how she sees the show.
“Yeah, you could roll your eyes, like, ‘Oh, God, we're doing an evil twin?’ But it's so rare to get to tell a story that's serious in one moment and totally wackadoo in the next,” she continues.
And that’s why we love Pretty Little Liars: the serious/wackadoo back and forth. And in the end, she had serious fun with it.
“But in the world of this show, if I'm given the opportunity to play an evil, British twin, then I'm going to do it and have a blast. When else do you get to do that?” she says.
As for our reactions to the series finale? Here’s what she has to say:
“If it's the last two hours you may ever get to spend in Rosewood, then God, I hope to s—t you enjoy it.”
Pretty Little Liars airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Freeform.