Credit: ABC FAMILY/Eric McCandless

However you may feel about Alison DiLaurentis as a character, it’s hard not to be impressed with Sasha Pieterse’s performance as Pretty Little Liars’ reformed (?) mean girl. Season 5 has given Sasha a chance to play a real, live, breathing version of Alison, and the young actress has risen to the occasion, continually making us question what aspects of Ali are real and what are put-on. What did Sasha tell Cosmopolitan about creating this new, nuanced version of Alison? Read on to find out!

“She's a completely different person,” Sasha told the magazine. “[In flashbacks] I have to really think about what [the other girls] want to see in each different scene. She was very manipulative in the flashbacks. But now that she's alive, you see her as a person, not just this evil person. You see all her emotions and ranges. You see what she was going through when she disappeared.”

We could listen to Sasha talk about playing Ali all day. It must be especially difficult to play a character not knowing what is true about her and what it not, but Sasha does an amazing job. She said about the Season 5 version of Alison: “There's a lot more dimension to her character. I'm creating a new Alison. I have the beauty of playing around in my character and trying to just transform her into so many situations I was never able to do before. So, just as an actress, it's been rewarding and fun. [The writers and I] have been working together to navigate Alison through this new storyline.”

That mindful process in creating this character definitely shows. We can’t wait to see the new dimensions Pretty Little Liars (and Sasha) reveal of Alison moving forward.

Have you been as impressed with Sasha’s performance as we have? What aspects of Ali’s character do you think are honest? Sound off in the comments below!

Catch the next episode of Pretty Little Liars on July 15, 2014 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.


Kayti Burt is a contributing writer for Wetpaint Entertainment with a penchant for all things pop culture. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!