Lucy Hale (Aria) doesn’t only play a good girl on Pretty Little Liars, but she’s an incredibly nice one in real life. We caught up with Lucy during her appearance at Duracell’s Power Holiday Smiles event at P.S. 64 in New York City on November 20, where she presented over 100 public school children with brand new toys sponsored by Toys For Tots.

In an exclusive interview with Wetpaint Entertainment, Lucy shared some major spoilers for Season 3B, including what’s really going on in that scene with Aria and Alison (Sasha Pieterse) from the previews, what to expect from Byron (Chad Lowe) in the first few episodes, and whether or not Alison is a villain or a victim.

Wetpaint Entertainment: What inspired you to get involved with Duracell’s Power Holiday Smiles campaign?
Lucy Hale: I think everyone at some point in their life is searching for some way to give back. I’ve been so blessed with so much and I’ve been given a lot of opportunities, and this one just really spoke to me and I absolutely had to be a part of it. I was lucky enough to have a great holiday season and to be given gifts when I was growing up, and I know that a lot of people aren’t financially put in that position. I think, as a kid, there’s nothing worse than having to wake up with nothing to show for it, so I wanted to just be a voice for this, and inspire a lot of people to get involved. Basically it’s a sweepstakes, and it’s really easy, it’s really simple. It’s not like you have to really go out of your way to do it. You sign on to their Facebook page, which is facebook.com/Duracell, and you enter the sweepstakes, and for every entry, they donate a battery to Toys For Tots to power up the toys that you saw today to give to the kids. Also, Thanksgiving to December 20, every hour of every day they’re giving away one of those toys to someone, and I can’t do the math in my head, but that’s a lot of toys that they’re giving away. So you give a little, you take a little. For me that’s the most rewarding part, I couldn’t ask for anything greater than to see 150 kids that excited.

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?
My dog [Jack], it has to be my dog, I’ve had him for three years, and it was a gift from my manager, and this is so dramatic but he’s changed my life. My dog has changed my life. And it s so cheesy but my dog was there when I was going through a lot, and he’s my little companion. He’s my little buddy.

Now, what’s the worst gift you’ve ever received?
Oh man, what is the worst gift? I was dating a guy at the time and he’d gone out of the way to make my gift really personalized, and I had known that I was gonna break up with him so I gave him clothes that were really not personal, so that was really sad because he knew what was coming after that. Poor thing. Sorry!

In one of the PLL Season 3B previews, Aria gets a visit from Alison. Can you give some context for that scene?
There’s been a lot of exciting stuff for Aria lately. In the Halloween episode she went through that whole situation. I can’t remember what episode number it is, but Aria’s actually sick throughout the whole episode, so we don’t know if she’s dreaming or whatever’s going on. We don’t know if it’s real but she has an interaction with Alison, and it sort of reveals a lot. And the last thing that Alison says to Aria, I can’t tell you what it is, but sort of makes you go, “What!?” A little confusing. No, that was really fun because like you said, I had never had a one-on-one scene with her before.

Do you think of Alison as a villain or a victim?
I think of her as more of a victim. I think there’s a lot going on in her life that nobody knows about and I think maybe she was tormented in [the same] way that she tormented people. And that’s sort of a life lesson — people that are bullies, they’re going through their own situation. Yeah, I think she’s really misunderstood, and I think that will come to light. We’ll find out more about her.

Will we find out more about Alison and Byron’s relationship in the first few episodes?
Ohhh yeah, oh yes. You will see a lot of Byron and Alison and what his involvement was in it, and Aria finds out everything that’s been going on too. And it definitely puts a strain on the father/daughter relationship obviously, and you find out the truth about what happened, and that’s all I can say. 

Find more Pretty Little Liars spoilers here.

Catch the return of PLL Season 3 on Tuesday, January 8, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC Family.

Molly Friedman is an editor at Wetpaint Entertainment. Follow her on Twitter @MollyFriedman.

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