Credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Photo: Bryce Johnson is Darren Wilden

Bryce Johnson (Darren Wilden), as handsome as he is, is never a welcome sight on Pretty Little Liars. Why? Because inevitably it means the girls are in deep, deep trouble. But as Season 2 picks back up this January, Bryce is back, and Detective Darren Wilden is not a happy camper.

We got a chance to chat to the actor, who’s currently chasing zombies, werewolves and vampires of MTV’s Death Valley, about chasing down “A”, crazy fan reactions and why he thinks his job on PLL is pretty safe – for now.

So what’s up with you and Pretty Little Liars? Are you coming back?
I just filmed the other night an episode directed by Chad Lowe (Byron Montgomery). So yeah, I’ve been doing a few more of those. It thrills me because I love everybody down there, and what’s so great about that show is there’s so many surprises and so many twists and turns so it’s a lot of opportunity for me to keep growing my character, and keep trying to find out who this “A” is.  I’m sure it bothers Detective Wilden he hasn’t gotten further with the case.

In all fairness, hasn’t it been like six weeks? Give the guy a break.
I guess you’re right.  In terms of the story, it hasn’t really been that long, and it’s quite a mysterious town I’m sure. If you’ve watched, there’s a lot of stuff going on.  So maybe he needs to bring in some of the characters from Death Valley to help out.

What can you tease about the episode that Chad directed?
Well, there’s a lot going on. I don’t want to give too much away because… to be honest, I didn’t really read the whole script. So, I don’t want to give much away because I can’t.

I assume you’re not there to give them a cup of hot cocoa.
I’m definitely there investigating a new lead. I’m trying to get to the bottom of this and see what those girls really have and if they have anything to do with it as well.  I’m sure he would just love to bust one of those girls, especially Hanna (Ashley Benson). He wants to send somebody to jail and soon.

Credit: Eric McCandless/ABC Television Group © 2011 Disney Photo: Aria and Detective Darren Wilden on the Pretty Little Liars Finale on August 30, 2011

Are you mobbed in the streets?  I’ve heard these are pretty intense fans. Do you get recognized from PLL a lot?
You know, I get recognized every now and then, and it’s like a funny reaction because they’ll look at me, and their face will light up real quick, and it will be like, ‘Oh, my God.’  And then, it will turn sour because they’ll realize, ‘He’s that creepy detective guy.’ They protect those characters so well. They light up first because they know I’m part of the show, then they turn a little sour because they’re like, ‘That creepy Detective Wilden, why is he bothering our girls?” So, I think it’s mixed emotions when I meet somebody who recognizes me, but I love that. I think it’s great.

What’s Chad like as a director?
He’s great. Chad and I did Popular together. I just think the world of that guy. He’s so cool. And as a director, he was just fantastic. He knew what he wanted, and, obviously, he can talk to actors, relate to us really well, and he gives good direction. I’m excited to see his episode.

How many episodes have you done for Pretty Little Liars this spring?
I just did three more, and hopefully I can get in one or two more, but I always love working with those guys. I’ll do as many as they’ll have me for.

Well, I hope you nail A.
I will. I’ll get somebody. That’s what I love. A good friend of mine has read the books, and he’s like, Detective Wilden is pretty strong character in the series. I’m like, ‘Oh, good. Maybe that will keep me working.’  At least they’re not killing me. There’s hopefully some job security in that.

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