Shay Mitchell Reflects on Travel, Fitness, and Those ‘PLL’ Babies — Exclusive
Aside from having a killer body, amazing hair, and flawless skin, we'd have the most Instagrammable life ever.
We're even more sure of that after sitting down for an interview with the 30-year-old actress.
We talked about everything from the bittersweet ending of PLL, her latest Shaycation exploits — plus an upcoming opportunity for you (yeah, you!) to work out with her!
It's been more than a month since the last PLL episode aired, but it's been even longer since Shay and her former co-stars wrapped.
"It's always hard as an actor to put down a character and say goodbye to them," she says. "I grew up with her, and she grew up with me, and it was a really, really awesome time in my life."
In addition to missing Emily, the Toronto native also misses her coworkers.
"You know, I had so much fun, and I played her for seven years, so I think also, [I miss] going to the set, seeing the girls, and the crew. I mean that was my second family."
She doesn't miss everything, though.
"What will I not miss? I'd say maybe putting on the bathing suit and swim cap that she wore? That's something I probably won't miss."
And she's not exactly bummed Emily never got to don the black hoodie.
"You know, I'm OK with it because I think — no, I don't think, I know — Troian played that so, so well. I'm so happy with how the writers did that."
We also talked about her reaction to the Emison baby storyline.
"Obviously I was extremely creeped out," she laughed. "You know, 'it's your egg, but it's gonna be in Alison, mixed with so-and-so.' Oh my goodness, whoever even thought of that?"
She added, "But the fans obviously loved it and loved the ending for Emison."
There has been some speculation about a PLL spin-off featuring Em and Ali — fueled to a certain extend by the cast and creator Marlene King — but Shay has some ideas about what that might look like.
When asked where she imagines Emily in ten years, she replied with certainty, "I think Emily is going to move back to California, with Alison, and she's going to be a swim coach at UCLA and live happily ever after."
Obviously Mar would have to add just a touch of drama there!
Though there don't appear to be current spin-off plans, Shay is still keeping busy.
"Well, there's this event I have coming up August 12 with Propel Water, the Propel Co:Labs Fitness Festival, it's something I'm super excited about," she said.
"I'm an avid lover of everything fitness, to be able to work out with a bunch of people and motivate them while listening to great music, and getting to work out with really awesome trainers, is something that's going to be super fun.
"So anytime I can be associated with something like that and partner with an awesome brand like that is something I really look forward to."
With such an amazing body, the brunette beauty obv spends a lot of time on her fitness, but she admits she's not always feeling it.
How does she get past it?
"Finding a friend or, in the case of this upcoming event, there's gonna be a lot of friends you can make. If you know you're going to meet up with a friend and take a class or you told somebody else, 'Hey, let's go take a walk, or go for a run," you're committing to somebody else as well.
"I do that a lot, where I wake up and 'ugh, I don't feel like it," but if it's not just me that's going, if you have a friend who's going to be there, you don't — you show up. So making that commitment to somebody else... plus it's just so much more fun."
Even for those who can't make it to L.A. to sweat alongside her, there are plenty of opportunities to imagine yourself in Shay's shoes.
"I'm also really focusing on my YouTube channel as well, traveling and all of that. I actually just released a video of my Greece vacation."
In addition to being the star of her videos, Shay has a lot of input behind the scenes.
"It's really exciting, I'm getting to basically produce my own content on the channel, and it's so much fun."
Shay has become a regular Carmen Sandiego over the last several years, but there are still a few places on the globe she's yet to visit — though hopefully not for long.
"I haven't been to Tokyo yet, so I would say definitely Tokyo is on my list, as is Iceland, as is Maldives, so many places — the list could go on. But I really do want to go to Tokyo."
She added, "Everytime I say a place it actually happens, so I think it's gonna happen soon."
Considering her frequent travel exploits, we asked what items Shay never leaves home without.
"I travel with three external cell phone chargers, especially when I'm on a long flight, because there's nothing worse to me than having a dead cell phone on a plane — you can't listen to music, I can't look at photos — so for me external chargers are a must."
In addition to keeping her phone juiced, she always travels with one other (somewhat) surprising essential..
"Another thing I always have is a backup camera. Of course I take some [photos] on my phone, but I like to have a real camera. It's about being as present as often as you can," she explained.
"I know I'm on social media all the time documenting everything but there are a lot of moments on my trip that I put my phone down and really take it in, because I don't want to get back and think, 'wait, what did I see not through a lens?'"
As often as you can find her sharing her life on social media, there is at least one aspect she keeps to herself.
"Personally, I don't really talk about relationships, that's the one thing I can hold sacred. If I Snap a little about it here and there, that's one thing, but I don't tend to talk about them."
Hey, a girl's gotta have some mystery, right?