Pretty Little Liars is one of the most secretive shows on TV, so we weren’t expecting Ashley Benson, who plays Hanna on the show, to reveal much when we spoke to her today. But what Ashley did let on was intriguing: expect big things ahead for Hanna during the finale of the first half of the season in two weeks.
“There’s a big party and a lot of things happen and there’s something huge that happens to my character,” Ashley told Crushable. “I cannot wait for everybody to see it. But I have no idea how they’re going to play it out in the next 12 episodes. It’s pretty big and I wish I could tell you but I can’t. It’s amazing. When I read the script I said, ‘No way! Oh my God!’”
Grr. Guess we’ll just have to wait and find out for ourselves. But without giving away any spoilers, Ashley told us why she loves playing Hanna so much. “Hanna is just so much fun for me because I get to play so many different characters in one,” she told us. “One of my favorites is when I get to call play ‘Testy Hanna,’ and I get to wear a fat suit. She’s just a completely different way of playing her and she’s so insecure and she’s so sweet, and she’s just so cute. I love playing her. Then I get to play her when she’s really mean and stuck up and just treats everybody like they mean nothing. And I get to play her when she’s alone and with her mom and you get to see that she’s still insecure and she’s still that same old Hanna but to everybody’s else she just puts on this huge show that she has the perfect life and nothing goes wrong in her life.”
“The writers have actually put a lot of me into her,” Ashley went on. “She’s more sarcastic now and she has these great one-liners and she’s always getting into trouble. When she got that job at the dentist’s office, that’s one of my favorite things to film, every time I’m in the dentist’s office, because she just gets into so much trouble. She’s fun. I can’t wait to see what they have for the rest of the season.”
20-year-old Ashley is a bit of a veteran in the Hollywood biz, having started work as an actress on Days of Our Lives at age 14. “I was on there when I was 14 and I was the youngest on the show. All my friends who played my friends were in their mid-20s,” Ashley explained. “It was a really different atmosphere but I learned a lot and obviously being on a soap opera you have tons of pages of dialog a day and it really helped me.”
But Ashley is happy to be working on Pretty Little Liars, calling it “the best thing that ever happened to me.” She auditioned for the part of Hanna after just finding out that the show she was working on at the time, Eastwick, had been canceled, so it couldn’t have come at a better time. And to add to it all, Ashley says she and her co-stars get along great. They are always laughing on set and goofing off, “I’m so guilty of laughing in the middle of scenes,” Ashley told us. “It’s literally like we’re telling a joke and we’re dying laughing and they call action and we have to be serious.”
The girls will hang out together at the Coffeebean between breaks on the L.A. set, or spend time together at the mall, Ashley said. “We’re always hanging out,” she told us.
After gushing about her fellow cast mates for a little, we couldn’t let Ashley go without asking her the same question we asked Shay Mitchell earlier this week: who is A?
“Ha! I can’t tell you that,” Ashley answered. “Honestly, we don’t know where that’s going to go. There’s so many ways it can go. There’s lots of different people the fans will think it is because there’s so much that happens on the show…In the tenth episode sees A and she kind of figures it out.”
But, Ashley added, unfortunately we won’t get to figure it out with her.
You can watch Pretty Little Liars Tuesday on ABC Family at 8 p.m. ET.
(Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)