After seven years on “Pretty Little Liars,” Ian Harding finally has all the answers. But that doesn’t mean he’s going to share them just yet.
Having spent the better part of a decade working on one of the most theorized-about shows on television, Harding is no stranger to keeping secrets. But heading into the show’s final 10-episode season — which kicked off on Freeform last week — the stakes are higher than ever.
And even though fans are just getting their first taste of “Pretty Little Liars” farewell season, Harding and the rest of the cast wrapped filming last November. That means their days of being kept in the dark by “Pretty Little Liars” mastermind I. Marlene King and the rest of the show’s writing staff are over.
“Now I actually do know how it ends,” Harding said in an interview with TheWrap’s Stuart Brazell. He knows the identity of the show’s mysterious new villain, he knows who does and does not end up dead, and most importantly, he knows whether or not Ezra and Aria will end up together.
“It is not the direct path that everybody wants,” he teased. “People really want them to be happy and safe, and in some ways almost kind of dull. If their biggest problem is who burned the pancakes this morning, that’s not exciting television.”
If there’s one thing about “Pretty Little Liars” — with it’s trademark betrayals, reveals and plot twists — it’s never at risk of becoming boring. Last season saw Ezra thrust into the middle of a love triangle, torn between his former English student from Rosewood High and the girlfriend once thought to have gone missing in Colombia.
“What we may see from here on out is that sort of push-pull,” Harding said. “Ezra is very torn. It’s not an easy answer … [Although] I know a lot of fans have said, ‘No, it’s a very easy answer. It’s Aria, that’s it.'”
“I don’t think it’s hit me yet,” Harding says of realizing that he’ll never be going back to work on the show that dominated seven years of his life. “I feel like it’s one of these things where a couple months from now, I’ll be doing something and I’ll realize, ‘Oh the show is done.'”
Harding’s book of essays “Odd Birds,” which reflects on his career through the lens of his bird-watching hobby, is out via St. Martin’s Press on May 2.
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