‘Pretty Little Liars’ Star Ashley Benson Talks #GivingTuesday and the Series Finale

Kelly Woo
Yahoo TV
(Photo by Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images)
Photo: Tibrina Hobson/Getty Images

The final season of Pretty Little Liars is still a few months away, but star Ashley Benson is helping to remind people that the season for giving is here now.

Benson is partnering with PayPal to promote #GivingTuesday, a global event fueled by social media and kicking off a month of charitable donations. The actress has previously supported charities like the ASPCA and the Share a Meal program to end child hunger. This holiday season, she is highlighting a dog rescue charity.

Yahoo TV chatted with Benson about why #GivingTuesday matters, plus got the scoop on the last 10 episodes of the Freeform drama, which returns in April.

Yahoo TV: Why did you get involved with #GivingTuesday?
Ashley Benson: #GivingTuesday is pretty awesome. It’s a global day of giving, and it’s a really cool reminder of the reason for the season. PayPal has been supporting #GivingTuesday for the last five years, and I was super-excited to partner with them because what they do is — they match all donations by 1 percent. So that ensures that 101 percent of your gift goes to charity, and that’s pretty amazing.

You support quite a few causes. Why are they important to you?
Being involved in charities is something that everyone should try, and if you like it — whichever one you feel closest to — you should definitely get involved. I just think it’s a great way to give back. One that I’m a huge supporter of and that I partnered with PayPal on is called Wags and Walks, and it’s an amazing charity for dog rescue. I’m obsessed with dogs, so it’s really cool that I was able to involve that charity with #GivingTuesday and PayPal.

It seems easier than ever to get involved with charities and causes these days.
That’s the cool thing. Now with social media and technology, you can literally tweet out a link and you can give a description of what the cause is and what you’re raising money for, and it’s so easy now to get people to start donating, giving money or even time.

Pretty Little Liars has wrapped. How does it feel for that experience to be over after so long?
It’s been seven years, so it’s pretty intense leaving that for good. But it’s exciting, and I’m excited for the future. I think we created an amazing last season, and the last episode is going to be really cool. It’s definitely a change for sure, but all good things come to an end, and I think we ended it at the right time.

Photo: Freeform
Photo: Freeform

What’s next for you?
I really want to take some time off, so I’m taking a couple months off, and then, when the new year comes around, just go into film. I’ve been wanting to do that for the last 10 years, but I’ve always been on a show. So it’s nice to have time to chill and read scripts and see what I want to get involved with. Hopefully, it’s a really cool film.

What can you say about this second part of the final season?
All of your questions will be answered. I can’t say much more than that, but I think the fans will be really satisfied with the outcome. There’s twists and turns and deaths and all that stuff. But the last episode we worked really hard on, and I think everyone’s going to enjoy it and be very happy with the outcome. That was the most important part for us.

How would you describe the series finale in three words?
Shocking. Upsetting. And happy at the same time. It’s a weird combination, but yeah!

What is Hanna’s arc in these last episodes?
Throughout the whole series, Hanna’s had the most change, as far as figuring out who she is, dealing with family stuff, with Caleb, almost getting married. I think she’s been through a lot. I think being locked in the dollhouse, she went through a lot of torture. This next chapter for her is getting through all of that and moving on and sticking with her friends and trying to figure out her whole love life situation. I think this season is going to be interesting for Hanna. I want to tell you more, but I don’t want to give it away. But you know, it shows what she’s been going through this season with her job, with designing clothes, her relationship with her mom and Caleb and the girls — it all unfolds.

PLL fans are very devoted. Have you heard a lot from them about how sad they are for the show to be over?
Our fans have been with us from day one. I think everyone’s upset, but I think they’re excited for the last season. It’ll be really cool to see where all of us go in the future and what projects we work on and what things we get involved with. It’s really nice to know that, hopefully, our fans will stick with us on our next journey. We owe everything to them. Without them, we wouldn’t be here for seven years.

Is there any chance that down the road you’d all come back for a reunion movie or revival?
I mean, everybody always jokes about it. So you never know, it really could come true. If it was really cool and creative, I wouldn’t mind doing it. I think it’d be really fun. You never know!

Pretty Little Liars returns for its last 10 episodes on April 18 on Freeform.