Lucy Hale like Never Before

Lucy Hale like Never Before

As Season Six Of Pretty Little Liars Wraps, Lucy Hale Wants You To Know That She's Not the Timid Little Girl She Plays On TV

As Season Six Of Pretty Little Liars Wraps, Lucy Hale Wants You To Know That She's Not the Timid Little Girl She Plays On TV

Photography: James Lee Wall

Text: Ian David Monroe

For the past five years, ABC Family’s drama series Pretty Little Liars has infiltrated family rooms everywhere, or at the very least turned its cast of four, Lucy Hale, Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson, and Shay Mitchell, into household names. Year after year viewers are left sitting impatiently on the edge of their seats waiting for the reveal of the show’s antagonist, known simply as “A.” Tonight, with the close of Season seven, fans again anticipate the uncovering, but if history has proven anything, it won’t come so easily.

Like any show with longevity, it’s hard to distinguish the actors from the roles they play. Just ask Lucy Hale. “When people see you on TV every week, they just associate you with that character. They truly believe that I am Aria. People meet me on the street and assume that I’m really naïve and really young. I think people are always shocked to realize ‘Oh my god, this girl’s a woman, she’s 26 years old!’”

While Hale realizes and respects that at least part of her audience is young, she’s keen on exploring the parts of her life that end up scrubbed out of her public persona. To start she teamed up with photographer James Lee Wall for a provocative photo shoot, premiering exclusively on V.

After the shoot, we caught up with Hale in NYC to find out about her inspirations, new projects, and her dark side.

So, I saw the photos and they were really beautiful, but nothing like I expected.

LUCY HALE Yeah, I was really excited to do something a lot more grown up and show a different side of me. I’m glad that you had that reaction because it’s sort of what I was going for.

How did the shoot come about?

LH The photographer is actually my trainer’s husband. We came up with this idea to do something really raw and a lot more grown up and edgier than I was used to doing. It was something for fun, and something just to experiment a little bit. When we saw the photos we were like, “well shit,” we need to do something with these!

Do you think it’s important for your audience to see a different side of you?

LH I do. I’m very aware of the people that support me, but you know, I am 26 now, so it is important for me to feel creatively fulfilled in other ways, too. Like you said, you didn’t expect them at all, and that sort of excites me because I wanted it to have a shock factor.

Switching it up is important.

LH Oh yeah, completely. I’m a Gemini so I gotta do things a little differently.

Oh, very cool. Everyone I know seems to be a Gemini.

LH Really? They are definitely the craziest of the signs, and what a lot of people don’t know about me is that I do have two sides. I’m very professional and I’m very Type A when it comes to work, but I also have this pretty dark, almost provocative side to me as well. I’m just a petite girl with big eyes that looks really innocent, so they’d definitely be a little shocked to know certain things about me. [Laughs]

You were talking about how you want to try different things and go in different directions. Is there anything else besides these photos that marks a new direction?

LH I’ll be done next October with [Pretty Little Liars] forever, which is exciting, but also scary at the same time because it’s the next chapter of my life and so I’m really looking forward to exploring different and darker roles.

I heard that you might have a movie coming up…

LH I do! There hasn’t been a press release, so I can’t say the title or anything, but I am doing, like, a really cool indie film in October. That’s sort of the direction I want to head in. It’s a little raunchy, so it’ll be exciting.

Has it started filming yet?

LH No, most indie films shoot in 30 days. It’ll still be…you know, the fans of the show have sort of grown up with me, so it’s a movie they can watch, but we’ll push the envelope a little bit on it. It’s a movie that’s got a lot of heart, and morals, but the language! I get to drop the f-bomb every other line, which will be fun. This will be my first lead in a movie, which will be very exciting for me.

In a way these photos are kind of like a breakout to your audience, or at least this new side of you.

LH Kind of, yeah! I mean I’ve done little things here and there. I guess the most grown-up thing I got to do was the [cover] of Cosmopolitan, but these are definitely more artistic. I look at these photos more as art than a photo shoot, because I’ve always felt really uncomfortable doing photo shoots. I’ve never felt like a model or anything. James just let me do my thing and caught me at the right moments.

It’s kind of just like playing another character, right?

LH Right. Little, naughty girl. It was fun!

I think you touched on something that is really important, that people forget that you have been playing this role on Pretty Little Liars for six years, and your audience has grown up with you. They’re not necessarily that young following that everyone immediately thinks you have.

LH It is really important. It always blows my mind that [fans have] stuck with the show for that long, and they support all of us in [our other pursuits]. Like, I do music as well, and people followed me from the show, and bought my album. I feel like, although Pretty Little Liars has been, will probably be, one of the most important things in my life, I think it’s just the stepping stone to so many more exciting things for all of us.

I’m glad you brought up the music, Are you working on another record, or putting your attention towards film?

LH My main focus right now is the film, but music is one of the most important things in my life and will always be a focal point. I’m constantly writing and exploring, and figuring out what I want to do next. So as far as album two, I think I might start working on it really soon. It’s just all about timing and figuring out what makes the most sense. My dream is to make films and to make albums, so if I’m lucky enough to do that I’ll be happy.


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