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Sasha Pieterse returns as Ali on ‘Pretty Little Liars’
Sasha Pieterse, the young actress who plays the wicked and deceptive Alison DiLaurentis on the ABC Family hit “Pretty Little Liars” returns with the rest of her castmates for the fifth season’s premiere Tuesday night. I caught up with Pieterse Monday morning to chat about her character and how it’s caught on with audiences around the world.
Q: What is your reaction to the fact “Pretty Little Liars” has become such a phenomenon and so popular with its audience?
A: We all are completely shocked. We had no idea, when we started this, that it was going to be such a hit. We just feel very blessed, and also glad that we all still really love each other after working on the show for all this time. There are so many girls in our cast, it really is incredible that we do all get along as well as we do.
Q: Do you think that’s particularly amazing, considering the back-stabbing and all the intrigue and drama your characters have to portray? I know you’re actresses, but it’s nice you haven’t taken on the attributes of your characters, right?
A: That’s true! It would be terrible if we did, wouldn’t it?
Q: Why do you think the show has connected with the audience?
A: I think part of it is due to social media. Because it’s a great way for the show and for us to connect with our fans all over the world. The audience is made up of a lot of little investigators and they are always looking for the little hints that we drop on social media about things coming up. They will continually go back and re-watch episodes and then go find other episodes that tie-into various storylines and then they will communicate with each other via social media to discuss. That all has been important to building and expanding the fan base.
Q: Now that you have played your character Alison DiLaurentis for so long, do you make suggestions to the show’s writers on things she should say or do in upcoming episodes?
A: The are totally receptive to that. We all — all the cast members — give them suggestions and they’re great about that. We may come across a line in a script and we’ll say, ‘I think we should say this or that’ and they’ve very cool with it. But frankly, they have gotten to know us all so well, they really write our characters very closely to what they think will work for us. They know us so well. That’s happened from the beginning.
Q: What do you enjoy most about playing Ali?
A: Honestly, it’s a lot of fun to play a mean girl. There’s something ridiculous fun about it. Everybody knows a girl like her — maybe not quite so exaggerated, of course — but that basic conniving kind of girl. In addition, Alison [her character] has caused so many ups and downs on the show and affected the lives of all the other characters — so that’s great to be a part of.