Quick Fire Q&A: Pretty Little Liars Edition – Shay Mitchell, Ashley Benson, Ian Harding

By Emelina Minero

Enjoy our column, Quick Fire Q&A, where we’ll dazzle you with super short Q&A’s with interesting people.

Shay Mitchell (Emily Fields from Pretty Little Liars)

Shay-Mitchell

On How She Appreciates Her Fan Mail:

I read all of my fan mail. And many people think that’s impossible, but I take the time because it’s important for me. I want to know how my character is affecting other people and what they have to say to me, how to play her or what their thoughts are on it. [The letters,] they’re all very touching, and the fact that the character that I play has given them [my fans] the courage to either come out or just feel better themselves, whether or not they’ve come out yet, is an amazing feeling. It’s really awesome. It’s one thing to entertain people, but it’s another thing to actually change lives, and even in some cases, save lives.

On Advice For LGBTQ Youth Coming Into Their Identity:

This is the model I live by: gay, straight, it doesn’t matter. I honestly think that you have one life in this world, and you have to be true to yourself. Don’t worry about what other people think, and I know it’s difficult and I know it’s hard, but like the Trevor Project [says,] it does get easier. If you have that good support group, and even if you don’t have that support group, there are amazing support groups out there that you could call at any time that are wanting to talk to you. If I could set up my own support line, I would, so I could be able to talk to them, [LGBTQ youth]. But I just think that you are so special and so unique, everybody is. Gay, straight, it doesn’t matter. In the future, I would love not to be asked how it feels to play a gay character. I would just like it to be, oh awesome, and then, continue. I think it’s getting there, and it’s awesome that there’s a lot more LGBT teens on TV and in movies. I think it’s awesome, and I think it’s only going to continue.

Shay Mitchell on Twitter: @shaymitch

Ashley Benson (Hanna Marin from Pretty Little Liars)

Ashley Benson

On Having The Platform Of Pretty Little Lairs To Be An Ally For LGBTQ Rights:

It’s awesome. I think it’s so important to talk about that subject and to not be afraid to have it on a television show for teenagers. I think that’s really nice for the movement. Everything is kind of going in the right direction, and I think that everybody should be able to be treated equally. Teenagers especially, they’re finding out who they are. [It’s important for] them to know that it’s okay to be you, and to not try to be somebody else because of what people may say or think. The more that we put it out there and the more that it’s okay, then kids will finally be able to be comfortable with themselves, and to accept who they are and to celebrate it.

Ashley Benson on Twitter: @AshBenzo

Ian Harding (Ezra Fitz from Pretty Little Liars)

Photo Credit: Yann Bean

Photo Credit: Yann Bean

On Having The Platform Of Pretty Little Lairs To Be An Ally For LGBTQ Rights:

It feels awesome, and this battle for equal rights I think is something that could be more easily won. This isn’t like we’re trying to cure some raging disease. It’s like, these are two people loving each other or this is somebody being who they are. Why is this still a problem? So I’m happy that we can start to eradicate that. I like the fact that now we have award shows, and then a show that maybe five years ago would have been really taboo is not [and] is really popular and is being celebrated. I’m really excited about that.

On Advice For Being A Supportive Ally:

There are so many cliché’s running through my head, but I think the reason they are clichés is because they are true. Just love your neighbor and let them be them. Sometimes that may make you uncomfortable, but who cares? It’s not a problem. It’s not a terrible thing. It’s just love. That’s the end of it. As cliché as that is.

Ian Harding on Twitter: @IANMHARDING

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