EXCLUSIVE: Shay Mitchell on How New Series ‘You’ Compares to ‘Pretty Little Liars' -- Plus, a Spinoff Update!
By Katie Krause
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Shay Mitchell might be out of Rosewood (for now… more on that below) but the 30-year-old actress is hard at work on her upcoming Lifetime series, You, and she exclusively dished all about the psychological thriller to ET.
“It’s juicy… It still has all those elements that PLL had with it being sort of a mystery, there’s a romance part to it and it’s just exciting,” Mitchell explains. “It’s definitely going to have those elements. I think it’s a little bit more mature… It deals with a lot of crazy things like PLL did, but it’s a different storyline. If you loved PLL,you’re gonna absolutely love You. And if you never saw PLL, you’re still going to love You.
Ýou is based on Caroline Kepnes’ best-selling novel of the same name, and Mitchell says following up her seven-season run on Freeform with another show based on a book is a major plus.
“I’ve had good luck with that in the past, and it’s just a show that I would be so excited to watch, whether I was on it or not,” she says. “It’s gonna stay fairly close [to the book] I'd say, the same way that we did with PLL. There’s a common thread from the book that goes into the show and I think the same is true for You.”
Something that will be totally different? Mitchell’s character, Peach Salinger, is a stark contrast to PLL’s Emily Fields.
“Peach is the complete 180 from what Emily was,” Mitchell says. “She is known to be not the nicest, so she is quote un-quote the “mean girl,” but you know she does have a love for Beck (Elizabeth Lail), the main character, and you'll see that. She has, um, a very interesting relationship with her.”
Mitchell says getting into the queen-bee mentality was a challenge.
“I actually catch myself sometimes ‘cause I feel bad, you know? I'll say my line that’s written for me and I’m just like, ‘Sorry!’ I don’t mean to sound like that, but it’s fun, it’s so fun.”
The series also stars former Gossip Girl actor Penn Badgley, whom Mitchell couldn’t praise enough.
"I don’t know anybody who wasn’t a Gossip Girl fan, you know? Me and my friends loved watching it,” she reveals. “Penn is so hilarious… he’s a goof on set even though he plays a kind of a serious character and we have a lot of fun. We've worked with a lot of the same directors and know a lot of the same people, so… to come together, it’s really cool.”
Mitchell's former PLL co-star, Sasha Pieterse, is also prepping for her next venture – on Dancing With the Stars! And it’s safe to say we should expect an ‘Emison’ reunion in the ballroom.
“Sasha is, like, the best secret keeper. She truly did not tell any of us. She told us there was something in the works for something, but we had no idea, so I’m super excited,” Mitchell dishes. “If I’m in L.A. and the show is airing, I will be more than happy to be sitting front row, screaming the loudest for Sasha, 100%.”
And Little Liar fans – there’s also still the possibility of an actual Rosewood reunion.
Mitchell played coy, but did joke that, just like Sasha with DWTS, she too is a “good secret keeper” – and teased, “Anything is possible in Rosewood, right?”
And just saying... a spinoff would make sense. After all, Mitchell has signed an exclusive multi-year pod deal at Warner Bros. TV – which produced PLL and is producing You. *smirk face*