When we interviewed Ashley Benson about Hanna's fate, she revealed that she was really excited to find out Hanna's "questionable" fate. Out of all the Liars, why did you decide to put Hanna through Uber A's latest torture trap?
Marlene King: That's such a fun question, actually! You're the first person to ask me that. I think when we first started the series, Hanna was the most superficial of all the girls. Ash and I were talking about this last night that if you were to describe in one word how her character has grown, the answer for her would be confidence -- and I really think it was, in part, through her relationship with Caleb. She has changed drastically [over the series] and I love that. It just felt right that Hanna would be the person who was willing to lay her life on the line to end this all. She's just grown so much as a character.
It was so satisfying to watch Hanna and Caleb finally kiss last night, but I couldn't help but feel bad for Spencer and Jordan. What was the behind the decision to have them kiss each other, despite the fact that they're both still in other relationships?
MK: Well, it just felt very natural. They both have undeniable chemistry, that's for sure. They've been kind of trying to avoid each other for this whole season because I think they know they have that chemistry and it's probably painful to be together. But I just feel like that, in the heightened moment of a life or death situation, and Hanna realizing that Caleb wasn’t going to let her down, she remembered the time that she let him down the most and it just felt like a really natural progression of the storyline.
If Hanna and Caleb are so right together, why put them (and the fans!) through this breakup?
MK: I just think that it's highly unlikely that two people who have such different career paths, and who are such different people, wouldn't have bumps in the road five years forward. We tried to be realistic in that time jump. It really is that kind of thing that, if you fall in love in high school, people, you really need to give yourselves a chance to grow up before you decide if you are a one true pairing or not.
Pretty Little Liars really amped up the sex this season! What was the reason for that and were you concerned at all for the younger viewers watching at home?
MK: We did! We're on Freeform now, so we're edgier. Well, I think there probably are younger fans still watching, and I hope they're watching with some adult supervision, but I don’t think we've gone to any crazy-crazy points. It's still Pretty Little Liars and we are a little sexier, and edgier, and more cutting edge, but at the same time, love is love.
We finally got our Twin Twist on Pretty Little Liars! Out of all the characters, why did you decide to make Mrs. DiLaurentis the one with the identical?
MK: Well, we didn't want to do exactly what [author] Sara [Shepard] did in the books -- it just felt too easy having the twin be Alison's sister. We thought that, for this version of the show, it worked out to make the twin a DiLaurentis -- well, technically a Drake. When we started talking about Charlotte and her relationships with the DiLaurentis family, and why they adopted her, and what the whole thing was about, then we came up with this character of Mary Drake and started talking about her.
We’ve learned time and time again that new characters in Rosewood are not trustworthy. What's the deal with Elliot Rollins?
MK: You found out a little bit last night that he really loves Charlotte and his marriage to Alison has sort of been a long con. He has ulterior motives and that storyline really ramps up as we start the summer season.
And you start shooting season seven in a few weeks. How are you feeling about where the story goes?
MK: We're feeling great! We've got more episodes written than we ever have before we've started [a new season]. We've sort of known what this season was going to be for a long, long time, so we're very well-prepared and excited and it's really going to be epic with a capital "E".
What can you tease about the season seven premiere to help curb our PLL cravings?
MK: We start just a few moments after we last saw everybody at the Lost Woods Resort. They are gathered together on a mission to find Hanna, but this Uber A has some really big plans in store and there's just so much going on. There's a lot going on relationship-wise, and there's a lot going on in terms of who is Mary Drake and where is Hanna? Is Hanna alive? Is Ezria, Ezria? Is Haleb, Haleb? Is Spaleb Spaleb? A lot of questions that we're going to start answering sooner than later, and I think the premiere really sets the tone for the rest of the season. It's going to be must-see TV for those 20 episodes.
You mentioned that season seven is "the beginning of the end," but are there still plans for a Pretty Little Liars movie?
MK: It is the beginning of the end, but I hope so! It's not in the works right now, but I definitely hope so.
Pretty Little Liars returns for season seven this summer on Freeform.