The excruciatingly long “Pretty Little Liars” hiatus is almost over! Zap2it stopped by the set to watch a little bit of filming and to catch up with the newest lad in Liar land, and now that we’ve seen where this season is headed, we’re even more anxious for its January return to ABC Family.
Australian actor Lachlan Buchanan plays Duncan, who has some history with Alison . Given the mysterious nature of the show, we’ve been sworn to secrecy as to what we watched him film on set, but we will tell you this: every time we think we’ve got Alison DiLaurentis figured out, a boy from her past appears to reveal a shocking twist. Duncan is no different.
“They make such an effort to keep things mysterious,” Lachlan told us as we hung out in his trailer, waiting for him to be called back to set. “I think Duncan’s trustworthy at this point, but you never know with this show!”
Lachlan, who starred on the Australian series “Blue Water High” before heading to Los Angeles, had roles on “Hung” and “No Ordinary Family,” but is best known to U.S. audiences as Scott on the short-lived (and vastly underrated) CMT sitcom “Working Class.” To hear him work, you’d never guess that off-camera, he’s got a strong Australian accent.
There was no dialog coach necessary, though. “Accents have always been easy for me,” he says. “Growing up I had really chill parents who just accepted my loud craziness, so I’d run around doing weird accents. I never had anyone to silence that. You pick it up from American TV and movies, so it just comes naturally.”
After a few days on the “Pretty Little Liars” set, he showed his Aussie roots by whipping out the Vegemite — a salty, yeast-based spread that we’re just going to have to assume is an acquired taste. “I got Lucy [Hale] to try Vegemite before,” he says. “She liked it! We have it on video, so she’s held to that no matter what. She compared it to soy sauce, a bit.”
It’s becoming one of his signature moves — Lachlan brought a jar of Vegemite to the set of “Working Class,” which used to be right next door to the “Pretty Little Liars” stages. It didn’t go over quite as well there. “I think the only one that liked it was little Cameron [Castaneda], who played my brother. It wasn’t really a hit.”
Most of Lachlan’s scenes this season are with Lucy, but given the way things wrap up at the end of the season, we wouldn’t be surprised to see him back in the mix next year, interacting with the rest of the Roswood gang of juvenile delinquents. “Lucy’s great,” he says. “She’s definitely an actor’s actor. She’s really happy to work with you and to go over the script and make little choices together. There’s so much mystery going on, and even as actors we don’t necessarily know where the story is going next, so as we go through the script together there’s some problem-solving going on on our part.”
During his downtime on set — when he wasn’t turning actresses into Vegemite converts, that is — Lachlan tucked into “Evermore,” a young adult fantasy novel by Alyson Noel. To say he’s a voracious reader is a bit of an understatement. Last spring, his passion for the “Hunger Games” trilogy led to his fans voting him as the Top Fan Choice for Peeta on a major fansite — a role which ultimately went to Josh Hutcherson, of course.
Lachlan’s fanboy side came out as we spoke about the series. “I read the first book three and a half years ago,” he says, “Most of my friends know the story because of me saying, ‘You’ve got to read this, you’ve got to read this!’ I read the second book in one day. I’ve just been really passionate about it.”
If you (like us) fell head over heels for Katniss and the “Hunger Games” alliance, Lachlan suggests adding author Maria V. Snyder’s novels to your required reading list. “After ‘Hunger Games’ I got into the young adult, teen novels,” he says. “Maria Snyder wrote the ‘Study’ series and the ‘Glass’ series. It’s about this mythical world, in the past, but with some more advanced technologies than they had then. It follows the eyes of two different girls. It just hooks you. The author went to great lengths to research everything and make it feel real, and it does. You just get lost in that world.”
He admits that as an actor, he’s can’t help but think about movies even as he’s enthralled by a book. “You can’t turn it off,” he laughs. “You’re always looking for that character you could play or that scene you can envision.”
“Pretty Little Liars” returns to ABC Family on Jan. 2 at 8 p.m. EST. Stay tuned to Zap2it for more scoop on Duncan, Aria, and the rest of Rosewood!