Noel Kahn (Brant Daugherty) went out with a real bang on the Season 7a finale of “Pretty Little Liars,” in what Daugherty says is definitely “one of the better deaths on the show.”
In speaking with Zap2it after the finale, he says he was “overjoyed” at the way Noel was killed off and also reveals a few details about his involvement with Charlotte (Vanessa Ray) and Jenna (Tammin Sursok) and how he thinks Noel’s violent tendencies were foreshadowed long before Season 7.
“Marlene called me and told they were going to bring me back for a short arc, about five episodes, and I was going to die at the end. I was overjoyed, which I don’t think is the normal reaction? But I had grown up with Noel, played this character for seven years, and to see him get a conclusion I think suits him very well was a good moment for me,” says the 31-year-old actor.
Turning to Noel’s Season 7 arc, viewers learned that Alison (Sasha Pieterse) had been blackmailing Noel because he pushed a sorority girl down a flight of stairs, which happened in a flashback during the Season 1 episode “The Badass Seed.” For Daugherty, he thinks that information is very telling about the kind of person Noel is.
“To me, that brings up this history of violence against women that Noel has. We learned a lot about him in this last season,” says Daugherty, who, as an actor, has given a lot of thought to what Noel’s life has been like that viewers haven’t seen on screen.
“Noel grew up in a very privileged family. He had a lot of money and parents who were very, very absent. So he didn’t have very strong role models growing up. He was left to his own devices with far too much money,” says Daugherty. “And living in a town like Rosewood, it has an effect on you — the way the women treated him, the way Aria treated him, breaking up with him for Ezra in the first season, he has a very bitter taste in his mouth.”
But it hasn’t continued to be a life of privilege for Noel during the five-year time jump.
“There’s hints we drop as to what Noel’s been doing in the seventh season. One of them is the car he’s driving — it’s not a mistake that Noel used to drive a BMW and now he drives a beat-up old SUV,” says Daugherty, adding that executive producer Marlene King filled him in on Noel’s backstory.
“The first time he meets Emily again, he flashes her a hundred dollar bill. He’s putting on a show. He wants these people to believe he’s still that same Noel from five years ago, but he’s been through some hard times. It’s been quite a shift for him, he’s become a very desperate man.”
Daugherty agrees with us when we posit that sex and violence are very intertwined for Noel, saying one of his favorite Noel moments over all seven seasons is a perfect example of that.
“I think it’s Season 3, we’re in the high school hallway and Spencer accuses me of murdering Maya, and I look at her and say, ‘I think it’s really hot you think I’m capable of murder.’ Then Noel goes on to have the history that we’ve seen over the next few years and I think that moment kind of foreshadows some of the things that have been coming up.”
As for Noel’s involvement with Charlotte, Daugherty says fans should re-watch the diner scene from the Season 5 episode “EscApe from New York.”
“I know that his ties with Charlotte run deep. Charlotte used to be friends with his brother, Eric, she used to come to all the parties we threw. There’s a great scene … with Charlotte, Alison and Noel in a diner in New York and that’s a really key episode, to show the trust these characters have together and the lengths they’ll go to to help each other even if it is selfish in the long run.”
But that doesn’t mean Noel was working for A.D.
“There’s a moment right at the end of the last episode where Jenna ends up in the back of a van, reaches for a mask and says in surprise, ‘You’re AD.’ I think you can infer from that that I was working with Jenna, so if Jenna was surprised by that, I would be too. So I don’t think Noel was involved in that,” says Daugherty.
While Noel died in such a way that definitely won’t have him coming back to life, Daugherty says there’s still hope to see him again via flashbacks.
“There’s nothing I can say yet, bu I will say stranger things have happened in Rosewood and don’t count it out. I’m always happy to be on that set, so anytime they’ll have me, I’m glad to be there,” says Daugherty, adding that he’s as excited as anyone to find out the answers the show still hasn’t revealed.
“I’m dying over here! I wanna know who A.D. is, I wanna know who killed Alison’s mother, I wanna know who killed Charlotte, I wanna know all of it. And we’re going to find out all of these things. There’s only 10 episodes left, we gotta wrap these things up. We’re going to be delivering some answers in the second half of the season.”
“Pretty Little Liars” returns April 2017 on Freeform.