'Pretty Little Liars': On set with Laura Leighton, Lucy Hale and company

ashley-benson-laura-leighton-pretty-little-liars-320.jpgWhat we're predicting to be TV's guiltiest pleasure of the summer -- ABC Family's "Pretty Little Liars" -- hits the small screen Tuesday (June 8) and Korbi TV stormed the set, so we could get to know said liars and some of the so-called "adults" in their life.

The show -- which follows four high school girls who are receiving mysterious and threatening messages signed "A," which they have to assume are coming from their friend Allison, who went missing some time ago -- is being compared to "Gossip Girl" and "Desperate Housewives," the latter of which, we had to ask former "Melrose Place" star Laura Leighton about, since her husband, Doug Savant, has been on "DH" since Day One.  

"I think that's a fair comparison," Leighton says. "I think that it's a little bit 'Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants' meets -- I don't know -- 'I Know What You Did Last Summer' and I heard somebody describe it as Teen Noir," she continues. "I think it's a really apt description. [The show has] got a really great dark undertone and it's, at the same time, very beautiful and [depicts] typical teen stuff too."

So how does Leighton's character fit into the mix?

"I am playing Ashley Marin," she explains. "I am the mother of Hanna and Hanna's one of the pretty little liars. And one of my daughter's secrets is that she's recently been caught shoplifting and so in the first episode, I am finding myself in the position of trying to cover up her discrepancy, her transgression." Leighton adds that Ashley is desperate to maintain her family's reputation and, as a single mother, she makes some desperate choices while trying to protect her kid and ends up having a secret of her own...


Now, meet Leighton's onscreen daughter, the shoplifter, played by Ashley Benson. She gives us the skinny on her character: "Hanna is the new popular girl in school. She's very fashion forward and fun and sarcastic and adventurous," Benson says. "When she was younger, she was kind of heavier and didn't know how to dress and didn't really know who she was as a person. And when Ali -- the queen bee when they were younger -- went missing, she kind of took Ali's place and transformed herself into [Ali]. She does her hair the same way, she dresses the same way, she kind of talks the same way, it's kind of weird!"

We agree!

Eye candy time.

We ran into Ian Harding, who plays a high school teacher, on set and, yes, he is nice to look at, but he also gives us the dirt on what his character's deal really is: "He does have a secret and it's his student that he's having a relationship with."

Yep, teacher is hot for Aria, played by Lucy Hale, but Harding says the audience may actually root for this wrong-on-paper relationship, explaining that it's passionate and epic with scenes in the rain and, well, the age difference isn't that serious...

So who is this mature, young woman who's getting it on with the old guy? Lucy Hale explains: "[Aria]'s very put together... she's got a good head on her shoulders and, you know, [she's] a little different, a little quirky."

But is she a liar? Oh yeah. Hale didn't hesitate to tell me that, though her character may be a good person, she's got secrets. "It's fun to get to play somewhat of a bad girl."

Shay Mitchell's character Emily Fields, however, is no bad girl. "Out of the bunch, she is the sweetest one, [she] wouldn't hurt a fly and [is] probably the safest one to tell your secrets to," Mitchell tells us. She's also very athletic, on the swim team and -- we're hearing -- she may just be into chicks...
 

Last, but not least, we stopped to talk with Troijan Avery Bellisario, who plays Spencer Hastings, whom she describes as "Type A," overachieving and very logical. Not so logical that she doesn't have her faults though...


Any thoughts?

Will you watch?


The series premiere of "Pretty Little Liars" airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC Family.

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Photo credit: ABC Family

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