SP: The biggest thing is to protect yourself emotionally and mentally, which should be a daily practice anyway. But that’s probably the first thing that’s affected. You’re working long hours, you’re embracing a new show and a new character that you really care about, but in the nature of our world, obviously there’s negativity everywhere. Social backlash is something that they might need to expect just because everybody is so passionate about the series. But I think they’re going to do an awesome job of making it their own and continuing the world in a brand new way and I’m really excited for them. As far as advice goes, I would definitely say keep your circle small and close. There really is something to making sure that you have a good support group. It’s going to be a really fun ride for them, and it is life changing in that way. It’ll be something that I’m sure they’ll look back fondly on. Our fans are just so loyal in general, I am sure they’re going to be so excited to see what they’re going to do with it.
TV: Do you think you’ll watch the new one?
SP: For sure.
TV: Were there any challenges you faced after the show ended, as far as what you wanted to do next or projects you were asked to be part of? How did you figure out your post-PLL career?
SP: It felt really bizarre for that chapter to end. Our schedules were so packed with the show, which was amazing. We call that a champagne problem, but we shot for so long. We had so many episodes. Our entire year for the most part was taken up by the show, which definitely not complaining, but we all struggled to be able to do anything else in our career. It was so bittersweet, leaving each other, leaving our amazing crew. That chapter ending was very emotional. And then the other half of it was like, okay, well, like you said, what are we going to do next? The door’s wide open. What are we going to do with it?
SP: And Marlene came to me with the spinoff show, so that was… I don’t mean this in a bad way, but it was more of a gamble. I was nervous about it just because, well, I always want to do Alison and the show justice. So yeah, that was a gamble for me. And then honestly, I couldn’t do anything until they decided what they were going to do with the show. So I was really hoping to get back into film, and then COVID happened, but it’s okay because I got pregnant. It’s been an interesting couple years. In a way, I’m thankful that I had that time to be pregnant and not have to go anywhere and just to isolate in general. It’s been wild, but I’m excited for what’s to come.
TV: I know you’ve got a Netflix movie coming up.
SP: Yes! It’s called Ivy & Bean, which is going to be this adorable live-action movie, I think three movies right now. It was a children’s book about these two cute little girls that are just very mischievous and get into a whole bunch of trouble. I am their very loving teacher, and Jane Lynch is the principal and she’s hysterical. Jesse Ferguson is in it, and he’s one of the teachers as well. He’s hilarious. We had an absolute ball and I’m so excited for everybody to see it. That’ll be on Netflix September 2nd.
TV: Very fun.
SP: We’ll see where it goes, but I’m happy that Hendrix will be able to see me in something. Because he sure as hell can’t see Pretty Little Liars or Inherent Vice yet.
TV: Do you imagine him watching the show in 10 years, 15 years?
SP: Yeah. “Mommy, how did you do that? Why did you do that?” Yeah, we’ll keep him away from that for a while.