October 24, 2012 4:30pm PT by Philiana Ng
'Pretty Little Liars': 'A's' Latest Victim Sounds Off on Death Scene and Biggest Revelation
[Warning: If you haven't seen Tuesday's Halloween episode, do not read on. Major spoilers.]
In Rosewood, no one is safe.
On Pretty Little Liars' second Halloween episode, "This is a Dark Ride" (the haunted hour drew 2.8 million viewers), one of its residents bit the dust -- and like how everything unfolds on the dark and twisted ABC Family drama, it wasn't pretty.
"It's bittersweet for me to leave the show, but I'm happy to be a part of a really cool development in the story," the actor behind "A's" latest victim told The Hollywood Reporter the day after the episode aired.
In a chat with THR, they offered some behind-the-scenes intel about when they found out they wouldn't survive the "A" train and who in Rosewood they think is next.
The Hollywood Reporter: R.I.P. Officer Garrett Reynolds. How did you find out that your character would be the one to bite the dust?
Yani Gellman: [Executive producer] Marlene [King] pulled me aside before the script came out and we sat down and she talked to me about how much she appreciated all of my work on the show. The story was heading in a certain direction and in order for them to get there, my character had to bite the dust. She was really great about it. She talked about how much she loved working with me and how sad she was seeing my character go. But it was a part of the bigger picture. All the actors are very aware of what the show is and how things like this really make it interesting and exciting for the people who watch it.
THR: What were your thoughts on Garrett's death scene?
Gellman: [Laughs] As a kid, I used to do this thing where I would lay on the stairs pretending to be dead for when my mom came around the corner. That was my earliest performance. I don't know why I did that but it was very reminscent of that. It was a little terrifying locked in that crate, all painted up to make it look like you weren't alive anymore. Lucy [Hale] and I had a really good time with it; she emotionally had to be in a dark place and we tried to have fun in between takes.
THR: Were you privy to who was responsible for Garrett's murder?
Gellman: Well, they gave me a very general sense of how this murder factors into the overall plot [in season 3B]. I don't really know who killed Garrett, but I have my ideas. And certainly it is part of a bigger plot on the show.
THR: Who are you speculating?
Gellman: I have my ideas as to who it could be, but I always get into trouble when I talk about this stuff so I'll wait to see how it pans out.
THR: Garrett dropped a bombshell to Spencer (Troian Bellisario), revealing to her that Aria's father Byron (Chad Lowe) who could have been the one to have seen Alison (Sasha Pieterse) last. How did you react when you first read that scene?
Gellman: Yeah, I was really shocked. Everyone on set was too. I was just happy that my character could play a big part in revealing what this is all about before biting the dust. He didn't really die in vain. Hopefully this will help track down the culprit behind all this. It's never what you're expecting.
THR: Were you following viewer reaction last night while the episode aired?
Gellman: Yeah! [Laughs] One person said, "At least Garrett got to die a free man," and I thought that was cool. Just taking away something positive from the fact that there's some kind of nobility in [his actions]. Another person tweeted about how I was in The Lizzie McGuire Movie and I played a bad guy: "Finally, Paolo Valisari from The Lizzie McGuire Movie meets his maker." Of any show I've really been on, this one seems to have the most engaged, wildly excited fanbase and we really do take that energy on-set and I know the writers do too, to push as far as they can get on the show.
THR: Do you think this was the right time for Garrett to die or do you think he could have survived longer?
Gellman: That's an interesting question. It was explained to me that for the story that's coming around, it sets up the story in the second half of the season. We've seen a couple times that a death really begins a new mystery or investigation so [his death] was pivotal. I think it did my character justice in terms of killing him off the way that they did. Obviously I would always love to work more on the show, but how the character was written and how it played out, I think they did a great job with it.
THR: Possibility of flashbacks?
Gellman: Marlene mentioned to me that there is a lot of backstory that needs to be explained and that my character would figure into that one way or another. Who knows. Maybe I have an evil twin who lives the next city over. [Laughs] In Rosewood, you never know what's going to happen.
THR: Is there a character on the show who you believe their days are numbered in Rosewood?
Gellman: I don't know. I think everybody on that show has a target on their back. They've done such a remarkable job creating a show where everyone is potentially a victim and also a perpetrator. Everyone has some kind of blood on their hands, and everyone is a huge threat in a way. You never really know who will be next. They've got one less cop on the scene to protect the people over there so we'll see what happens.
THR: What was the most surprising development during the episode for you?
Gellman: I think the twist in this episode, of Byron having been the last person to talk to Ali was pretty monumental. That really surprised me.
Pretty Little Liars returns Jan. 8 on ABC Family.