June 01, 2012 9:00am PT by Philiana Ng
'Pretty Little Liars': Ian Harding Teases Ezra's Job Hunt, Aria Romance and a 'New Rosewood' (Video)
[Warning: Some spoilers ahead.]
“A” may be in a mental hospital, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be trouble in paradise on ABC Family’s buzzy teen drama Pretty Little Liars.
Season three kicks off months after the shocking finale, with Aria (Lucy Hale), Spencer (Troian Bellisario), Emily (Shay Mitchell) and Hanna (Ashley Benson) coping with Maya’s death and Mona’s (Janel Parrish) true identity in their own ways. As footage from the coming season indicates, the girls aren’t exactly free from (new?) “A’s” wrath just yet.
Series star Ian Harding, who plays Aria’s love (and former English teacher) Ezra, said as much when The Hollywood Reporter visited the set on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank – in addition to laying out the new town dynamic. (Watch the full video interview above.)
“It does a good job of throwing the audience back into Rosewood because it’s a new Rosewood that we find ourselves in,” Harding tells THR. “Things have been fairly quiet; the girls have gone out, done things, found themselves and are rebuilding emotionally after a year of absolute insanity.”
“It does a nice job of getting everybody back in, making everybody comfortable with the situation and then shattering it,” he adds.
No longer working at the high school or at Hollis College, Harding reveals that Ezra is itching to do just about anything.
“He’s looking to do anything, truly,” the actor teases. “I do find it interesting. I have friends who are feeling the same pain right now, where they’re uber-qualified and yet they’re having a hard time getting a job at Staples. I think it’s interesting that Ezra is really feeling that so he’s scrambling for anything right now.”
Though coy, Harding had a glint in his eye recalling an odd job Ezra takes that forces him to interact with another character on the show. “It’s going to be good. It’s going to be a fun time,” he says with a smile.
This season, Ezra’s personal backstory and family life (at the time, Harding told THR he had yet to meet the actors playing his mother and father) will be dissected – and there is one particular secret that may be in play.
“I’ve been chatting with the writers about possibilities of [what we’ll learn about Ezra],” Harding says, “and in fact there is one that’s kind of on the table right now that is pretty interesting. You see a different side of him. Ezra’s got some skeletons in the closet.”
Following Ezra’s declaration at the masquerade ball to move forward with his romance with Aria – this time publicly, at the moment “they’re in a good place,” Harding shares.
“Ezra, as far as I know, feels very good about his decision to make it known that I love this girl and people are going to have some serious qualms with it,” he says. It’s safe to assume Aria’s father Byron (Chad Lowe) won’t be lining up to shake his hand.
When asked to highlight a scene Harding recently shot that sticks out, he offered this: “I lose my cool – slightly – at one point. That’s pretty interesting because he seems to be calm and collected for the most part.”
Pretty Little Liars premieres season three June 5 at 8 p.m. on ABC Family.