February 13, 2013 1:24pm PT by Philiana Ng
'Pretty Little Liars': Troian Bellisario on Spencer's Rock Bottom and the Big Mona Fight
[Warning: Spoilers from Tuesday's episode of Pretty Little Liars.]
Has Spencer reached the lowest of lows?
On Pretty Little Liars, the dramatic fight between Spencer and "A" nemesis Mona (Janel Parrish) might have been the breaking point for Tuesday's installment of the ABC Family teen drama, "What Becomes of the Broken-Hearted?" But as Troian Bellisario tells The Hollywood Reporter, Spencer has yet to hit rock bottom, going even "further down the rabbit hole."
Worried for the usually buttoned-up Rosewood resident? In the sixth installment of THR's weekly postmortem with Pretty Little Liars cast and producers, Bellisario talks the aftermath of Spencer and Mona's big brouhaha, getting closer with Wren and what to expect from Spencer and Toby's next encounter.
The Hollywood Reporter: Last night, you live-tweeted the episode with the fans. Were there any moments that you noticed were getting a lot of traction online?
Troian Bellisario: When Wren (Julian Morris) showed up. We hadn't seen him in a while and there was that really awkward moment between he and Melissa (Torrey DeVitto). And when Spencer attacks Mona, which I'm sure all the girls have been wanting to do to Mona for so long.
THR: That moment between Spencer and Mona was certainly built up for a long time. What was it like to finally play out their fight?
Bellisario: It felt great because we've all been having to put up with Mona's B.S. since we found out she was "A" and she comes back to school. Every scene that I would have with her, I would pull the writers or directors aside and say, "I don't know how to play this scene because if this were real life I would have a restraining order against this girl. How is everybody not shaking with rage every time they see her?" Director Norman Buckley pulled me aside and said, "Well, you are. Those are the true emotions of the moment." What's great about Pretty Little Liars is that it's fantastical circumstances so "Yes, you are shaking with rage and you absolutely should have a restraining order but you don't and she's your running mate for the debate team." When I got to attack Mona I was excited because thank god, I can finally act on the way the girls have been feeling.
THR: It was interesting that Spencer broke when Mona asked, "Do you still have any friends, Spencer?" We assumed it was a matter of time before a big confrontation like that would take place. Did it meet your expectations?
Bellisario: Well, it didn't because I didn't get to finish ripping her to shreds, but we needed Mona for the rest of the storyline so that was a bit of a letdown. Spencer's not necessarily a violent person, though she can be high-strung. There's something interesting about the first time you get into a fight, all the feelings might be there to push you into it and once you're actually in the fight, what are you going to do? It was true for her to back off and realize she had gone way too far. That doesn't change that she deserved to tackle Mona because of the things Mona was saying. It's going to be a good transition point for Spencer because in the episode, she gets the message on the glasses that if you rat out "T," we'll take out one of the three. So many fans responded when Spencer wasn't telling the girls that they were upset: "Why isn't she telling the girls?!" When is telling anyone who "A" is [a good thing]? It puts Spencer even more between a rock and a hard place, and these are the people she needs.
THR: The strip-trivia game that Spencer and Andrew (Brandon Jones) played was also a standout moment. It obviously showed a different layer to Spencer that we haven't seen quite to that extent. What was it like playing that?
Bellisario: That was one of my favorite scenes. Spencer is such an interesting character because she's so buttoned-up and prim and proper and in control and you see these sides of her. People joke about drunk Spencer, when she's wild and risque, and so when we were trying to build upon was that Spencer always has this side she's always sitting on, that is inappropriate, that is provocative and kind of frightening. When she does not care about what people think about her, is it that side that's going to come out? We see her dealing with Toby's (Keegan Allen) breakup, but what's the rest of the world going to have to deal with, with Spencer? It gets better and better, there's more and more.
THR: Things can't seem to get any worse for her, but it sounds like she hasn't hit rock bottom?
Bellisario: [Laughs] There's always a new level of rock bottom with the girls. The moment when we tease when Spencer tells the girls [about Toby], it not's just going to make everything go away and everything's going to be OK because now she has the girls to lean on. "A" told her very specifically if you do this, there will be consequences for you to suffer. Spencer's fiercely loyal and fiercely protective of her girls and that's what's going to drive her further down the rabbit hole.
THR: Do you prefer Spencer right now or the Spencer we've known for most of the series?
Bellisario: It's a dangerous line. I don't want Spencer to not consider other people's feelings. She's lashed out and hurt a lot of people in recent episodes, but her learning to put her own feelings first in some situations and to go with her gut tells her are huge lessons. It's a cliche to say it: What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. You're watching a young girl be stripped away of all of these expectations she's suffocating under and now being this woman rising from the ashes. I don't know what kind of woman she'll be but I know that it is a big change for her.
THR: What can you say about the interaction between Spencer and Toby when that does come?
Bellisario: It will depend on a lot. It will depend on if she still believes that he can be good or if she's lost all hope completely. It all depends on if she found out certain things before she meets him. She's needing him almost just knowing as little as she did when she confronted him with in her kitchen with the key. Unfortunately with all the power she's gained from not really caring about what she does, she's still very powerless when it comes to Toby because she still loves him.
THR: What can we expect from Spencer and Wren, after they went on their worst date ever?
Bellisario: It was the worst date ever! We always joke that whenever Toby's out of town, Wren magically shows up, but he really does have a knack for knowing what Spencer needs and how to take care of her. The exchange between them in the end of the episode, when he's speaking to Melissa on the phone making up an excuse to protect Spencer, it's back to the fact that they both understand each other and want to take care of each other. That's going to continue down the road.
THR: Things will progress between the two?
Bellisario: Yeah. You're going to find a lot more about Wren than you already know.
THR: Will the Melissa be a wrench in the new Spencer-Wren dynamic?
Bellisario: It was clear from their encounter that she doesn't want anything to do with Wren. She's flipped the switch when it came to him. The crazy thing about Melissa is when Emily finds out that Jason might have seen Melissa as the last person talking to Ali, there is a whole new side Melissa that needs to be explored. She's a very slippery one.
THR: Is there an upcoming episode we should keep an eye out for?
Bellisario: There is an upcoming scene that is Spencer's true rock-bottom moment. It seems that as much as everybody's enjoying Spencer spiral downward, they're not really so aware of how far it's going to go. I'm excited to hear people's reactions. That should be happening pretty soon.
Pretty Little Liars airs 8 p.m. Tuesdays on ABC Family.