'Pretty Little Liars': Tyler Blackburn on Caleb's 'Mixed Emotions' and Family Questions
In a chat with THR following Tuesday's episode, Blackburn says of the Hanna-Caleb romance: "They are pretty strong this whole season, miraculously so, even though they're dealing with a lot."
[Warning: Spoilers from Tuesday's "Dead to Me."]
Did Caleb meet his biological father?
That's one of the looming questions introduced in the latest episode of Pretty Little Liars. "He definitely has mixed emotions," Tyler Blackburn tells The Hollywood Reporter about his character's mindset at the end of "Dead to Me," adding, "He's rejecting the idea because it opens some doors for him being hurt. When Hanna says that, it's like opening old wounds."The season stays pretty dramatic and dark."
In the fifth installment of THR's weekly postmortem with Pretty Little Liars cast and producers, Blackburn discusses lingering family questions, Caleb's team-up with Paige and the state of his relationship with Hanna.
The Hollywood Reporter: What did you find people responding to from last night's episode?
Tyler Blackburn: They were surprised to see Emily (Shay Mitchell) possibly the one who could have killed Alison (Sasha Pieterse), people definitely thought Uncle Jamie was Caleb's dad and Wesley (Gregg Sulkin) and Aria's (Lucy Hale) maybe romance. Obviously "Spoby" is now broken, that was a big topic of conversation.
THR: It was introduced in "Dead to Me" that Uncle Jamie could actually be Caleb's biological father. Should we still be thinking that?
Blackburn: You should keep watching. Bottom line is, a lot of family is coming back into Caleb's life. That obviously opens doors. You should wait and see. It presents itself in the way and the time that it should.
THR: Where is his mindset at by the end of the episode?
Blackburn: He definitely has mixed emotions. That's where he stands when Hanna (Ashley Benson) presents that idea to him. If it's true, if Jamie is his dad, I'm sure there would be something in him that would be really happy, but that would then mean that he was lied to throughout his life. In that situation, anyone would have a lot of different emotions. He's rejecting the idea because it opens some doors for him being hurt. When Hanna says that, it's like opening old wounds.
THR: Is there anything surprising that will be revealed about Caleb and his family later on down the line?
Blackburn: Caleb is no longer a thief or wheeler dealer, but when Caleb was introduced he had those qualities. You'll start to learn where he picked those up. Maybe the apple didn't fall far from the family tree.
THR: Hanna and Caleb are still going strong. Can you talk about where they're headed? What kind of obstacles or challenges, if they'll face any?
Blackburn: They are pretty strong this whole season, miraculously so, even though they're dealing with a lot. They stick it out. There are bumps in the road, but they definitely stay connected. Even if things happen to them individually, it ends up affecting the couple. Hanna has a lot happening with "A" and the rest of the girls, and wanting to protect Caleb, who is in a position where he knows a lot more and wants to help. There's still that give and take there.
THR: It was introduced a few episodes ago, but it was fun to see Caleb and Paige (Lindsey Shaw) teaming up together against "A." What were your first reactions when you found out that those two characters would be interacting more?
Blackburn: I was excited, honestly. Each of those characters are spreading their wings a little bit more and they share the same interest, which is to protect someone they love. They're both badasses too. [Laughs]
THR: Will we see more Caleb-Paige scenes?
Blackburn: You'll have to wait and see. They succeed in some ways, but really fail in others.
THR: Will Caleb interact with other characters on the show he hasn't had many scenes with?
Blackburn: I believe so. Caleb's very much in the know with a lot of stuff that's happening with "A" and because of his position, he definitely branches out and he tries to make some changes by talking to other characters in hopes of helping Hanna and the girls and himself.
THR: What was your favorite scene from last night's episode?
Blackburn: It doesn't have any dialogue but when Spencer (Troian Bellisario) goes into the apartment building -- there's punk music playing, which was funny to hear in PLL -- and to see Spencer have confirmation about Toby and her breaking down. Troian's very invested and I love watching her. They made her look like a crazy hot mess.
Pretty Little Liars airs 8 p.m. Tuesdays on ABC Family.