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Wedding bells may be ringing for Ezra Fitz (Ian Harding) and Aria Montgomery (Lucy Hale), but the longtime Pretty Little Liars couple may not make it down the aisle.
“It’s so happy and loving — what’s going to destroy it?” Harding jokes to The Hollywood Reporter.
Ezra and Aria’s engagement came with a big caveat: Aria finally told him the truth about accidentally killing and burying Archer Dunhill — formerly known as Elliott Rollins (Huw Collins) — so they could start their future with honesty. After all the couple has been through, Harding notes that “it would be very hard to break up their love and respect for one another” and that Ezra is more concerned with helping Aria than turning her in.
“If he was to find out who this person was or someone tried to hurt Aria, he’d be the first to start stacking bodies,” Harding adds, calling season seven “downright grisly” and warning that the new games that A.D. is playing could see “people die” as a result.
Below, Harding previews Ezra and Aria’s future and even pitches Ezria Does Europe, a spinoff for the duo with the pair as “secret agents a la The Americans.”
The engagement seemed to come out of the blue. How long ago did showrunner Marlene King tell you that Ezra and Aria would be getting engaged on this season, and did you expect it?
I totally expected it at this point in their relationship. I knew it was going that way and Marlene mentioned it months and/or years ago that was the way we’re going and that we’d see if anything changes. Ezra is a hopeless romantic and there’s so much craziness happening in their lives. With A.D. or “A” or Uber A or the Emoji King or whoever it is out there, they just want something solid. It’s a symbol of the solidity they offer each other and that’s why they did it at this time. … But now, in season seven, I’m jaded.
What do you think Ezra’s dream wedding would look like versus Aria’s?
They’re pretty in sync with each other, so they could combine dreams. She would probably do a lot of boho-chic stuff, but he would want it in one of the cities of his favorite writers like Paris or London or even further, like Prague or Lisbon. They would want a destination wedding more than anything.
Post-wedding, what’s in Ezria’s future? Finishing this book, writing more books, having kids, moving away from Rosewood?
They would try to finish the book and try to do their own projects. I don’t think they would immediately have children. I would like them to explore and be together and really solidify their careers, and then in their early-to-mid-30s, settle down. But they wouldn’t have a ton of kids — just one or two. They would just be artsy vagabonds and have a large garden in the back and Ezra would brew his own beer. Although I guess he’s sober now. They would be the couple that didn’t run the immediate traditional route.
Where do you imagine them living? Not in Rosewood, hopefully.
Geez, anywhere but Rosewood! Why are they still there, dear God? People are dying every other week. I can’t imagine the property values are very high there with the amount of murder that’s happening. I think some dust bowl in the middle of Oklahoma would be better than Rosewood. They’d probably live abroad for a few years and get as far away from the shenanigans of their Philadelphia suburb. They would try Europe, maybe Canada for a bit.
Are you pitching a Pretty Little Liars spinoff of Ezria moving to Prague?
If the writers came to me and said, “OK, here’s what we’re thinking. It’s going to be you and Lucy Hale living in Prague, and in those five years that you were away, turns out Ezra has learned to fight.” Now we’re secret agents a la The Americans on FX, except maybe not as violent because it will probably still be on Freeform. I say maybe not as violent, but I see some of the promos for what’s on Freeform and I go, “You know what? We’re a couple of death scenes away from Game of Thrones.” So I can’t imagine my desire to be a secret assassin in Prague is something they’d shoot down immediately.
What would Ezra’s secret agent name be?
Double-0-Sweatervest on Ezria Does Europe. That’s his secret weapon. That man can get through TSA easily because no one is going to look at him twice.
Now that Aria has revealed the truth about Dr. Rollins, will they team up to take down A.D.?
Especially after what we saw tonight, it would be very hard to break up their love and respect for one another. There are a few scenarios I could imagine playing out that might really disrupt things, but people will have to watch that. Our immediate storyline will be seemingly very lovely and then, you know, not. Nothing is ever fine and good in Rosewood.
Given Ezra’s shady past, is he more willing to look past murder in the name of love, and does that make him go further to save Aria?
After all the trauma that he’s seen, his focus has narrowed. He loves a small circle of people and everyone else can be damned. If he was to find out who this person was or someone tried to hurt Aria, he’d be the first to start stacking bodies. We haven’t seen what he would do when those he loves are really threatened. I think if someone got in the way of his future happiness with Aria, there would be deep repercussions.
Are we going to get any closure on Nicole and if she’s dead and that phone call?
We’re going to get some closure. He was really devastated when she basically passed away and we’ve seen some closure. There will be echoes of that and it will be nice and done. Nothing to get in the way of Aria and Ezra.
How would you rank A.D. compared to the other “A” villains that we’ve know? Is he or she crazier, more vicious, smarter?
This thing, we’ll say for the sake of being succinct, is a bit more sick. There are a certain couple of things that happen that are downright grisly. In past seasons, “A” has messed with the girls and sent dolls that look like them or pictures of them while they slept. The stakes get a whole lot higher this year and the games that might be played, if they’re played incorrectly, people die. Since we went to Freeform, the rules have become a little more lax. There are a couple things that happen — one in particular that I cannot go into — that I read in the script at the table read and looked at the producers and was like, “Is that gonna get cut? How are we getting that past network?” Apparently it was already approved. It is going to be grisly. There’s definitely going to be some red dye that’s flung around the camera.
Marlene said there’s the biggest body count of the season …
Yes. There be some bodies that are stacked.
Pretty Little Liars airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on Freeform.
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