Whether it's the plight of a television star or simply the reality of someone who excels at a particular task, it's an extraordinary feat to separate one's self from others' boxed-in visions and expectations. But for Troian Bellisario, whose public identity has become somewhat synonymous with her character Spencer Hastings, it seems high time that her other projects stand alongside the fascinating, confusing phenomena that is Pretty Little Liars.
In the past five years that Freeform—formerly known as ABC Family—originally aired the young adult adaptation, Bellisario has quietly dipped her feet into indie cinema, starring in more than 10 short films, a Sundance hit (C.O.G.), and the military rape-centered web series Lauren. Last month, she released her most interesting project to date, a remake of the sadistic French film Martyrs. While the film has all the makings of a typical horror film—blood, gore, slashings, and the occult—it's easily one of the most chilling films released in recent years. Because when you play a teenager who has been continuously stalked by a murderous, manipulative shadow character named "A" for half a decade, your idea of terror is bound to become a bit altered.
We caught up with Bellisario to talk about the film, her venture into screenwriting, and the strange, perverted space that is the Internet.