For the entirety of Pretty Little Liars, you were playing a high schooler who had to deal with a lot of different issues that typical teens go through—aside, of course, from also dealing with a sociopath...
The insane issues that hopefully a typical teen doesn’t have to go through.
Exactly. Was it a challenge to ever have to relive those moments and to go through fallouts with friends and other issues all over again?
Yeah, I think it challenged me more because when I first started filming [Pretty Little Liars], that wasn’t that far away from me. I remembered what it was like to have to answer to your parents and I still felt very strongly if my dad would call me—it was like, 'Oh, I’m in trouble.' And then over the course of playing Spencer for six years, you get so far away from these feelings. There’d be a little voice in the back of my head going 'Alright, I’m done.' So, yeah, it became more difficult for me over the years. And yet there was also something about it that kept me from that mind frame. I don't know quite how to describe it. I believe everything happens for a reason. I just got to make a film [Feed] that I wrote and acted in. The older I got, the more I was like, 'I'd never get to play this role.' And then when I got to play it, I was grateful that I went to my high school to catch that version of myself alive. It was there and it was accessible. Whereas I feel like a lot of people never have it. Like take Jennifer Lawrence's general course— she's usually playing older [characters] and exercising that part of her. I've been exercising a younger side of myself for six years in my career. So, yeah, it's been equally challenging and also useful, but I'm ready to let it go.
Now that everyone’s five years older, what kind of everyday issues can we expect the girls to be going through?
Balancing work with love and… It’s difficult to answer that question in regards to our show because we kicked off [the new season] with these girls, five years later, having a normal life. So I’m super excited to get into Spencer being in Washington and trying to climb her way up the political ladder. Then last night with the season premiere, it’s like, 'Oh crap, somebody’s dead and you can’t leave town again,' so it’s a little bit like what we've always played. These girls want to have the normal problems and yet they can’t deal with the normal problems—they don’t have time to deal with them because their circumstances are so fantastical.
Right. And can you tell me about the movie that you wrote?
Oh, Feed. Well, we’re just editing now. We wrapped in December. Tom Felton and Ben Winchell are in it with me. It’s my first feature film that I wrote and it was directed by my best friend and collaborator of ten years [Tommy Bertelsen], so it was a dream come true to work with him. It’s really not about me, but it’s sort of semiautobiographical and about some of my experiences in high school. I hope I’ll be proud of it. I’m supposed to see a screening of it this Saturday. Yeah, so, we’re gonna edit it and then hopefully do a festival circuit, and then we’ll see about distribution probably sometime in the fall of the new year.