Lindsey Shaw – Pretty Little Liars
Q) What are the recent projects that you are working on?
A) You’ve seen Temps all up! It is an awesome indie project that I got brought in on by one of my very best friends, Grant Rosenmeyer. It is an awesome coming of age story for young people. It’s about love, sex, feelings and what we do to feel cool when we’re in love and how it kind of never works out. I’m not sure when it will be released, maybe early next year. I’m so, so excited. I will keep everybody up to date and everyone should definitely go follow the Temps Twitter page. It’s going to be a whole new side of Lindsey (completely different from Paige), but equally human and awesome. I play this sweet girl Stephanie. It brought out this real feminine side to me, which I am sort of gruff. It was really nice to play this girl who was always wearing dresses and exploring her feminine side.
Q) We have seen Paige emerge a little darker this season. What was your first reaction when you learned Paige and Emily were going to be breaking up?
A) I was heartbroken, obviously. I want to see Paily work. There is so much invested in Paily and to kind of watch it deteriorate because of the same issues that I thought we had overcome is hard. But that’s how things are in Rosewood. Things reoccur and things come back around to bite you. I was sad, but I was also intrigued because a breakup really only means maybe they are discovering new sides of each other and new sides to themselves. Ultimately, I want each of them to be okay on their own. I don’t see Paige emerging a little darker though this season. I think she is finally really figuring out that she wants to stand by her own brand of light. There is nothing she is trying to do maliciously. In fact, she is trying to really take the high road where this big gash, this wound in her life is. She wants her girlfriend to come along with her, but she is choosing herself. Paige is choosing herself and I think that is incredibly strong and beautiful.
Q) Now that Alison has apologized to Paige, do you think their dynamic will change or will they continue to be at odds with each other?
A) I don’t think their dynamic is going to change that much. While the apology was very necessary, right and needed to happen, I think it is still the case of “too little too late.” I also don’t think that Alison has changed her ways. I think she is going to continue endangering not only Paige, but the woman Paige loves (Emily). She is just done with the games, but knows the games aren’t going to end. She did it as much for Emily as she did it for herself. So, I think maybe there might not be total animosity like there was before, but it is definitely going to be a mutual thing. I don’t think that Paige is ever going to like Alison.
Q) We saw that Paige might be a part of Mona’s Army. What kind of allies or unlikely bedfellows will they be making?
A) I think that Mona and Paige connect at the deepest level, which is their hurt, vulnerability and their sadness. I think when two people connect like that, no matter over what sort of comes from it, it is just a very strong bond. I think beneath it all is they are hurt and they are finding refuge in one another. They are just trying to protect themselves. I think Paige is actually rising above all of it and sort of choosing her way because in Rosewood it always seems like you are playing somebody else’s game. But I think Paige is truly trying to establish her own game. Whether that gets her burned in the end or not, at least she has been true to herself. I think the most full circle we can see Paige come is not only to be out and living her life, but to be assertive with her own perspective on this whole crazy, messed up situation.
Q) We have seen the new character Sydney as almost a go-between for Emily and Paige. How will her presence effect their relationship?
A) I think with Sydney’s presence you are exactly right. It’s a go-between. I think it makes it easier for Paige and Emily to be able to look each other in the eye again and sort of interact because of that buffer there. So, I think that Sydney really only serves to bring them closer and she sort of indirectly points at all of these things they are trying to avoid. I think, if anything, it is just going to make their communication and interaction easier and speed it up. They could have gone a really long time without talking with each other and making this breakup awkward. But because now there is this buffer they kind of have a direct line to each other, which is cool. I think it is a really interesting way to get them communicating again.
Q) What scene did you note at the table read this season that you felt the fans would really love?
A) Obviously, with Paige and Alison sort of meeting finally I just felt so strongly about that and that was one of the most emotional scenes to shoot. And everyone understood the gravitas, the gravity, of the meeting. I just love how it came out. It was just another huge hallmark in Paige’s story and everybody’s story. That’s definitely one of my favorites. Another favorite is the locker room scene where Paige and Emily are sort of having this flirty banter, which only Joseph Dougherty can write. They are sort of like talking about being in and out of the pool together. In this moment, you can kind of see Paige brings some levity to it. I thought that was a nice, comedic relief and sexy and fun. It was just kind of new and interesting. It didn’t further the story, but it just kind of spoke to the characters and threw them into this silly situation that I thought was very fun.
Q) How was it getting to film that face-off between Alison and Paige?
A) It was really intense. I have to say, it was very tense. Sasha is so incredibly wonderful and bold. Paige was obviously really amped up and ready to talk to her, but what I loved about it is that there was this sense of control the whole time. It was all kind of brewing under the surface and I felt that so, so much. I was vibrating with all of that feeling. It was just really, really fun. It was definitely one of my most fun scenes to shoot on “Pretty Little Liars.” I think what really came through is the strength it takes to look someone in the eye and say, “I was devastated by what you did to me.” It was wonderful and Sasha brought it. We kind of got to see Emily mediate so her energy was there, but she was really handing the floor to Paige. I thought that was really wonderful of her and for Emily just to understand that Paige needed that was very palpable. All of our energy was there. It was just really, really cool. I really wish it had been longer.
Q) How do you think Paige is going to react when she finds out Emily has started a semi-romance with Alison?
A) That’s hard to say because with Nate remember Paige really played it cool and she played the understanding card. And that is what really worked for her. I don’t know if she will really be able to contain her emotional reaction to finding out about Alison and Emily (obviously, because it is very, very different, closer to home and more vulnerable). I think there is a chance she might get it and also I think she would fight for Emily no matter what. I don’t think there is anything Emily could ever do that would make Paige not on her team or not wanting to give her the benefit of the doubt. There isn’t much that Paige won’t overlook for her. I don’t know. It could be a stormy revelation, but at the same time she is in it for the long haul. Or perhaps Crazy Paige will come back, which we all kind of miss. Right?
Q) This season will we get to explore more of Paige’s painful past with Alison? Any chance for Emily to find out about the fake letter Alison wrote to Paige?
A) I really feel as though, especially with that sort of whole apology scene and also with Paige sort of standing up to Mona’s crew saying, “We’re not those people…” I think Paige has really let a lot of the past go. Not the hurt because she didn’t forget it, but the little circumstances aren’t going to come back and be any kind of major player. What is in the past, is in the past. Paige wants to forget about it. Well, not forget, but at least move on from it. I don’t think that there will be any details from the past like that coming up. I think it’s just the overall feeling of being hurt and betrayed.
Q) We have seen Paige change her look a bit this season, as far as how she is dressing and her hair. Was that a conscious effort towards her new attitude?
A) A conscious effort is really giving everyone a lot of credit. I think it honestly just happened very naturally, this change in her look. I think whatever Paige’s look is kind of matches the storyline. It’s just a serendipitous thing. I think she is one of the people who have had the biggest physical transformations, which is cool. I guess kind of it was conscious, but mostly it just kind of evolved on its own and it was beautiful. As Paige became more sure of herself, everything else clicked in. We see her now and she is so comfortable with herself that now she is more comfortable to explore other looks and other sides. I think that’s really, really cool. I think once people come out or are under this umbrella of this label, I think sometimes the evolution can stop because it’s like, “I’m here. I’ve reached it.” I think Paige is really figuring out what gay means to her. I think you can see that with her standing up for herself and her self respect. She’s not losing herself in this label and, in fact, continuing her progress forward.
Q) Is that your favorite aspect of portraying her?
A) Absolutely! The thing that I just admire the most about Paige is that she is not afraid anymore. She has not only gotten into her fear, but worn it like a cape. She let her vulnerability hang out there and let out these emotions that you don’t want other people to see. She played it out in her appearance, in her attitude and in her everything. Even when we saw Paige drop the letter in the policeman’s car, from last season (the big bombshell), she is just becoming who she is and standing by her own choices. I respect and admire that. It takes such a great deal of courage and it feels so good that she brings that out of me when I play her. It’s this tremendous courage that I am still working towards in my own life.
Q) Will we be getting to see any of Paige’s family at all this season?
A) I don’t know. I think that would be a really fun and interesting new perspective because we’ve never really seen Paige with her own family or with Emily’s family. So, I think to finally acknowledge that on that kind of official level would be tremendous. We could also understand a little more of exactly how far Paige has come, how far beyond her upbringing. Whatever her parents are like, we can see what she has sort of come from. I think that would lend a lot of understanding to her character and a lot of compassion. I think a meeting between Emily’s mom and Paige would just show us how much she loves Emily. I think it would just be a very, very cool way to show how much Paige respects Emily and to see Paige’s family would be to understand her struggle a bit more.
Q) Who would you like to see playing Paige’s mom?
A) Allison Janney would be great. Just somebody very boss like that! Somebody very, very strong. Just a tough, tough woman.
Q) There is quite a fan following for Paige. Are you aware of all the fan fiction, artwork, etc. out there?
A) I have seen so much fan artwork. I’ve gotten to receive so much fan feedback. It’s truly, truly so beautiful and wonderful. It’s something that I am so kind of in awe of that people are so moved by this story. It’s so validating and heartwarming. It’s completely new and just awesome! People are affected after the episode. They contribute their time to understanding this better. Honestly, reading some of the breakdowns and seeing some of this art is just really, really clarifying. It really brings Paige back into focus seeing such a clear reflection of her. Sometimes I even understand Paige better after seeing her through the eyes of the people who are watching. Even if it was something subconscious that I understood, just the fact that they reflect it back…I’m so impressed. It’s so moving and so wonderful. It’s such a cool interaction between fans and myself. It’s just the greatest form of validation for this character and it makes me have even more compassion for the people who relate to her. It just keeps me very grounded in the fact that this is a real person and a real life being lived in many different facets all over the world. It’s very humbling.
Q) What would you like to say to the fans and supporters of Paily, you and your work?
A) I have to, once again, say thank you from truly the bottom of my soul for seeing me through this process. I truly am somebody who is trying to figure out myself and I have such gratitude for all of the pieces of myself that they can continue to give me and honor. it’s just so hard sometimes. Everybody understands this, but to feel that amount of love and acceptance is life changing and life affirming. I don’t tune into it enough and I really appreciate the time and effort that they take to make me feel loved. And I do feel so loved! I couldn’t ask for anything more. Thank you! Please, please continue to explore yourselves. Keep exploring. Anything that I give you is for the highest of you. We’re all equal.