After dropping a World War A bombshell on the Season 4 summer finale of “Pretty Little Liars,” when Ezra appeared to be angry that the Liars found his “A” lair, the internet is abuzz with whether mild-mannered English teacher Ezra Fitz really is “A” or not. Star Ian Harding spoke with Zap2it to dish some dirt on what we saw last night.
Are you really “A”? What’s going on there?
“You know, I honestly don’t know. I know that I’m somehow involved in some shady dealings in Rosewood and Ravenswood. To what extent, I don’t know. I’m only a few steps ahead of the audience, of the fans. I was told a while ago that there was going to be a dark turn for Ezra, but even [creator] Marlene King was like, ‘We know something’s going to happen, we have a few ideas, but we’re going to play it out and see which way we wanna go with it.’ Am I ‘A’? I don’t know. Could be, totally. But there’s also a possibility that I’m not.
But we definitely know that Ezra chilling in a lair full of high-tech gadgetry is not a positive thing.”
So, can you confirm that that is Ezra’s lair, or is that a question still to be answered?
[We are told he cannot speak about that, so Ian cracks] “We’re gonna say it’s Aria’s lair. There we go, boom.”
Writer Bryan Holdman has said that Ezria, as a couple, is endgame for the show, so Aria can’t ride off into the sunset with “A”, right? That would be weird.
“Who knows? As you can see from the kiss, it’s not going to be a one-off, we’re not going to pretend like that never happened. They’re going to have some sort of interaction, I’m hesitant to say ‘relationship, but they’re definitely going to have some sort of interaction in the latter half of the season.
But there’s an interesting dynamic now … for several seasons, it was always Aria hiding something from me, she had all these secrets that she clearly was not telling me, but now the audience is aware that I have something that I’m not telling her and that she, as a character, is completely unaware of, so that’s going to be an interesting dynamic in the ol’ Ezria relationship.”
There’s been speculation after the finale that Ezra was involved with Alison, that he was the man she was with back in the day. Do you have any thoughts on that?
“Who knows? As we get to see from all the stuff that was in the lair, somebody, if that’s his lair, is trying to figure out the whole Alison question. I can’t imagine that he’s just like, ‘Oh, I bet this Alison girl was nice. I’d like to figure that out.’ It’s not as simple as that. Something went on, but I don’t know to what extent. Truly, this is not some tacky interview trick, I’m only a few steps ahead of the audience. We’re kind of figuring it out as we go along.”
Ezra has always seemed genuinely interested in helping the Liars — for instance, we saw him helping Spencer and Emily with college applications this season. Is that genuine? Does he genuinely care about Aria and her friends?
“Somebody else asked me this, like, ‘Oh, Aria and his relationship is a total sham,’ and this could completely be turned on its head and [Ezra’s] Jeffrey Dahmer 2.0, but I don’t think — he’s not a sociopath. He’s not a manipulative jerk. I think he truly does love Aria and he truly cares for Emily, Spencer and Hanna. So to what extent we’re going to find out — there’s probably some information-gathering, for whatever purposes he has, certainly, but it’s not like he’s purely using them just to get what he needs. I think there’s a slightly redeeming quality that he’s being driven by something, but we’re not sure what. It’s not pure evil and the desire to torment these girls for no reason.”
That was Ezra last night in Ravenswood — you don’t have any evil twin lurking about, do you ?
“I doubt it. … No, I feel like that would be such a cop-out for the writers in terms of Ezra’s storyline. Maybe I just shot myself in the foot and that’s where they’re going with this, but I doubt it. Probably Wesley, Ezra’s little brother, would’ve said something, like, ‘Oh man, that’s such a, a ‘Billy’ thing to do.’ I think we would’ve figured that out.
But there’s some secret desires that Ezra has that he’s pursuing right now, I think is the more logical conclusion.”
A popular theory about last night’s final scene is that you followed the girls to Ravenswood out of concern and were mad at what you found in the lair because it means someone is obviously still obsessed with Aria and her friends.
“Yeah, that is a popular theory and I think that seems like a very fun one. I mean, I don’t think — I like the idea that there’s a theme in that there’s some kind of protective quality in his actions. It’s not him just wanting to mess with these girls and hopefully in the end, I can like kill them all or something terrible like that. I don’t think it’s that. I think there is a protective quality to whatever actions he’s taking, but there is still simultaneously an air of shadiness to his dealings, so hopefully that answers your question.”
RELATED: Did a producer confirm Ezra is ‘A’?
Can you tease anything about the Halloween special? There’s a shot of you in Ravenswood with the girls during the Halloween special promo. Does Ezra go to the Night to Remember celebration?
“I am in the Halloween episode. I am in Ravenswood, I stick around. But it’s just, it’s so juicy, I just really don’t want to ruin it. It’s a lot of fun. All I can is I am in the Halloween episode, I am in Ravenswood. To what extent, you’re gonna find out.”
Do you get to wear a costume?
“I wear a costume every day, every day at work.”
Setting aside the “A” business, Aria and Ezra connected at the poetry reading and she kissed him. What does this mean in terms of Ezria and Jake, because Jake is being made to seem like he’s not the right guy for Aria.
“I mean, that’s certainly what I think. Nothing against Ryan Guzman, I actually really love the kid, he’s a really fun guy on set, he’s hysterical. … I think there’s going to be a little bit of a dynamic shift in Aria’s current dating life. As to what extent, we’re gonna see. There’s one or two particular scenes that are just gonna be awesome for Ezra and, and — I’ll leave it at that.”
What do you think, “Pretty Little Liars” fans? Is Ezra “A” or not? PLL returns Tuesday, Oct. 22 for its annual Halloween special on ABC Family.