Shay Mitchell talks 'Pretty Little Liars' girlfriends: 'The more the merrier!'
By CHELSEA HUANG
Shay Mitchell has had six on-screen girlfriends in just as many seasons of "Pretty Little Liars" and she has one major message for showrunners.
"Bring it on! The more the merrier!"
Despite having a rollercoaster of a love life on the show, Mitchell revealed she has trouble picking her favorite TV ex.
"I love them all for different reasons," she told AOL in an exclusive interview at the Stella Artois "Bon Voyage to Summer" party in NYC. "I think I was longest with Paige, and I love Lindsey Shaw. She's just amazing. I know there are a lot of 'Emison' fans out there, and working with Sasha [Pieterse] is always such a pleasure. She's so talented, and it's just great with all the different partners."
Despite a massive season finale and bombshell "A" reveal, "PLL" fans can still expect a whole lot more in coming seasons, especially as the show jumps five years and Mitchell, 28, plays a character closer to her age.
"So now when us girls are hanging out, we're not just in a coffee store having to sip coffee and tea. Now we're having drinks, we're going out, our conversation topics are a little more mature. And thats just fun for all of us ... We're age appropriate to our fans again," she said.
Even though "PLL" began with a younger fan base, the show pushed the boundaries for teen TV. It was largely ahead of the curve in featuring an LGBTQ character -- Mitchell's character, Emily -- in such a prominent way when it debuted in 2010.
"I remember when it first came out, and everyone was like, 'Oh my God -- you play a lesbian character!' And now I don't really get asked 'how do you feel about kissing a girl?' anymore. That's not really in the conversation anymore because there are so many shows," she said.
"Just seeing how much this character has helped fans even just start the conversation with their family and friends, I'm like this is awesome. It's one thing to entertain, but to have a small impact on their life is huge."
The same quest for impact is clear in a whole slew of Mitchell's projects beyond "PLL." The star recently rolled out her lifestyle blog Amore & Vita, wrote a soon-to-be released a young adult novel, "Bliss," and launched an activewear line, Fit To Wander, which has positive affirmations and slogans printed into each piece of clothing.
"I realize the role I play with these girls, and I take it seriously," Mitchell said.
Scores of celebs have entered the lifestyle space as of late, using their influencer statuses in a big way -- but Mitchell, who has 8.5 million followers on Instagram, revealed the one star in particular that really inspires her.
"I put everything that I have into everything that I do, and I've been seeing that from Jessica Alba -- It's so amazing what she's been able to do," she said.
Alba sits on Forbes list of the nation's richest self-made women due to her growing Honest Company, which is worth more than $1 billion. With Mitchell's slew of new projects, it's easy to see her path in the same direction -- but topping a list isn't the only thing that motivates her.
"That's always the dream, but at the end of the day what's more important to me is that I'm giving good product, and I'm having an input in everything I do," she said.
When Mitchell isn't writing, blogging, designing and acting, she's entertaining guests. With a successful blog like Amore & Vita, it's no surprise that the actress-turned-entrepreneur is also hosting guru. And she recently teamed up with Stella Artois' #HostBeautifully campaign to throw a gorgeous day party on a boat in Manhattan, with beers courtesy of Stella and delicious bites thanks to Food52.
Hosting a get-together can definitely be a doozy, but Mitchell gave AOL some of her secret hosting tips and tricks. Check them out the slideshow below: