By: Gibson Johns
It hasn't sunk in for Troian Bellisario that "Pretty Little Liars" is ending. The actress, who has played Spencer Hastings on the hit show for seven seasons, told me on a recent phone call that, because the cast has always gone on hiatus for the holidays, everything still feels normal.
Even so, the final day of filming hit her "like a ton of bricks." The emotional goodbye, which all five of the show's biggest stars heavily documented on social media this fall, marked the end of a journey for the whole cast and crew of the show, all of whom felt as though, despite the tears, "it was time to try other things."
For Bellisario, that statement has meant many things: In addition to wanting to try her hand at more films and television -- she "would love to just get to work," she told me -- the star recently married Patrick J. Adams and has also teamed up with Burt's Bees for a partnership that she called "wonderful."
I caught up with Bellisario last week to chat about the end of "Pretty Little Liars," what she has coming up next career-wise and why she'll never have to worry about losing her lip balm ever again.
See photos of Troian Bellisario through the years:
Check out my full conversation with Troian Bellisario below:
Has it sunken in for you that "Pretty Little Liars" has really ended?
I don't think it's really going to sink in until next year, when we would normally have gone back. Right now we're on hiatus, which we would usually have taken, anyway -- we usually work eight or nine months a year and then go on this hiatus that usually lasts from Thanksgiving to the beginning of March, then we'd go back to work. It's really not going to hit me until spring rolls around, and I'm not going to be going back to the set and the room and the people that I've gone back to for seven years.
When I talked to your co-star, Ashley Benson, a few weeks ago, she compared your seven years on "Pretty Little Liars" to the four years that a lot of us spend in high school or college, which really speaks to the emotional weight of ending such an experience. What was the most surprising part about your personal reaction to it ending?
Probably that I didn't realize how emotional I would be, you know? Seven years creep up on you. It's very true that there are so few things in my life that have lasted for seven years -- high school and college don't even last that long. So, to have this experience with these people, you think in your mind that you're going to be so stoked go get out of there and try something new, and then when it actually comes time to say goodbye, it hits you like a ton of bricks. You realize that once you leave, you're never coming back. I don't know when I'll be back on the Warner Brothers lot, and that's a place that I went to for most of the year for seven years, every single day.
When you look beyond "Pretty Little Liars," what do you want to be doing? Do you want to get into film or stay in television?
I would love to just get to work! I definitely want to do film, but television is so incredible now. There are so many wonderful roles. That's the bittersweet prize of getting to step away from "Pretty Little Liars": It's bitter because you have to say goodbye to it, but it's sweet because you get to try so many new things. Everybody on that set -- as much as they hated to say goodbye -- truly felt like it was time to try other things.
A post shared by Troian Bellisario (@sleepinthegardn) on Dec 15, 2016 at 10:52am PST
So, I saw on Instagram that you're at the Burt's Bees headquarters today and that you made your own lip balm! How's the visit going? What flavor did you go for?
It's been absolutely incredible! I've had so much fun, and the level of nerd is so high. I'm obsessed with the original flavor of Burt's Bees lip balm, but I tried the vanilla bean, and it was super cool because when we put in the vanilla extract, it smelled like Christmas cookies. It made the whole laboratory -- which is in the middle of the office -- smell amazing. It was incredible, because I got to see everything that goes into making one tube of lip balm, and all of the ingredients were pure. I knew every single one of them -- it's a very simple recipe -- which is what I always like to see in a beauty product.
Why did this partnership with Burt's Bees feel like such a good fit for you?
They were kind enough to ask me to come onto the #BringBackTheBees campaign and try to raise awareness to the ways in which we can be conscious of our dwindling bee population and what that means for us as a species. It's not just sad that bees are going away because we'll have less honey -- it's really intense and bigger than that! We did that last year, and it was really wonderful because we got to learn a lot from them.
This year, they invited me to come visit their facility and learn a lot about Burt himself, where the company came from, how they responsibly source all of their ingredients and how involved they are in so many different communities around the world.
What are some of your favorite Burt's Bees products?
Today I made the Vanilla Bean Lip Balm, which was really cool, but I also love a lot of their skincare products. Their Apricot Scrub is a really beautiful exfoliant for the skin, their towelettes are awesome and I love a lot of their toners. They have this Garden Tomato Toner and Rose Toner, which I love. And any one of their moisturizers, too -- they're really beautiful products.
What do you find the hardest part of lip care to be for you?
When I was younger, I used a lot of [other lip balms] on my lips, and I found that I would get really, really red, chapped lips in the winter. I was out skiing a lot, and it would get really painful. I couldn't figure out why they were cracking, because I was constantly putting these products on my lips. But they weren't really getting any better -- it was almost like the products were drying them out more. And then I stumbled upon Burt's Bees when I was pretty young, and it never did that. That was when I really fell in love with the lip balm they were making.
One of the best parts of working with them last year was that they sent me so much lip balm! I now know that any bag I pick up in my house will have a Burt's Bees Lip Balm in it. It's really cool, because it's a total staple. I don't want to have a purse that doesn't have it in it, because I wouldn't feel ready to go out without it.
And lip balm is one of those things that everyone loses all the time, so it must be nice to get a lifetime supply.
Yeah, it's very nice to have a big supply. Also, it's one of those things that everybody in my circle relies on me for. I'm the lip balm dealer!
This interview has been edited and condensed.
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