Troian Bellisario explains why the end of 'Pretty Little Liars' comes with a 'bittersweet prize'

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."

SEE ALSO: Ashley Benson talks wrapping 'Pretty Little Liars,' giving back and what she plans on doing next

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:

45 PHOTOS
Troian Bellisario through the years
See Gallery
Troian Bellisario through the years
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS - Troian Bellisario stars as Spencer Hastings on ABC Family's 'Pretty Little Liars.' (Photo by Andrew Eccles/ ABC via Getty Images)
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS - Troian Bellisario stars as Spencer Hastings on ABC Family's 'Pretty Little Liars.' (Photo by Andrew Eccles/ABC Family via Getty Images)
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS - 'The Jenna Thing' - With the return of Jenna Cavanaugh to Rosewood, the girls must face an unpleasant past as questions arise about Alison's death, in an all-new episode of ABC Family's original series, 'Pretty Little Liars,' premiering Tuesday, June 15th (8:00 - 9:00 PM ET/PT). (Photo by Jamie Trueblood/ABC Family via Getty Images) SHAY MITCHELL, TROIAN BELLISARIO, ASHLEY BENSON
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS - 'The Jenna Thing' - With the return of Jenna Cavanaugh to Rosewood, the girls must face an unpleasant past as questions arise about Alison's death, in an all-new episode of ABC Family's original series, 'Pretty Little Liars,' premiering Tuesday, June 15th (8:00 - 9:00 PM ET/PT). (Photo by Jamie Trueblood/ABC Family via Getty Images) TROIAN BELLISARIO, ASHLEY BENSON
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 05: Actress Troian Avery Bellisario attends a signing event for ABC Family's 'Pretty Little Liars' at Barnes & Noble Booksellers at The Grove on June 5, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
Actress Troian Avery Bellisario arrives at the 9th Annual InStyle Summer Soiree on August 12, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. *** Local Caption ***
BRENTWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 03: Actress Troian Bellisario attends the 13th Annual Lili Claire Foundation Garden Party Benefit Luncheon at a private residence on October 3, 2010 in Brentwood, California. (Photo by John M. Heller/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 24: Troian Avery Bellisario arrives at Variety's 4th Annual Power of Youth Event held at Paramount Studios on October 24, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic)
Actress Troian Avery Bellisario attends TV Guide Magazine's 'Hot List 2010' party at Drai's Hollywood on November 8, 2010 in Hollywood, California.
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 13: Actress Troian Bellisario arrives at the Oceana Benefit hosted by Equire House LA held at Esquire House LA on November 13, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Caulfield/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 05: Troian Bellisario attends ABC Family's Winter Wonderland at The Rock Center Cafe at Rockefeller Center on December 5, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Mack/FilmMagic)
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS - 'I Must Confess' - Aria, Emily, Hanna and Spencer finally decide to tell someone about 'A' in 'I Must Confess,' an all new episode of ABC Family's hit original series 'Pretty Little Liars,' premiering Tuesday, August 23rd (8:00 - 9:00 PM ET/PT). (Photo by Eric McCandless/ABC Family via Getty Images)TROIAN BELLISARIO
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS - 'Never Letting Go' - The Liars are taken by surprise when Alison's mother returns to Rosewood, in 'Never Letting Go,' an all new episode of ABC Family's hit original series, 'Pretty Little Liars,' premiering Tuesday, July 19th (8:00 - 9:00 PM ET/PT). (Photo by Bruce Birmelin/ABC Family Channel via Getty Images)TROIAN BELLISARIO
LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 20: Troian Bellisario arrives at the 2011 Young Hollywood Awards at Club Nokia on May 20, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 01: Actress Troian Bellisario arrives at the ABC Family West Coast Upfronts party at The Sayers Club on May 1, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
CORPORATE: ABC Family stars come out for networks Upfront event, held at The Mandarin Oriental Hotel on Monday, March 19th to celebrate the sizzling summer line-up. (Photo by Heidi Gutman/ABC Family via Getty Images) TROIAN BELLISARIO
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 19: Troian Avery Bellisario is seen on October 19, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by JB Lacroix/WireImage)
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS - Troian Bellisario stars as Spencer Hastings on ABC Family's 'Pretty Little Liars.' (Photo by Andrew Eccles/ABC Family via Getty Images)
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS - 'Dead to Me' - As the girls say goodbye to Alison again, new information is dug up, in 'Dead to Me,' an all new episode of ABC Family's hit original series 'Pretty Little Liars,' airing Tuesday, February 5th (8:00 - 9:00 PM ET/PT). (Photo by Eric McCandless / ABC via Getty Images) TROIAN BELLISARIO
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS - 'Cat's Cradle' - 'A' new target hits close to home in 'Cat's Cradle,' an all new episode of ABC Family's hit original series 'Pretty Little Liars,' airing Tuesday, June 25th (8:00 - 9:00 PM ET/PT). (Photo by Ron Tom/ABC Family via Getty Images) TROIAN BELLISARIO
PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 20: Troian Bellisario attends the 'C.O.G.' premiere at Library Center Theater during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival on January 20, 2013 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Sonia Recchia/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 18: Actress Troian Bellisario enters the 'Good Morning America' taping at the ABC Times Square Studios on March 18, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - AUGUST 11: Actress Troian Bellisario poses in the press room at the 2013 Teen Choice Awards at Gibson Amphitheatre on August 11, 2013 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
MARFA, TX - JUNE 29: Actress Troian Bellisario attends the 2013 Marfa Film Festival on June 29, 2013 in Marfa, Texas. (Photo by Amina Munster/Getty Images)
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS - 'The Mirror Has Three Faces' - (Photo by Ron Tom/ABC Family via Getty Images) TROIAN BELLISARIO
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: Actress Troian Bellisario attends the 'Pretty Little Liars' fashion collection launch event at Aeropostale Times Square on January 8, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/WireImage)
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS - 'Unbridled' - With disturbing questions surrounding Mrs. DiLaurentis, the four girls participate in a charity bridal fashion show to try and get answers, in 'Unbridled,' an all-new episode of ABC Family's hit original series 'Pretty Little Liars,' airing Tuesday, March 11th (8:00 - 9:00 PM ET/PT). (Ron Tom/ABC FAMILY via Getty Images) TROIAN BELLISARIO
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JUNE 10: Actress Troian Bellisario attends the Pretty Little Liars event at The Paley Center for Media on June 10, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 08: Actress Troian Bellisario arrives at Marie Claire's Fresh Faces Party at Soho House on April 8, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 18: Actress Troian Bellisario attends the 'Pretty Little Liars' season finale screening at Ziegfeld Theater on March 18, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 10: Actress Troian Bellisario attends the 'Hope For The Holidays' feeding America celebrity event at Los Angeles Regional Foodbank on December 10, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 16: Actress Troian Bellisario arrives at the 2014 Creative Arts Emmy Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on August 16, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 10: Actress Troian Bellisario attends the 'Hope For The Holidays' feeding America celebrity event at Los Angeles Regional Foodbank on December 10, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 09: Troian Bellisario visits the SiriusXM Studios during New York Comic-Con at The Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on October 9, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 18: Actress Troian Bellisario attends the 2015 Entertainment Weekly Pre-Emmy Party at Fig & Olive Melrose Place on September 18, 2015 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Entertainment Weekly)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 06: Actress Troian Bellisario arrives at People's Choice Awards 2016 at Microsoft Theater on January 6, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
PRETTY LITTLE LIARS - 'Tick-Tock Bitches' - It's life or death for one of the PLLs in 'Tick-Tock, Bitches,' the season seven premiere of Freeform's hit original series 'Pretty Little Liars,' airing TUESDAY, JUNE 21 (8:00 - 9:00 p.m. EDT). Fans can catch up on where the Liars left off with an all-day marathon of season six starting at 11:00 a.m. EDT and running up to the one-hour summer premiere at 8:00 p.m. EDT. (Eric McCandless/Freeform via Getty Images) TROIAN BELLISARIO
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 07: Actress Troian Bellisario attends the 2016 Freeform Upfront at Spring Studios on April 7, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Pont/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 08: Actress Troian Bellisario is seen going into Cab in Midtown on April 8, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 12: Troian Bellisario seen at the ABC Studio on January 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Robert Kamau/GC Images)
INGLEWOOD, CA - JULY 31: Actress Troian Bellisario arrives at the Teen Choice Awards 2016 at The Forum on July 31, 2016 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - AUGUST 04: Actress Troian Bellisario arrives at the Disney ABC Television Group TCA Summer Press Tour at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on August 4, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
ORLANDO, FL - NOVEMBER 16: Troian Bellisario attends opening of Origins store at Disney Springs at Walt Disney World on November 16, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 29: Actress Troian Bellisario arrives at the celebration for Freeform's 'Pretty Little Liars' Final Season at Siren Studios on October 29, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/WireImage)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

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.

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.

More from AOL.com:
Bea Miller talks touring with Selena Gomez, spreading positivity and recording her second album
Meet the new 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' star, Eden Sassoon
'Vanderpump Rules' stars Katie Maloney and Tom Schwartz on season 5 drama: 'Insanity now, serenity later'

Read Full Story

Sign up for Entertainment Insider by AOL to get the hottest pop culture news delivered straight to your inbox!

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.