With 'Truth or Dare,' Lucy Hale is doing something she's 'always wanted' to do

In a post-"Pretty Little Liars" world, Lucy Hale is continuing to check things off of her career bucket list.

The actress stars in Blumhouse Productions' latest horror flick, "Truth or Dare," as Olivia, a do-gooder college student whose friends get accidentally dragged into a life-or-death game of Truth or Dare during a spring break trip to Mexico. It's a thrilling and, in her words, oftentimes "really messed up" horror film that both frightens and prompts laughs by poking fun at the very genre it falls under.

Catching up over the phone with AOL Entertainment ahead of the April 13 release of Universal's "Truth or Dare," Hale said that she's "always wanted to play the heroine in a movie that sort of saves the day," and while she definitely plays the heroine, it's up for interpretation whether or not she swoops in to save the day.

Check out our full conversation with Lucy Hale below, where we talked about the filming of "Truth or Dare," social media and how she envisions the next several years of her career.

"Truth or Dare" hasn't been released yet, but what have you been hearing from the people who have seen it?

I’m loving the response! We obviously made this movie for people to have a good time, and that’s mainly the response -- and that it really freaks them out! The tone of this movie is very specific, and I wanted people to understand what the movie really was. I think people are really getting it, because it’s not just a horror movie. It’s not just scary. There’s a fine line between the comedy of it and poking fun of the genre, but it’s also creepy at the same time. It makes me excited that people are getting it.

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Filming began last summer just as the final "Pretty Little Liars" episodes were airing. What attracted you to the role of Olivia at that time? Why did you want to be part of this project specifically?

We’d been done filming ["Pretty Little Liars"] for a while, but the last episode aired while we were filming. When I read something, it doesn’t matter if it’s a TV show or a play or a movie or if it’s something I’ve done before, I just am looking to do something a little bit different. What spoke to me about this script was that it was very smartly written, and I loved my character. I’ve always wanted to play the heroine in a movie that sort of saves the day, and I finally got to play that. Obviously, I’m also a huge Blumhouse fan, and coming off of their great last year I just feel honored to be part of that family.

Blumhouse has really had such an incredible streak of almost instant-classic horror films over the last several years. What does it feel like being part of that continued legacy? You're in very good company!

Oh, definitely. It’s amazing. Why I love Jason and Blumhouse so much is that they really take risks with the movies that they make, and they think outside of the box. They have a different approach to horror, and making this movie was a risk. I think they had the idea to make a movie about truth or dare for a while, but they just didn’t know how to make it work. So, we all sort of knew going into it that it would be a challenge to make this believable and entertaining, but Blumhouse really believed it in and believed that our directer Jeff Wadlow could pull it off, and luckily it worked out. [Laughs]

You mentioned the challenge of making this film, and your character, Olivia, is involved in some really intense scenes that prompt a guttural reaction from the audience -- at least they did for me! What were the most difficult scenes for you to film?

When we’re filming those scenes, there’s so much that’s done in post-production like the sound effects and music that you don’t really know if it will work until after the fact. The biggest challenge with this movie was realizing that it was pretty much life or death throughout the whole movie and the stakes were really high the entire time. It was a constant reminder that we needed to keep that energy alive, because if we aren’t, then the audience wasn’t going to feel it.

Another thing about "Truth or Dare" is that it definitely has some commentary on social media and society's obsession with documenting everything with our phones. Your character, Olivia, is constantly recording videos of herself and her friends. What do you personally think the film is saying about social media?

It’s kind of hard to talk about, because I don’t want to give away the end of the movie! But, it obviously has a lot to do with social media, and I basically took it as the internet is such a huge, scary place and anything that you put on there lives on forever. There’s a pretty strong message there.

Take me back to when you were first reading the script for this movie. What surprised you the most about it? There are some pretty shocking deaths throughout...

The ending! It’s really clever. It didn’t necessarily scare me the most, but it was a surprise. And then watching the movie, my favorite scene has to be the pool table scene. It was executed so perfectly, and it was one of the first moments in the movie where people are like, "Okay, this is really messed up."

In addition to doing films like "Truth or Dare," you're currently on "LIfe Sentence." Is this how you envision the next couple of years of your career? Being on TV while making movies on the side?

I would love to keep doing "Life Sentence." We’re in the in between stage right now of hearing about a season two, but I signed up to do that show because I knew it was something that I could do for a long time. I would hope to keep doing that, but I also feel lucky that I have time off to do passion projects like this that are fun and different. I just did a movie that premiered at SXSW that was super quirky. So, yeah, that’s where I’m at right now. It’s nice to be able to be a bit picky and do projects that are a bit unexpected and left-of-center.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

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