After wrapping seven seasons of the wildly popular teen drama "Pretty Little Liars," you would think that Shay Mitchell would be eager to take some well-deserved time off. But downtime doesn't seem to be on the actress' radar.
Since the wrap of PLL, Shay has gone on to film a horror movie, star in a new Lifetime television series as well as partner up with Allergan to help spread the word about birth control options. We sat down with the star earlier this month to get the latest on all of her new projects.
AOL: It’s awesome to hear that you’ve teamed up with Allergan's Know Your Birth Control campaign. And it's no secret that you have a massive fan base of young women; why it is so important to you to share resources about birth control with them?
Shay: Honestly, I think it’s extremely important to just know your options and to be educated and informed so you can have those conversations with your health care provider. It's crucial that you get the right information, so partnering up with Allergan on this initiative was a no-brainer for me. I was raised in a really open, comfortable household where I was able to have those conversations with my parents and I really did know my options, and I know that that's not the case for everybody — but I want that to be. I want them to know that you can get that information...
So having campaigns like this hopefully allows women to feel more comfortable to go and use the tools that they’re providing and the resources to then go and make their own decisions.
You filmed seven seasons of "Pretty Little Liars," which was a very dark series. How did your experience filming your new horror movie "Cadaver" differ?
I shot "Cadaver" right after "Pretty Little Liars" ended and it was a trip. You know, to go from working with four other girls to really being the sole girl for the majority of the movie was crazy, but it was such a fun experience. It really is crazy playing a different character after being Emily for so long and then also playing this character who had been through a lot, it really was an interesting transition. And it was kind of like, "okay, here you go!" You just have to do it. So studying and really preparing for that role was a lot, but it was fun. I mean, I'm a zero to one hundred person, so it's like, "throw me into it!"
And shooting "You" [her new Lifetime series] which comes out soon in New York -- that was a bucket list dream. To shoot something in New York and get to live here and to have that New York City life for three months was also something that I was so excited about.
"You" has an amazing cast including Penn Badgley, Elizabeth Lail and John Stamos. What can you tell us about the series?
I'm so excited! When I read the script, I knew that even if I wasn’t involved, I wanted to watch it. It's based off of a book series and you know Penn Badgley's in it who I love and Elizabeth was so amazing in it, and it's kind of on the borderline between romantic and stalker and like how much is too much to really know about a person before actually meeting them.
I am a major fan of your Youtube channel and your "Shaycation" travel series. Do you have any fun travel plans coming up this summer?
I'm actually going to Vancouver at the end of the month, which is pretty awesome because Toronto and Vancouver are my hometowns. I'm excited to be able to show people kind of where I grew up and the best parts of Vancouver! So we're going to go shoot that at the end of the month.
I have Dubai on the forecast, a possible Japan trip, but I mean it's awesome I'm getting to travel and share my experiences with people. So I'm super excited about it and seeing Shaycation and what it's turned into with Youtube, and not at the beginning was Youtube so welcomed in acting and the acting space, but now we have people like Will Smith coming on, and it's really cool because I feel like I am still a newbie to the Youtube scene. But it was something I wanted to try out and experience and so I did and I didn’t really care what people were saying about it. And now it's turned into something that's another extension of my brand and what I do. So it's really fun to be able bring the two together: my love of traveling and then recording it and sharing it with people.
What are some of your absolute must-haves when you're traveling?
I always have my airplane bag with essentials, so I have like my face masks and moisturizer, hand cream, sleeping mask, ear plugs, socks (cold feet on an airplane are never good) and then snacks, bring your own snacks always too! And an extra water bottle because they never give you enough -- those kind of essentials to make you feel comfortable on that long flight. I definitely learned the tips and tricks when it comes to traveling, so my travel bag is fully stocked. I could survive on it for a week even if I didn’t get to my destination!
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