The One Thing Ian Harding Will Miss About PLL (& the One Thing He Won’t)

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This is going to be one tough summer, guys. For the first time in seven years, there won’t be any more new Pretty Little Liars episodes to look forward to — Freeform’s longest-running original series comes to an end on June 27, 2017. {INSERT CRY-FACE EMOJI} But, we guess, it’s for the best, right? Like, we don’t want it to wear out its welcome.

And, because it’s the beginning of the end, we also got the chance to talk to Ian Harding about the show, so there — there’s some good news for ya.

The 30-year-old actor is currently promoting his first book, Odd Birds, so, naturally, we discussed the novel. But, of course, we couldn’t let him get away without chatting about all things PLL. While we’re sure that there are plenty of things he’ll miss about the series, we got him to nail down the one thing he’ll miss most.


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“I’ll miss it a lot,” he began telling Teen.com, “especially when you’ve done something for seven years — you really start to live in that person’s skin.”

“I think the thing that I would miss the most is just maybe the life that I had on the show,” he said, “’cause it was pretty amazing. It allowed time and space and enough discomfort to really grow, while simultaneously, it was essentially like grad school because, in having gone to school for acting and then getting to go act on a long-running show for that amount of time […] it was really ideal.”

“There were, obviously, issues and problems among the actors and writers,” he continued, “as will happen on any television show. But I wasn’t really a part of it — I felt kind of like the older brother who comes back from college and has missed all the drama, but everybody’s happy to see him.”

“I’ll miss the life,” he added. “I’ll miss the people.”

But we’re certain there’s one thing he won’t miss: skipping meals. In Odd Birds, Ian reveals that he and a bunch of his castmates (basically everyone apart from Keegan Allen) avoided craft services on sex-scene days — but Ian LOVES food. He’d rather “train for a marathon, as opposed to ‘I need to have that body-fat percentage,'” he explained. “To me, that makes me want to die. You know, caring about that. Food is amazing!”

“Probably by Season 3 or 4, I realized, like, man, I do not care about abs,” he said. “Like, what a useless endeavor.” We told him that Keegan would probably beg to differ, but guess what — according to Ian, Keegan “sort of naturally has that.” Oh.
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Ezra Fitz was never recast… but, shockingly, these PLL characters were:


Toby Cavanaugh

Keegan Allen's been a part of PLL ever since the ABC Family-turned-Freeform series' third episode. BUT, when the drama first aired on June 8, 2010, an actor by the name of James Neate walked alongside Tammin Sursok's character, Jenna Marshall, at ~Alison's~ funeral on the pilot ep.

Photo: ABC Family

Ian Thomas

Before Ryan Merriman joined the cast on the 8th episode as Melissa Hastings' sketchy AF love, there was another actor who called Ian Thomas his alter ego: Carlo Marks. He, too, only made an appearance on the pilot.

Photo: ABC Family

Jason DiLaurentis

Hottie Drew Van Acker made waves on Pretty Little Liars, starting Season 2. But it was Parker Bagley who started making waves as Alison & Spencer's half-brother first. He appeared on two episodes: the pilot and the 15th ep.

Photo: ABC Family

Jessica DiLaurentis

A lot of people were nixed after the pilot — and that includes Anne Marie Deluise, who played Alison's mom before Andrea Parker took over.

Photo: ABC Family

Kenneth DiLaurentis

If you don't remember anyone other than Jim Abele as Alison's dad, then we don't blame you. Actor Jared Jacobson portrayed him on the pilot, but he was basically a background character, so eh.

Photo: ABC Family

Mike Montgomery

As far as the public knows, no reason has been given as to the reason behind Igor Hudacek, Jr.'s replacement as Aria's brother on the series, after he filmed an unaired pilot ep. But we <33 Cody Christian, so the show won't hear any arguments from us.

Photo: ABC Family

Ella Montgomery

Holly Marie Combs has been playing Aria's mom a long time — even on the pilot episode! But that doesn't change the fact that Jean Louisa Kelly was actually cast as the character first.

Photo: ABC Family

Byron Montgomery

Yep, another Montgomery. Like Igor Hudacek, Jr., Buffy the Vampire Slayer alum Alexis Denisof shot a pilot episode, but it never aired; he was recast with Chad Lowe. So, when the first-ever ep premiered, Aria's OG dad was already swapped out.

Photo: ABC Family

Malcolm Cutler

During the Season 3 episode titled, "Single Fright Female," Ezra's ex's son (who was once believed to be Ezra's offspring as well), Malcolm was portrayed by a cutie named Flynn Morrison. 10 episodes later, the same child was portrayed by Teo Briones. Either way, the character was clearly meant to be adorable.

Photo: ABC Family

Veronica Hastings

No one sees anyone besides Lesley Fera as Spencer's mom. And that's probably because the actress who portrayed her on the pilot was uncredited. Heck, even the show's fan Wiki calls her an "unknown actress."

Photo: ABC Family

Peter Hastings

Likewise to Veronica, Spencer's dad was also portrayed by an uncredited person on the pilot. That's why Nolan North is regarded as the only Peter Hastings.

Photo: ABC Family

Kate Randall

Ugh, THIS girl.

Because of your allegiance to Hanna, we're sure you hate her evil stepsister as much as everyone else. So when Natalie Floyd was switched out for Natalie Hall, it made no difference; both equally annoying. GTFO!

Photo: ABC Family

You can reach this post’s author, Kaitlin Cubria, on Twitter and Instagram!

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