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Pretty Little Liars' A.D. Opens Up About Playing the Show's Biggest Bad Ever

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Warning: PLL finale spoilers ahead!

The moment that we've been waiting several long, confusing years for is finally here—but some fans already had it all figured out. The series finale of Pretty Little Liars aired last night, and the identity of A.D., the big bad that puts all the other wannabes to shame, was finally revealed. The question is, what does she have to say for herself?

"It's so unnerving! It feels so weird talking about it. Like, 'Oh God, am I going to get into trouble?'" none other than Troian Bellisario, the actress behind not one, but two PLL characters (the beloved Spencer Hastings and her evil twin Alex Drake, or A.D. to the rest of us), told ELLE.com.

Troian was no stranger to the game. In fact, she shared the secret of A.D.'s identity with Marlene King for years. Years! And now that we're finally all in on this summer's biggest secret, Troian is finally opening up about what it was like to play both Rosewood's biggest sweetheart and biggest nightmare. ​

So, probably one of the biggest questions we're all wondering is when did Troian figure out she was A.D.? "I was first told in the beginning of season five," Bellisario said. "Marlene took me aside and told me, 'I have an idea, but I don't know if the network will let me do it...' Then she sat me down and explained this whole ending to me. She said, 'You cannot tell anybody. It might not even happen.' So I sat on it for over a year. Then at the end of season six, she said, 'We're going to do it.' It was like the starting gun at the races."Shook. That's all I have to say.

How on earth did Troian keep her lips sealed? "It's been real rough," she revealed. "But for a long time, people would ask, 'Who's A.D.?' And I'd say, 'It's me!' And everyone would just laugh. It's kind of great when you have a secret that so few people—only me, Marlene, and a handful of others at that point—know. It means you can hide in plain sight." Oh, the irony.  

In the early scenes where Troian was supposed to be playing Alex as she impersonated Spencer, she had to figure out how to not give too much away. "As we were building the evolution of how good she would get at impersonating Spencer, we had to walk that razor-thin edge between keeping the secret and subtly letting the audience know," she explained. "One of the first scenes where you see Alex is when she shows up as Spencer and asks Toby for the kiss goodbye. We were all sweating bullets over what she was going to wear to look like Spencer, how good she would be at imitating her, how uncomfortable she might be, how much it might throw her off. But the fans interpreted it as Spencer being nervous about saying goodbye to Toby. It was wonderful! They filled in all the blanks." Bless my poor Spoby heart. 

Troian also worked overtime on perfecting her English accent. "I've never been more nervous—my heart was pounding the whole time. Switching between the accents and the two different personalities, I've never been more exhausted. By the end, I turned to someone else like, 'What just happened?'" Same, girl. Same.

There's one big way Troian distinguished playing Alex from playing Spencer. "Spencer comes out from under things, that's where her confidence comes from," she said. "Alex has a very different kind of confidence. She's brash, she's, uh, a very sexually confident person. [Laughs] I think of it like this: Spencer approaches things with her head and her heart, and Alex approaches things with her head and her groin. That's not to say she doesn't have a heart or feelings, but she's gotten really good at putting a thick coat of armor over her heart." That certainly explains a lot!

How does Troian feel now that the world knows A.D.'s identity? "I'm just nervous about how the hell this character is going to go over," she explained. "It's bold! But even if you figure out that Spencer has a twin, you're never going to guess the backstory and the insanity that brought her to Rosewood. So I think there are still going to be surprises. I also feel like you're not going to get through seven seasons of this twisty-turny, topsy-turvy show, then see me spin around as a different person with a different accent and be like, 'No, no, I don't buy it.' We've made these great leaps and unexpected turns, and the audience has come with us every time. So I have a lot of faith that the audience is just going to enjoy it. And that's what I hope for them. If it's the last two hours you may ever get to spend in Rosewood, then God, I hope to shit you enjoy it." *Mic drop*

Is anyone else's head completely spinning? The PLL series finale was definitely not for the faint of heart, and to all those sharp fans out there who had this whole situation figured out, hats off to you. 

Follow Amanda on Twitter.


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