It is my own, personal opinion, that summer television is among some of the best out there. Generally compromised of freshmen shows that are living season to season with some of the most fantastic and involved cast members, they are the shows that we are all watching and obsessing over while we are hanging in the limbo between waiting for our fall shows, school vacations and beach trips. I had the opportunity to sit down with a duo who bring us TV fanatics two of the most watched and most loved characters of our summer seasons, Troian Bellisario of ABC Family’s twisted mystery drama, “Pretty Little Liars” and Patrick J. Adams of USA Network’s bromance of the year, legal, whit-fest, “Suits.” They took the time to answer some of your fan questions as well as divulge their feelings behind their characters, and each other’s romances.
Troian Bellisario: What house would I be in? This is really hard and I always struggled with it. Of course I’ve spent days thinking about this…I’ve always wanted to be in Gryffindor, of course, because everyone wants to be in Gryffindor. By the way, Patrick would hands down by Gryffindor.
Patrick J. Adams: It just seems like Slytherin and Gryffindor are it.
Troian: see that’s the thing I want to be in Gryffindor, but I would be Ravenclaw probably, because they value wisdom and learning above all things. But then, Hermione was put in Gryffindor. I envision myself as a Hermione as a really smart Gryffindor. I was always afraid that I would be in Slytherin because I have a bad temper.
Patrick: The end of the movie really bummed me out when they were like “Slytherin people down in the dungeon!” That’s just causing more problems. When they did that they created another Voldemort in that group somewhere. It’s the problem with Republicans and democrats, “we win so you lose” Why don’t we all start winning?
Troian: that’s why you’re a Hufflepuff.
Fan Question: If your lives were a movie who would you want to play each other?
Troian: I would want you to play the part.
Patrick: I would want you to play the part
Troian: That’s sweet. It would just be awkward acting across from somebody that I know is supposed to be Patrick.
Patrick: Rooney Mara is a close second to play you.
Troian: Are you saying that because we seem similar or because you have a crush on her?
Patrick: I plead the fifth.
Troian: So he choose Rooney Mara, and I will still stick to him.
Patrick: I choose you, I always choose you.
Fan Question: “If you could have any one of the 3 deathly hallows which would you pick and why?”
Troian: I mean honestly that all just depends on where you are in your life. If someone significant has died you want the resurrection stone.
Patrick: No ifs ands or buts. If you want one of them right now whats it gonna be.
Troian: I just want a wand. The Elder Wand.
Patrick: what’s the third one?
Troian: Invisibility cloak.
Patrick: easy cloak. Next.
Fan Question: “Patrick, as a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?”
Patrick: an actor and an astronaut I went back and forth. Then someone told me you have to be really good at math and I was like no that’s not gonna happen. I’ll go back to being an actor again. I think it was around the time “Apollo 13” came out and everybody was like of all the things in the world those are the two hardest things to want to be, an actor and an astronaut. I would still have loved to do that but I was so bad at math.
Fan Question: “Troian, What do you do during down time on set?”
Troian: I try to write. I’m working on a few different screenplays right now. But usually you don’t have alot of true down time in between work so mostly I end up surfing Tumblr.
Fan Question: “Patrick, how did you become interested in photography? Is it something you are persuing as a career?”
Patrick: I have always been interested in photography, my dad is a journalist so I sort of grew up with a profound respect for telling a story through images…he also always had a camera around the house so I sort of became wildly obsessed with documenting. As our family got older and older and things started changing divorce and all that I became more and more attached to the idea of sort of capturing moments that I felt would pass me by so I think that’s a little bit of an unhealthy attachment to wanting to hold on to things or at least have something to remember them by and since then I think my photography has evolved to be more about an admiration and a respect not just for recroding a moment but also for letting it go… Is it something I’m pursuing as a career with acting? Yes I’ll always take photos and I love the idea of at some point being able to take a long time to do it. If acting continues to go well take a few months off and just focus on photography that sounds like a really blessed situation to be in but right now my priority has been acting.. And there are ways to interchange them. Having a tumblr throughout this first season ahs been really amazing. It’s been a cool way to share what’s going on on set with fans using my photography, so yes I’d pursue it. I’m going to pursue it all because I can’t sit still.
Fan Question: “Troian, What is a cause you feel strongly about?”
Troian: I feel very strongly about the state of our environment. I hate the way we, human beings, and particularly Americans, are eating these days. It is irresponsible, dangerous, unhealthy and unsustainable, and my head gets set on fire whenever I hear the people who say, “it’s my food and I don’t want to know where it comes from, I just want it to taste good.” Nothing irritates me more because it is that attitude that is depleting our oceans, destroying our o-zone layer, causing obesity in children at the age of two. I just want us to be aware. I just read Johnathan Safran Foer’s “Eating Animals” and I recommend it to anyone who wants to be aware of what they put in their body and what we are doing to the earth.
Another cause I feel equally as passionate about is body image. I recognize that I am part of an art form that at its best inspires and celebrates the tragedies and triumphs of our humanity, but at it’s worst is a machine to make people feel like they need and want more and more to be happy. I suppose I am talking about art vs. commerciality and there is a huge discussion to be made about whether the two can ever be exclusive, but the struggle that I have everyday is knowing that while I can be an inspiration to a lot of girls, I can also make them feel more and more distant from themselves. I sit in a make up chair for 2 hours a day so I can look as good as possible for my show, but that also creates a false image for viewers to expect of themselves. I want to find a way to help girls love their bodies, and love themselves for who they are, not what some false image on the television or the cover of a magazine is telling them they should be because guess what….not even those girls look like that. So many of us are at war with ourselves and we must end it.
Fan Question: “Name a fictional character that you relate to the most or think you are the most like?”
Torian: Hm…I’d say one of my favorites and one that I am very similar to would be Juliet. She is very strong and smart and confident, but she is also vulnerable in love and struggling to shake the overwhelming power and control of her family. She is a fighter, a romantic, and at times a cynic. Maybe she is the best and worst version of me, and that’s why she is one of my favorite characters.
Patrick: The only thing I can think of is Eeyore from “Winnie the Pooh.” No real reason just that my whole life I’ve always been the guy in the corner being a little mopy and only now, recently in my life I am being a little more live out loud and don’t always look at the negative side of things. He’s someone I could relate to early on and now I’m trying to be a little more Tigger. I need some more Tigger.
Fan Question: “Troian, what has been your favorite episode?”
Troian: For me its definitely been these last two. We just shot the second to last and the mid season finale. It’s really really fun. I saw the scene and it was really cool.
After answering some fan questions, we got to discussing what each of them has to say about their character’s, how they relate to them and the web of love triangles they are both involved in.
Patrick, What is your favorite thing about Mike’s character?
Patrick: You watch “White Collar” and shows like that its always about someone who is the best guy in the world. They are the best or the smartest or the coolest person. I love that Mike’s a guy whose not the best and I think people can really relate to that fear of starting something new that you aren’t sure you can pull off. I love playing that because Harvey’s the guy who is amazing and I get to let him be the best guy in the world at something and I get to let him be the best and be the guy who’s totally learning from him and doing my own thing really well sometimes and be the guy who comes up with solutions he wouldn’t really come up with but I can still mess up sometimes and Its in the messing up that for me I think he show works.
You’re always auditioning to be the coolest guy and the bad ass; The person who has one fault and that’s it; Mike’s not the best he just wants to do this thing right. I think we’re in a time now where people respond to that…That’s what people relate to. I don’t want my super hero to be the most perfect person in the world I want them to have flaws. I like playing the flaws.
Troian, you have said before if you had any advice for Spencer you would tell her to chill. Spencer has changed a lot. Has that changed?
Troian: Spencer has definitely changed. Which is interesting, I feel like the more time the writers spend with us the more they’re writing us into the characters which I like and I don’t like, I feel like because where I was when I was 16 is literally Spencer’s level of anxiety all the time it was awful but it was something that took me a long time to grow out of and I think the writers are seeing where I am now and sort of building that into Spencer but I kind of want to get back to that. I always like it when Spencer comes up against something. When there’s a control issue or something like that and she’s freaking out about it. It would still be that. I mean it’s my problem too. Spencer wants to fix everything and everybody that’s why she wants to control you know all of her friends relationships and you know make everything okay because she thinks that she can do it. Whenever anybody’s going through something she thinks you just need to follow my plan and of course you’ll be fine.
Troian: Can I ask a “Suits” question? Where are you in terms of Jenny vs. Rachel?
Patrick: In my heart? I love both of them I think its so interesting to have so many powerful strong cool women on a show that’s actually about guys. We’re like these dudes you know, people compare us to “Entourage” in that way. Because it’s a show with two central guys who want to win all the time. It would be easy to go into territory where all the guys have a roulette of women and all the women are kind of just there to have sex with them. And on our show it’s like every woman is so powerful and so charismatic and so storng and the actresses who play them are equally more so. I just love that this is a love Triangle but its not a matter of Mike Ross can pick whoever he wants. These two women are both awesome people and great characters, one of them represents Mike’s past and one of the represents what he imagines his future to look like so there’s this real choice for him to make and its not a clear cut choice.
A lot of people think we’re working towards a romance with me and Rachel and most shows that’s how it is you go oh those two are going to end up together that’s what is gonna happen but on are show, There’s somebody else kind of holding that back, so that’s where I stand. I’m terrified that if I chose Rachel that Jenny would be less part of the show and I really don’t want that to happen because Vanessa is really cool and wonderfully talented.
Troian, who do you want him to end up with?
Troian: I’m team Rachel because it was so obvious from the beginning that they’re fun together and their connection and the chemistry is so flirty and the pilot scene with the “I love you” and them sparring. But, I remember reading the script of the scene where you’re sitting outside and she kisses you. The first time Jenny kisses you. When I read that scene I was like “oh I do not like Jenny. No, get her out.” And I watched the scene and the way Vanessa played it, my heart broke for her and Patrick kissed her I think it was a moment where, I hate watching him kiss anybody but I was like yeah! I don’t like this but I do!
What about Spencer’s love triangle. With Wren only around for a short time it was easy to say “team Spoby,” but now with him coming back around where do you stand?
Troian: Wren kind of screwed himself over because he was in the family very strong he was my sisters’ fiancé and its just one of those things where its like even if years go by is that going to be okay? Just the way that they write Wren and the way that they write Toby –Wren and Spencer are cut from the same cloth; They’re both incredibly smart. They’re both sarcastic they both put their wit and logic before their feelings, and they’re both really impulsive and so when you see them together I think that’s what the fans about like them; They are the same speed but I think its that they don’t stretch each other.
One of the cool things about Toby that Marlene made is that he has never lied and the first time he lied was for Spencer. Toby represents this purity and this heart that Spencer’s been missing from her life and that’s the person she’s supposed to be with because that’s the person that’s going to make her grow the most. I love the moments where Toby is forcing her to do the right thing or Spencer is pushing Toby in ways of ambition because Toby is not that ambitious and they are growing from that struggle.
Patrick: I like Toby. When someone has a British accent it makes you charming or something. But I see through your accent and your flowers. I like Toby, the mysterious guy with sort of a secret it doesn’t seem like he’s doing anything secretive you guys are just in love.
What if Hardy came back on “Pretty Little Liars?” Could he have a fling with Spencer?
Patrick: We talked about that because I like the idea that Hardy could be dangerous, that he could be a little bit like that bad boy. We didn’t know who Hardy was but I liked the idea that he’s the college guy who’s like a bad boy because Spencer likes all the bad boys. We liked the idea that Hardy could be the guy who throws the wicked parties. I talked to Marlene about it, we joked that Every year can be the Hardy Halloween special, the Halloween Party at Hardy’s house. It would be a one off mystery, and you would never have to see him again.
Troian: We were saying that we didn’t really want to have a whole storyline but we wanted in the episode that its this massive blow-out party and all this stuff goes down and at one point I just walk into a room and he walks into a room and we both kind of look at eachother and we’re like “hey.. uh… do I know you?” And then it cuts to us just making out. And Toby’s just downstairs sipping a cup awkwardly.
Patrick: “I like your costume” “yeah you too.” And that’s it. And then you leave and you never see Hardy again until the next Halloween.
What if Troian were to have something similar on “Suits” to Patrick’s small part on PLL, what would the part be?
Troian: Oh my gosh, I would either want to be a Lolita-ish intern that reeks hell on the men of Pearson-Hardman. Or I would want to be a really, really dangerous criminal that Mike and Harvey are brought in to prosecute or maybe better to defend and at first I seem all sweet and innocent and then I turn out to be a total monster. So something sexy or dangerous. Sorry, you can tell I haven’t thought about this at all….
Patrick: Troian is one of the most incredibly gifted actor’s I have ever seen and so I don’t know exactly what the role would be but I would want it to be something really strange. She speaks French so maybe like a French client. Not that being French is strange, but I would want it to be something that stretched her in a really different way than what she does on PLL. She’s so great on that show but you end up having to do the same stuff over and over like anyone would on any show. I would want her to be something different like a soldier returned from war..Yeah now we’ve become a French solider that’s a little weird. I would just want to see her do whatever she wanted to do, some client, or maybe a paralegal, though we have one of those. Maybe some strange client who speaks French and fights wars and dances. Give her a opportunity to show off all her other talents to the world. All though it would be fun to have Spencer Hastings come on the show. Either way, lets get Hardy back on PLL. I wanna get on that set.
Be sure to catch Troian Bellisario and Patrick J. Adams the final two episodes of the summer season of “Pretty Little Liars” on ABC Family Tuesday night’s at 8pm est and the remainder of “Suits” on USA Thursday night’s at 10pm est for more from this awesome summer TV duo.