One week from tonight, Pretty Little Liars returns for its hotly-anticipated fourth season -- a year that will, by all accounts, be the show's darkest yet!
To find out what else lies in wait for fans, I hit up the set and sat down with the stars to talk cliffhangers, trunks, missing moms and disappearing castmembers. First up is my chat with Ashley Benson!
ETonline: Last season ended on the mysterious trunk reveal. What was your reaction to finding out what was inside?
Ashley Benson: I was at the table read, like, "Nooooo!" I was really upset, but I saw how it made sense with where this season is going. I just didn't want it to happen.
ETonline: The finale also featured Hanna seemingly seeing Ali -- when we pick up, does she think Ali's alive?
Benson: Yes, Hanna believes she saw Ali. All the girls are nervous and scared about the possibility, but Hanna firmly believes that Alison is alive. So now it's about figuring out how they can prove she's alive because we've all seen her too many times.
ETonline: Mona is a full-fledged member of The PLLs this season. How does Hanna feel about that?
Benson: Hanna wants to trust her, but it's tough. Mona was her best friend, but she put Hanna through hell. She tries to tell the other girls good things about Mona and how she can help, but at the same time Hanna herself is doubting it. So, she'll be nice to Mona because she needs to get information out of her, but, at the end of the day, Hanna doesn't want her in the group.
ETonline: I kinda thought it was sketchy that Hanna's mom was out of town in the finale. Am I right to be wary of that?
Benson: Oh yeah, I think you're going to hate Ashley Marin this whole season. You'll feel bad for Hanna and she's going to try to protect her mom, but everything is working against her at this point. It's a tough season for The Marin Family. But, as an actress, it's the best.
ETonline: I feel like season four looks to be the darkest yet. Would you agree?
Benson: Definitely, and that makes me so happy because I like dark things in general. We've been together for four years and our fans, who were 13 when the show started, are now 17, so I think the more and more our fans are growing up, the more we can go to these darker places. The darker the better, to be honest.
ETonline: What are you excited for fans to see this season?
Benson: This season feels so new. We have a lot of new characters, crazy storylines for them and more people keep joining The "A" Team. Like, people that you'd never expect. Characters the girls thought were on their side and were so close to are turning their backs on them because it turns out their agenda this whole time has been to ruin their lives!
Pretty Little Liars premieres June 11 at 8 p.m. on ABC Family.
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