The moment Pretty Little Liars fans have been anticipating and dreading in equal measure finally came to pass last week as Spencer learned her one true love, Toby, was secretly part of The 'A' Team and broke down in the show's most devastating scene to date.
ETonline caught up with Keegan Allen at The Television Critics Association Press Tour to get his take on Toby's turn and find out when PLL will fill in the gaps in Toby's history. Plus, I learned that EP Marlene King has been feeding him Toby's secrets all along!
ETonline: The last time we talked, I had no idea Toby was 'A' -- did learning that change anything about the way you play him?
Keegan Allen: Yes. Well, yes and no. I knew pretty early on in the season, so if you look back, you can see where I'm playing those early hints. Now that people know he's 'A' there's a lot more overt tension because the audience is looking for it.
ETonline: What's been your favorite part about playing so many different shades of Toby over the show's run?
Allen: It's been amazing. To start the show as this outcast who became the show's moral compass in season two to now being a betrayer, as an actor, it's all amazing to play. And playing the levels and understanding where I'm going with it is just fun. I was really excited to do this because it not only flips everybody around in the realm of Rosewood, but also flips the audience around. We not only give them what they want in terms of shock and awe but we show them that not everything is perfect, and that's what I think is really strong in the show.
ETonline: Obviously the fact Toby is 'A' is massive, but I can't wait to find out the why behind Toby's betrayal.
Allen: What's amazing is that Marlene will tell me the truth within the realm of the narrative while we're shooting scenes. She'll be like, "This is what's happening right now, but here's some information about the past that you should also be playing." That's such a wonderful gift to get as an actor because you don't have to think about it. As the season progresses, you'll see more about what he's been doing and why he's been doing it. Toby really has an ax to grind with these girls -- they wronged him, made him into this scapegoat, blinded his stepsister, made his family disown him, he wasn't able to go to school, he was named a killer, he went to jail and he went to juvenile hall all because of their mistakes while they went free. Toby has a lot of hate and anger in him towards those girls and it's just starting to be realized -- and it will be realized in a big way.
ETonline: Will those answers come in the form of flashbacks?
Allen: Oh yeah. There's big flashback coming up with Alison and Toby that really explains a lot of the animosity he has for those girls. We'll also get illumination on the time he was missing from Rosewood. It's pretty devastating where he was at mentally before he came back to Rosewood and they tie in many events from the past, so it all clicks and you think, "OK, that makes sense now."
ETonline: What are you excited for the audience to see in the coming weeks?
Allen: Everything is an experience. Every show is intense, especially towards the end of the season. There are so many breaking points for all the characters in the final few episodes that the audience will be on a ride in an extraordinary way like they never have been before. The finale is so over-the-top, mind-bending, out-of-control and the finale doesn't just start in the final episode. The finale kind of starts five episodes before that and just hurtles towards the cliffhanger. What happens is a serious trip.
Pretty Little Liars airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC Family.
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