In ABC Family’s hot teen mystery series THE LYING GAME, Alexandra Chando plays twins Emma and Sutton. In the first half of this season, Sutton has her twin sister take her place so that she can track down their birth mother. But the longer that Emma pretends to be her twin, the murkier and more entangled their lives become. Sutton’s search for their birth mother unearthed a woman by the name of Annie Hobbs, who was being kept in a psychiatric care facility. In the meantime, Emma discovers that she loves Sutton’s family and has fallen in love with her sister’s boyfriend. Outraged and betrayed, Sutton returns to unmask Emma and show what a fraud she is. But at the end of the mid-season finale, things take a more sinister turn as Sutton is last seen as her car sinks to the bottom a lake with a dark figure in the back seat. In an exclusive interview, Alexandra Chando shared what’s next for the twins and how their lives are affected by Sutton’s disappearance.
At the end of the mid-season finale, we last saw Sutton’s car disappearing into the lake. How long will it be before we find out if she survived or not?
ALEXANDRA: I think we find out within the first couple of episodes what happened to Sutton. In the first returning episode, they are not sure what happened to her. But it picks up right where we left off at the party. There’s still no sign of Sutton and I think that everybody kind of starts to wonder what could have possibly happened to her and sort of jump to the worst conclusion that she’s probably not still alive.
How does Emma feel about possibly having to continue pretending to be Sutton indefinitely now that Sutton is missing?
ALEXANDRA: I think, for her, it’s an interesting thing — because she obviously doesn’t want for her sister to be dead. She just found her and is trying to form a relationship with her. So she obviously doesn’t want for her sister to be dead, but I also think that she feels that she has a leash on her with this charade. I don’t know if she would come clean and say who she is, or just keep going. It’s kind of a really bad position.
So it’s something that is tearing at her soul a little bit as we go into this next half of the season.
ALEXANDRA: Yeah, I think it’s all starting to wear on her a little bit — keeping up the lie. She feels so much guilt for lying to Kristin, keeping things from her and she’s constantly going back and forth and struggles with whether she should tell somebody and come clean. So it’s starting to wear on her.
So how does that affect the relationship between Emma and Ethan? Because he’s obviously aware with what’s going on. Will they have other obstacles in their new relationship, or will this sudden change make things stronger for them?
ALEXANDRA: I think a little bit of both. One of the exciting things about the beginning of this next half of the season is Ethan and Emma can finally have a relationship. Because for the last 10 episodes they were kind of on this track of “should we or shouldn’t we”. Now they are finally able to allow themselves to be in a relationship, so we get to see into that world. But at the same time it’s television, as we know, and the second a couple gets happy, something happens to shake it up a little bit. That definitely happens here and there are things that kind of throw in a wedge between them.
Do you think now that Emma’s got to keep up the masquerade a little bit that people around her are really going to start to see the differences and suspect that this isn’t the girl they thought they knew, and does the charade become easier to continue for Emma?
ALEXANDRA: I think Emma is feeling the pressure a little bit, but she does her best to keep up the charade. It’s gotten a lot easier that Thayer knows, so at least she has Ethan and Thayer to confide in and work with her. The three of them form a great bond together. But, for the most part, Emma struggles with what to do and keeping up the charade.
Are they making a team effort to look into whose behind all these things, like the disappearance of Sutton, and are they looking to turn the tables on that person? Or are they still kind of just reacting to all these big changes that are happening to them?
ALEXANDRA: Right away, Emma, Ethan and Thayer are working to find out what happened to Sutton and what’s going on and what part Alex has in all of this. I think they are all starting to try to figure out the mystery of it all — and they are working together to do it and get some answers for themselves.
What excites you at this point as this season continues in playing Emma?
ALEXANDRA: There’s a lot! In every episode there’s definitely something fun to do or to play. I mean, gosh, time is flying and it’s all starting to blur together. I will say that one thing I’m excited about in the show is the fact that we’ve got Gil Birmingham from “Twilight” to come and play Ethan and Dad’s father. So we’ll get to take a closer look into Ethan and Dan’s past and answer the questions as to why Ethan is the way he is — which I think is cool because he’s the only character that’s not yet developed. His past is not developed yet.
Sounds like you’re just as excited as everyone else to find out more about each of the characters.
How would you describe Charisma Carpenter’s new character Rebecca and how she fits into the lives of the Mercers? What kind of ripple-effect does that have on them?
ALEXANDRA: She comes in right away and when Emma hears Kristin call her Annie, she thinks it is her birth mother. But she’s actually Rebecca Sewell, who is Char’s aunt — and she is actually tied to Alec and Ted, as we quickly discover. I actually haven’t had too many scenes with her yet, except one or two in passing. So she’s kind of involved in the older crowd, but I know she’ll have an effect on a lot of the characters — especially Emma.
What can you share about the “unexpected encounter” upcoming in the January 16th episode that could turn Emma’s life upside down?
ALEXANDRA: Oh boy, that’s a tough one! I don’t know if I can answer that one without giving anything away. [Laughter]
To see what kind of trouble Rebecca stirs up and the ultimate fate of Sutton, be sure to tune in for an all new episode of THE LYING GAME on Monday, January 2nd at 9PM on ABC Family.
Tiffany Vogt is the Senior West Coast Editor, contributing as a columnist and entertainment reporter to TheTVaddict.com. She has a great love for television and firmly believes that entertainment is a world of wondrous adventures that deserves to be shared and explored – she invites you to join her. Please feel free to contact Tiffany at Tiffany_Vogt_2000@yahoo.com or follow her at on Twitter (@TVWatchtower).