No stranger to the intense world of the teenage drama in PRETTY LITTLE LIARS, new series regular Tyler Blackburn was happy to chat with press in a recent conference call about the unmasking of ‘A’ and exactly how Caleb and Hanna will factor into events leading up to the big reveal.
How does it feel to now be a series regular on PRETTY LITTLE LIARS?
TYLER: I am very, very excited. I just loved every minute of working on the show, so the fact that I can work on it more and more, it’s such a good feeling. I am over the moon!
What was it about the show that piqued your interest to want to be a part of it?
TYLER: Well, when I first auditioned and I got the sides for Caleb, I just thought he was a great character. I got some backstory about Hanna’s character and she was sort of a spitfire, and I just felt like Caleb was able to keep up, and I liked that. But, it’s funny, when I saw a big billboard for the show—I think right before it came out—and it looked sort of edgy and it was, like four beautiful girls, and I was like, “I could totally be on that show.” So then I got the audition, and I was like, “Wow, this is very fortuitous.” And I auditioned, and I just felt like it was a good place for me. So it all worked out really great.
What would you say are the similarities or differences between you and Caleb?
TYLER: Similarities? I think I can kind of keep up with all different personality types, but I may be not quite as troubled as Caleb and his past are. But I definitely have a brooding side, I think, that comes out sometimes but you know. That’s probably how we’re similar and also dissimilar.
When you’re reading the scripts, what’s your general reaction? Do you find yourself shocked by what’s happening or surprised by what Caleb’s actions and reactions are? Did you expect Caleb to be where he is now or where he ends up in the next two episodes?
TYLER: Well, when I read the scripts, I’m not going to lie, I get really into it because it’s really well written, and it’s exciting. Obviously, the mysteries are left open for us too, and once we read a script and it’s like, “What does that mean?” And then it’s answered in the next episode, or it’s not. So it does get very exciting. As far as where Caleb is, it’s just really funny because I was supposed to do four episodes of this show, and I kept doing more, and I was like, “Wow, this is really cool, and I’m enjoying this.” Then I was starting to think like, “Oh, it would be awesome if Caleb helped the girls find out who ‘A’ is,” and then that’s kind of happening. So I am surprised, but I’m not surprised where he is at this point.
Are we going to continue to see Caleb being involved in the adventure and the mystery of ‘A’ or is this target going to slow him down a bit?
TYLER: I think that after this next week’s episode it does slow down a little bit for Caleb. I think ‘A’ definitely gives people these hurdles, and if they prove themselves and successfully jump over them— ‘A’ doesn’t necessarily back off but gives a slight amount of breathing room. So I think that’s sort of what happens with Caleb. He’s put in some hot water, but he does prevail in some ways. So I think that for the rest of the season after that, he’s focusing again on his relationship with Hanna, as opposed to all of this craziness. So it does shift a little bit, but he definitely helps to facilitate finding out the mystery of who “A’ is.
It seems there’s going to have to be some sort of serious showdown between Caleb and Garrett. What can you tell us about what’s going to happen with them?
TYLER: Well, Garrett’s just a creepy dude. He’s also a cop, and Caleb has a bit of a sordid past with the law and I think that A knows that. A sort of sets it up to where Garrett and Officer Wilden are able to basically charge—not charge but assume—that Caleb has done some hacking illegally and ‘A’ sort of sets Caleb up in that way. So you wonder is Caleb going to get in trouble with the law again, and the law happens to be Garrett. I think Garrett also has some ulterior motives as well, so they’re definitely out for blood. But Caleb is a tough dude, you know? He has a lot of street smarts, and he can keep up pretty well.
Since ‘A’ is going to be coming after Caleb, does that put a wedge also between his relationship with Hanna in any way?
TYLER: Quite to the contrary, it brings them a little bit closer. Usually, it’s Caleb trying to protect Hanna, but because Caleb is in hot water, Hanna has to kind of figure out how she might be able to help Caleb, and so the roles are reversed a little bit, and I think it brings them closer, actually. So I’m sure ‘A’ is pretty pissed off.
Have you ever come up with theories about what’s going to happen next before you read the script with other cast members? Do you guys ever sit around and think, “I wonder if it’s going to go this direction?”
TYLER: I think a little bit, but it seems like we crank it out. I mean, it’s like we film an episode, halfway through the episode we get the new scripts, almost, and it’s like—it moves so fast, and the writers are just so good at their job, that we kind of just leave it to them. And we kind of—we’re along for the ride, in a way, you know?
Who do you see Caleb ending up with romantically, ultimately, and who do you think is going to be going after Caleb?
TYLER: At this point I think that he and Hanna are just like a dynamic duo, honestly. I think it’s kind of a match made in heaven, and so I personally hope that they end up together, and I think that if anybody else goes after Caleb, Hanna’s claws will come out.
Do you have a favorite moment from filming so far behind the scenes or something shot?
TYLER: Oh man, there’s so much because it’s just this show allows you to explore different settings and stuff, you know? I mean, I loved—well, just so many—but in one of the recent episodes where Hanna and Lucas are out on the rowboat and there’s this whole surprise party for Caleb, actually. And I wasn’t even in it that much, but it was just so fun to be in this Warner Bros. backlot outside. I mean, they literally just—the sets on the show are epic, and I love being outdoors. I love being on-set, so it was just a … combination of the two. So I really enjoyed that, but there’s just so many. I just have so much fun while I’m there, so it’s kind of a hard answer to come up with.
I know that when Caleb was brought in on the whole secret between the girls he wasn’t given the entire truth, just enough so that he could help them out. Will he learn the whole truth of what’s going on with them?
TYLER: This season from here on out, as far as Caleb goes, after next week’s episode it does start to focus a little bit more on the four girls as the mystery of ‘A’ is coming to a close. So he doesn’t learn the whole truth this season. I think that he possibly will learn it next season, but for this season, he knows that they’re being harassed, and he’s not okay with that. So he, I think, has his theories, but yes, he does have a lot of unanswered questions about what’s going on. I think he thinks Jenna’s abusing them because he’s been sort of taken advantage by her as well. He sort of has his own theories, like most people have their theories on who ‘A’ is.
In the past, it’s mainly just been you and Ashley working together, but now you seem to work with all of the girls more. What is that like?
TYLER: It’s really fun, honestly. I like that that’s shifted. Obviously, I love working with Ashley, and I find that we have just really good chemistry and stuff. But it’s been really fun working with everybody. I mean, it makes me feel like I’m maybe like the fifth ‘pretty little liar’ or something. But everybody is great, honestly, in their own way as actors, so it’s fun to experience that. With acting, it’s like you form chemistry with different people in different ways, so it’s really added even more fun to work, you know?
So it’s not too much of an estrogen-fest or anything?
TYLER: I love women, and I just think that they’re great. I mean, yes, they can be a little nutty sometimes, but they’re great. So I’m pretty comfortable. Definitely, I like to come home and, like, do something manly.
What do you think makes Hanna and Tyler’s chemistry click together, especially after Tyler’s original lies and deceits?
TYLER: Well, I think that they’re both similar in the sense that they put out this tougher exterior, but they have a lot of sensitivity inside. So I think when they’re together, it’s kind of a platform for them to be able to open up and really feel something. You know what I mean? I think that that makes them feel safe together, and I think that feeling safety with a significant other is just really important. As actors, I feel that it’s a little bit of the same thing. Not that we have these tough exteriors, but that Ashley and I can just really have a good conversation, and we really sort of understand each other. So I think that that helps, absolutely.
Why do you think PRETTY LITTLE LIARS fans have taken to Caleb so well?
TYLER: Well, the show is about four girls and I think that our fan base is mostly girls. So you have to have a balance between the female eye candy and the male eye candy. I feel like they like the fact that Caleb sort of breaks things up a little bit as far as he does definitely bring something—not humorous, but just like an edge to things. He can be a bad- I think, and he’s also a good boyfriend to Hanna, and I think that girls like watching that as well. I think the writers have done an amazing job at creating the character and the evolution because when I first got on the show, he really was just kind of a rebel and stuff, and you start to learn more about him and why he is the way he is. I think that people like that as well. It’s just when you get a background or a backstory to a character, I think that they like that.
Do you happen to know who ‘A’ is yet?
TYLER: Well, obviously I can’t say a whole lot about that, but I can tell you that by the end of this season A will be revealed. So yes, I do know. I do know, but I can’t give any hints or anything.
‘A’ is like the big mystery of the show. How is revealing it at the end of this season going to change the dynamics of the entire show?
TYLER: That’s a great question, and I wondered the same thing. Obviously, you feel like, oh, the show would end, but that is not going to happen. Once A is revealed, there’s another mystery kind of starts from that. So they definitely have kept the momentum going, so you’re not going to be disappointed, and there’s just going to be more and more. I think this is probably one of the biggest black holes that anybody could fall into because there’s just so many layers to it, you know?
Since you’re a series regular now, do you think Caleb will get more of his own storyline?
TYLER: Well, I mean, yeah. It’s possible. Obviously the four girls, they’re the ones with all the headache and all of that. So I think that it’s going to—my assumption is that it’s going to remain mostly about them, but I do think that Caleb’s part is going to become a little larger. I mean, I would hope so. Just once he’s sort of clued into everything that’s been going on, I think that he will play a bigger part. As far as his own storyline or backstory, I’m not sure. That would be cool. I mean, as I said earlier, it would be awesome if he and Hanna went to California and went surfing or something. That could be a cool storyline—turn it into the endless summer, you know?
Are we going to see anymore of Caleb with his family that he’s been introduced to, and how is that going to play into everything?
TYLER: I’m not sure. I know for a fact that the rest of the season takes place in Rosewood, but third season—who knows? That would be fun if Caleb and Hanna were to go surfing in Malibu or something like that. That’d be fun.
Is there anyone on the show that you haven’t really been able to work with that you would like to work with?
TYLER: Holly, I think, would be awesome. I really enjoy watching her, and she is just so sweet and awesome and amazing, and I would love to do some work with Holly. We never really get to do anything, so I would say her or Keegan. I think that would be cool.
What’s been the coolest experience you’ve had being part of the show?
TYLER: Oh my gosh. Those are, like, countless to be honest because it’s been such a change in my life. This show is amazing, and it’s just so successful that I’ve had the opportunity to do so many things. Wow. Gosh. Let’s see. Being a little bit more public figure, it’s sort of awesome when you can lend a hand to certain charities and that type of thing. I’m now a global investor of Stomp Out Bullying, and I was able to go to—not the White House—but to Washington D.C. to raise awareness about cyber-bullying and bullying. And that was pretty awesome just to have certain people there to listen to a little bit of my story, just talking to people who experience that and let them know that it’s—the world is a safer place than it seems—and keep pushing through because it’s pretty awesome out there. The ability to have a voice like that, I think, is awesome. Also, just to be able to act. That’s really what I love to do. I love being on set. I love getting scenes and rehearsing them, and it’s just awesome to have that opportunity, so I’m just excited for everything. I’m just an excited person, I guess.
When will Caleb wise up to Lucas’s obvious, undying love for Hanna?
TYLER: It hasn’t really been written, but I feel like he totally knows, to be honest. The thing is Lucas is a good guy, and he’s been a pretty good friend to Caleb—other than the whole gambling thing—and I feel like it just kind of it is what it is, and I think Caleb feels like, “Hey, we can be friends and make it all work.” But I’m not sure if it’s going to be—I’m not sure if there’s going to be, like, a showdown or anything like that. I just think it is what it is, and I think Caleb just has respect for the situation and Lucas. I don’t think Caleb really goes out of his way to, like, rub it in his face or anything like that.
Hanna has a lot of secrets and lies, and Caleb seems to be a little bit turned off by them, yet a little bit turned on by them. What, if anything, can drive Caleb and Hanna apart?
TYLER: You’re correct in saying that he kind of likes it, but also doesn’t like it. I think that Caleb likes to solve problems. Do you know what I mean? He definitely likes to solve problems. That’s why he likes to sort of get in between there and figure it all out. But I don’t know to what extent—I don’t know what it would take for them to separate. I don’t think that—honestly, maybe something like cheating or something. I don’t know, you know? I feel like they have a lot of trust in each other, and I feel like something like that would break their trust.
Do you think Caleb and Hanna are made for each other? Leading up to the finale, can we expect any surprising turns for Caleb or maybe even getting that Caleb/Lucas duo back on the screen?
TYLER: Their little bromance? Not with Lucas, but I will say that Caleb is sort of put in a position to have to do something that he really doesn’t want to do to help someone out. So yeah, that’s actually a spot-on question, so I think fans will love it. They’ll love it. I thought it was awesome.
Do you think it’ll have any negative impact with the fans after ‘A’ is revealed?
TYLER: No, I don’t, honestly. I think that people are going to, like, just be aghast, literally. It’s going to be so awesome.
What was your reaction the first time you found out who ‘A’ was?
TYLER: I kind of got giddy. The finale episode is like—I mean, do you remember—I mean, most people would remember when Ian was hanging from the bell tower, and there was so much action. That’s literally just a fraction of what goes on in this season finale. So it’s adrenaline pumping. I really genuinely was, like, biting my nails reading the script, and I was just so stoked when it all came to a close and the way it was done. It’s awesome.
I know that you can’t tell us who ‘A’ is, obviously, but I’m wondering since we’ve seen Caleb go against two of the most terrifying and creepy people on the show, (Jenna and Garrett) can we use that to eliminate Caleb for good as a suspect?
TYLER: Well, I don’t even know if I’d go that far. I mean, anything’s possible. I will say that Caleb is very street savvy, and he’s definitely had to lie and stuff in the past, so I wouldn’t rule him out, to be honest.
If you could give Caleb a piece of advice for the coming episodes and coming seasons, what would it be?
TYLER: I would say, actually, a combination of don’t forget to breathe, and take notes because there’s a lot of information out there.
What is your dream plotline for Caleb in season three, now that you’re a regular?
TYLER: Wow. I just feel like there are so many options. I feel like it could go so many ways. I do feel like because of the big reveal— which they’re dubbing “A-Day” by the way—I feel like that’s just going to really open up a huge can of worms for everybody involved, everybody at Rosewood High, all the parts, Caleb, I think everyone’s going to start to get clued in, I would imagine. So I feel like, obviously, Caleb wants to continue to help Hanna specifically, but also her friends. So I don’t know. I really don’t have a solid answer for it. I just want him to continue to be there with them and trudge through the grind of ‘A’ and all of the damage ‘A’ has done.
If it were up to you, what kind of mischief would Caleb be involved with? Or would you like to see him end up more of a hero?
TYLER: Oh, well I think at this point he’s definitely leaning towards hero, and I think for the sake of this show, I would definitely enjoy that. I think these four girls must be driven crazy every single day. I can’t even imagine. So if Caleb can alleviate any of that and play the superhero for a minute, I think I’d like that. I think that they would be very grateful. I think the fans would enjoy it too.
Can you give us spoilers about what viewers can expect in these episodes leading up to the season finale?
TYLER: In the next one, Caleb does have a huge storyline in the next episode. ‘A’ has really put their sights on Caleb and wants to destroy Caleb. Caleb is getting a little too close for comfort, I think, and so he’s sort of accused of some false charges of hacking, and so he winds up in the police station and has to get out of a pretty sticky situation. But after that, there’s only a few left, so things just get a little bit more—let’s see, what’s a good word for it?—obviously confusing. I mean, the show, not confusing, but there’s just like, “What,” like your questions do not get answered. So there’s definitely more of that. I will say in one of the upcoming episodes, there’s a big masquerade ball, and Hanna and Caleb are sort of like a play on Romeo and Juliet, which I thought was awesome, and I think that fans will enjoy watching that because it’s just so beautifully done. I can say that.
Are there any deaths coming up in the rest of the season?
TYLER: You’ll have to watch and see.
Do you think there would ever be a possibility for fans to hear you sing on the show?
TYLER: Well, on the show, I’m not sure. I mean, that would definitely have to be sort of like a decision for the character. But I actually have recorded a couple songs, (one of them was for a web series that I did) and we filmed a music video for it. So that’s actually available online. That song is called “Save Me.” . . . I’ve also recorded another song that—it’s sort of through ABC Family—and hopefully I can continue to do so. They’ve just been really great in providing a platform for me to get in the recording studio and hone that craft. So we’re hoping that some cool stuff can happen with that music, so I absolutely know that the fans will be able to hear some music from me.
So with the countdown to the big mystery of ‘A’s’ identity being revealed in the next few weeks, you do not want to miss one second of PRETTY LITTLE LIARS, which airs Monday nights at 8PM on ABC Family. Catch up with past episodes you may have missed for free online at clicktowatch.tv
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).