There are so many reasons why Pretty Little Liars is such a jaw-dropping and spectacular show. For starters, the mystery of ‘Who is A?‘ alone is enough to rattle any viewer’s nerves and intrigue. The show also boasts a wonderful writing team and lovely cast members (i.e. Shay Mitchell, Ashley Benson, Lucy Hale, Troian Bellisario and more). Lastly, when the whole amazing crew — from the set design team to the editors to the creative directors — combines their professional expertise, PLL magic happens! And best of all? We were able to score an interview with one such mastermind….Chris Grismer!
Chris Grismer is a talented Hollywood director who has filmed five unforgettable and drama-ridden episodes of Pretty Little Liars and has even worked on some of our favorite shows including The Vampire Diaries, The Secret Circle, and The Nine Lives of Chloe King! So when he agreed to chat pretty little behind-the-scenes secrets with us you can bet that we were beyond ecstatic.
Tune in to the interview below and find out what it’s like to work with such a great cast and get the scoop on the heartbreaking slow motion Ezria scene from episode 2.16, “Let The Water Hold Me Down“!
PLL: You’ve directed five episodes of PLL so far and we loved each of them! Which was your favorite though?
Chris Grismer: Tough call. I loved each one for different reasons. I loved shooting the pool stuff. I loved shooting in the morgue. I think Save The Date is my favorite. The show is such a blast to work on and they really encourage directors to channel their inner Hitchcock.
PLL: Are there any purposely hidden clues on any of the five episodes that you directed? What should viewers be on the lookout for?
Chris Grismer: I don’t really hide clues myself. If I did, I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t be asked back. The writers play a lot with subtext and clues and sometimes we purposefully frame to hide something or underline a clue.
PLL: What was your main goal as a PLL director? What aspects of the show did you want to emphasize?
Chris Grismer: I wanted to push the limits for myself as a director in terms of the suspense beats. Figuring out what makes a shot more dynamic and frightening was very interesting.
PLL: What is it like working with the main Liars – Lucy, Ashley, Troian and Shay?
Chris Grismer: They are the BEST. Each one brings something different and unique and without any one of them, the show would be completely different. I think their personalities were so perfectly combined in casting that the show couldn’t be anything but a hit.
PLL: We loved the slow motion scene between Aria and Ezra on “Let the Water Hold Me Down.” What was it like being in that moment on set?
Chris Grismer: It was late at night on the Warner Brothers backlot so it was pretty much my childhood dream come true. I loved shooting that scene. I wanted to extend that moment as long as I could so that when they don’t get together, it feels even more painful. We wanted to feel the power of the fates working against them. I got a lot of angry tweets about that one.
PLL: You’re very popular on twitter! Who are your top three favorite people to follow?
Chris Grismer: Norman Buckley got me into Twitter for our double up episode dual, It was fun. I love his tweets. I’m a bit of a camera nerd too so I follow @photojojo for cool camera info. I’m also a fan of the comedian @clairebrosseau because she’s Canadian and hilarious.
PLL: And now for the most important question of all —who do you think A is?!
Chris Grismer: Easy. “A” is for “Aria”. Or is it Ezr”A”? Or “A”shley? Or perhaps Sh”A”y? Nope…probably Troi”A”n…
Do you think that Chis was just teasing when he said “A” is for Aria or “Ezr-A”? Or do you think he’s onto something major here? Leave your feedback in the comments and discuss your ‘A’ theories further in the Pretty Little Liars viewers lounge!