Gregg Sulkin's career has been pretty magical, and not just because he played a werewolf for two seasons on Wizards of Waverly Place. The London native has found big success in this country, especially in the realm of entertainment beloved by teen girls.
Now he's appearing on ABC Family's hit murder mystery Pretty Little Liars as the younger brother of Aria's main squeeze Ezra Fitz. Last season we found out Ezra was a bit more complicated than we initially thought. He's got some baby mama drama and a wealthy family that's just a little bit nuts. That's where Wesley Fitzgerald, played by Sulkin, comes into the picture. Just like everyone in Rosewood, Wesley has some secrets we'll soon discover when Pretty Little Liars returns January 8.
BuddyTV was lucky enough to speak with Sulkin about what we can expect from Wesley, playing that creepy Rosewood ambivalence, and what it's like reuniting for the Wizards movie.
So obviously at BuddyTV we love Pretty Little Liars. Had you seen the show before you got cast?
No, I'd never seen the show. Of course I had seen the posters around town on all the billboards, it was kind of hard to miss because it's everywhere. Every girl I think I know watches the show. I had never seen it, but of course I had heard of it.
What can we expect for Wesley coming up when Pretty Little Liars returns in January?
Well there's lots! You're going to see the relationship between him and Ezra grow. You're going to see a lot more drama and you're going to look into Wesley's past. He's a charming guy, so you may also see some possible love interests. You know, there's always drama.
Well it seemed like there were some sparks flying between Wesley and Aria, who is obviously Ezra's girlfriend. Are we going to see any more of them interacting in the season coming up?
Yes, you definitely will.
We've learned a bit about Ezra and Wesley's family and they're a little bit crazy, as everything is in Pretty Little Liars. Are we going to learn more about them?
Exactly, Wesley is a kid from a highly dysfunctional posh family who has a chip on his shoulder. As the season goes on you get to realize why, number one, he has a chip on his shoulder. And number two, why his family is the way it is and why he's turned out the way he has.
You just popped up this season as Ezra's little brother, so what's it like working with Ian Harding? How did you build up that brotherly connection when you just started on the show?
Ian is great. A very, very nice guy. He's very professional and very good too. Being on the set you learn a lot from different people and I definitely learn a lot from Ian. I have a brother in real life, so it's kind of nice having a fake brother again.
Now that we've found out Toby is on the 'A' Team, it seems like everyone on the show is very suspicious. Should we be suspicious of Wesley? Are we going to find out something about him that's going to make him seem a bit shady?
All I can say is I think you should always be suspicious of everybody. So that maybe includes Wesley.
Everybody in that town seems to be very suspicious. I'm not sure why anyone lives there.
Yea! [laughs] Very true. I think they're made to live there because they're hired as actors to live there.
Do you have any personal theories on who else might be playing for the 'A' Team? And to tie into that, how much does the cast actually know about who's bad and who's good?
Well you know I just came onto the show in the last few months, so I've never been the kind of person or actor to demand that kind of information of the producers or other actors. I just go in, do my job, and stay out of that writing situation as much as possible. I don't have any theories, because I've just been concentrated on my character.
Acting-wise I think each actor just focuses on their own job. If their storyline pops up and has something to do with "A," that's great. Each storyline has a lot of problems and a lot of twists and turns. I think they do a really good job of combining all the storylines on the show. So I'm really happy with my storyline. My storyline, as you'll see, definitely gets a little more developed. It's been nice and it gets very interesting.
I've been wondering, from an acting standpoint, is it hard to play that ambiguity? Because so many of the characters have to seem at once like they could be a good person but at the same minute like they could turn on a dime and be part of this group that's just terrorizing these teenage girls. Is it hard to play that ambiguity where you seem like you could be a good guy but maybe you're also a serial killer on the side?
It is hard if you don't make choices. You have to make choices regarding character work and character development and character background. Because otherwise you completely get lost. So it's definitely a challenge playing that kind of, like you said, ambiguity. Which is nice.
Is there anything you can tell us about the storyline with Ezra and Aria? We just found out that he has a child. Is there anything you can tease in the upcoming season?
Lesson one is obviously "cover up, city boy". [laughs] Number two, I can't say too much but all I can say is that it's pretty obvious that when you have a child your life completely changes. That includes everything that you've done and everyone that you've been with in that present moment in your life, that all goes out the window. Once you have a child, your life changes.
What's it like working with the cast of Pretty Little Liars?
They're really cool. Just really, really cool. Lucy [Hale] has been nothing but nice, warm, and friendly. She's just a really lovely and sweet girl. But all of them are. Tyler [Blackburn] and all of those guys are really professional but also really welcoming. It's been really nice getting to know them and there's not that many egos on set, which is nice .
Are there any fun behind the scenes stories you can tell us?
Well I get to shoot on the Warner Brother's lot, which has always been my dream. Especially coming from London, getting to work on that lot is really something special to me. I'd say that's kind of my favorite part of doing the show.
There's a lot of history on that lot.
Yea it's kind of old Hollywood meets new Hollywood, which is kind of interesting and really cool.
You've mainly been working with Ian and Lucy up until this point. Is there anyone you haven't worked with that you'd really like to?
To be honest I'd be happy to work with anyone they put me with. I've never watched the show too much to know what storyline I'd like to overlap into. But whoever they put me with I know they're going to be great and they're going to be sweet, because I've obviously met everybody. Wherever the wind takes me on the show, I'm more than happy.
Obviously Pretty Little Liars fans are very passionate and they're very dedicated and that seems to be something that was also true of the fans of Wizards of Waverly Place. What's been your experience with fans of both of the shows?
All I can say fanbase-wise, I think my fanbase ranges from 10-year-olds to moms and grandmas. Without Wizards fans I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing now. They kind of started me off on this journey that I'm on in America and they've been there for me since the start. Of course with the Pretty Little Liars fans, it's nice because I've gotten to take some of my Wizards fans over with me to watch the show. So it's been nice being able to do that.
Also Pretty Little Liars fans are definitely diehard fans. They love their show, they don't want their show to end, and they don't want the show to change. They definitely don't want anyone coming in and destroying things that have already been created, which is great. That's the amazing thing about Twitter, you get to interact with all your fans and really understand their point of view of the show, because when you're going to work you just do your job. But it's also interesting having another point of view and hearing people who have opinions on different sides of the show. They've reacted really well to pretty much all the work that I've done, to be honest.
I think Pretty Little Liars fans are really interesting too because I feel like it's the teenage girl version of Lost. They just get really into all the clues that get dropped along the way about who might be "A."
Oh yea, I've sat through an episode with girls and the amount of 'ohs!' and 'ahs!" that go on is pretty intense. They're into it, there's no taking taking them away from the TV. Even if they need the bathroom, I think they won't even go in the commercials. I think they'll just wait until the end. [laughs]
Well it's a teen show but it's also a murder mystery, so underneath all the relationship stuff there's the mystery of 'who is this person terrorizing these girls?'
Oh yea, exactly! The hook on the show is amazing. That's why it's just been picked up for a fourth season. Any show, if you have an amazing hook and you have an amazing showrunner and you have an amazing cast and a solid fanbase, you're going to go for many years. So ABC Family is very fortunate.
So switching gears a little bit, what was it like filming the Wizards of Waverly Place movie? Did it feel good to be back?
Yea, we're filming it right now. It's really good to be back. It's nice to see everyone. The table read the other day was a bit weird, because it was hearing those voices in those characters. In a year you completely forget about doing it. You always remember the show in your heart, but you never think you're going to step back on the same set again. So it's great.
They really are like my family out here, those guys. Some of them are my best, best, best friends. So I'm very happy to be back. It's a movie that we're kind of doing for the fans, so we just wanted to give back and say thank you.
The fans obviously want to know what the relationship between Alex and Mason is going to be like in the movie.
They've watched the show and they know it's a year later and they're still together. I think they've always acted like a married couple and they continue to act like a married couple. I think Mason would do anything for Alex and vice versa, even though she may sometimes not show it.
Their relationship is definitely tested. The family goes to Italy and they kind of get trapped in a spell that makes Mason somehow get jealous. So their romance is blossoming as always, but it's also tested. So you may get to see Mason wolf up again.
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(Image courtesy of Harleymoon Kemp)