'Pretty Little Liars' Premiere: Ashley Benson Talks Mona's Return, Haleb And The 'A' Team

'Pretty Little Liars' Star Ashley Benson On Mona's Return, The Future Of Haleb & More

After months of waiting, the "Pretty Little Liars" premiere is finally here (Tuesday, January 8 at 8 p.m. EST on ABC Family) and Rosewood will never be the same.

Mona (Janel Parrish) is out of Radley when Season 3 returns and Hanna (Ashley Benson) is the only one who trusts her ... or at least, who wants to trust her.

Ashley Benson took the time to chat with HuffPost TV via phone about a Hanna's friendship with Mona, a big step for Hanna and Caleb, more members of the "A" Team, those mannequins, her new movie "Spring Breakers" and much more.

Mona is out of Radley when Season 3 picks up. How is Hanna feeling about that?
She has mixed feelings about it. She went to visit her a lot when she was in the psych ward and she was kind of hoping that Mona would change. I feel like she has a lot of hope for her to be her friend again, but obviously, she can't trust her that much. So it's kind of weird.

Is she trying to convince the other girls to trust Mona too?
Yeah, she's trying to tell them to give her a second chance, but they think she's bat-shit crazy. [Laughs.] So Hanna's the only one saying, "You have to give her a second chance. She's changed. She's good." But Mona also shows Hanna different sides of her than she had when she was insane so I don't think much has changed. Hanna really wants to believe she has, but she really can't trust her.

How does Mona being back affect Hanna's relationship with Caleb [Tyler Blackburn] since he was so against her going to Radley and everything?
Caleb's just kind of tired of everything, but I think he's going to stick around. Their relationship is actually pretty good this season so he's there to help her out. He knows that Mona's important to Hanna and she wants that friendship so he's not for it, but he's going to support her.

We're also going to find out more about Caleb's backstory this season. Will Hanna meet his family?
Yeah! Hanna has a lot to do with his family members this season. She helps mend that relationship because she doesn't have a relationship with her father so she kind of uses the opportunity to fulfill herself as well.

Hanna's grandma [Betty Buckley] is also back in the premiere.
Yeah. Betty's so cute and fun. I love when she's on the show. All of the scenes with Hanna and her grandma are always really funny. We joke around a lot.

We've seen snippets of a scene in the trailer where Hanna's being chased in a room of white mannequinsl. What's that about?
She gets set up by "A" -- she thinks she's going for an interview and obviously, that doesn't happen and there's nothing there. "A" tries to trap her. It's a really great scene. It's scary!

Do you like doing those scary scenes?
I don't really like screaming in front of the camera -- it's kind of awkward, especially when you're by yourself. But it's still fun.

After last season, Byron [Chad Lowe], Aria's [Lucy Hale] dad, is definitely looking suspicious. Will we learn about any other members of the "A" Team this season?
Yeah, for sure. There's a lot more people that come out as being part of the whole "A" Team. There's quite a few actually. You'll slowly learn who those people are throughout the season.

You've said that you want Hanna to be "A."
[Laughs.] I just think that'd be really fun. I always tell the writers what I think is best for the show and they don't listen to me, obviously. But I always tell them to make me "A" and maybe they'll listen. I'm just waiting for the day.

Do you have a favorite upcoming episode or scene?
I have some great scenes with Shay Mitchell. They've been putting our characters together a lot recently and we always have a lot of fun tougher.

You also have "Spring Breakers" coming up and your character is completely different from what we've seen you do. What drew you to the role?
Well, Harmony Korine directed the film and he's an amazing, amazing director. He's a genius. Anything that he's a part of, I just know will be amazing. Obviously, working with James Franco was awesome. Vanessa [Hudgens] and Selena [Gomez] are some of my best friends so it's fun to work with them, but my character is super dark. She's just a wild girl -- she's into drugs and alcohol and sex. She's really, really different from anyone I've ever played and I was super excited for people to see that part of me because a lot of people just see me playing a popular girl and this girl is trashy [and] scary so it's pretty crazy.

You're also going to guest star on "How I Met Your Mother," right?
Yeah! They called me and asked if I wanted to be on the show and I said yes because I've never done a multi-camera show before. It was really, really fun. I don't really watch TV so I hadn't seen it, but working with those actors, I learned a lot doing it. It was a great time and I'm glad I was able to do that.

Well, you do have a bit of a comedy background because of Hanna. She's really the comic relief on "Pretty Little Liars." Do you like having the opportunity to be funny?
Yeah, I do. I like to get that chance in the show, which is so dark and heavy, to add a little lightness to it. I love Hanna's lines. She has the best one-liners and it's so fantastic. It's actually just like me in real-life. I think they put a lot of me into Hanna recently. It's been so much fun to play. I love doing comedy.

"Pretty Little Liars" premieres on Tuesday, January 8 at 8 p.m. EST on ABC Family.

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