'Pretty Little Liars' Star Vanessa Ray Opens Up About Playing Transgender Villain CeCe Drake

"This was a really bold move on [our creator’s] end."

When we found out that (spoiler alert) CeCe Drake was the big bad "A" on "Pretty Little Liars," we were shocked. It's not that we didn't see it coming -- we'd always thought CeCe was suspicious -- but we definitely weren't expecting the complex storyline that followed. 

By now, fans of the show probably know how the summer finale ended. (And if you don't, it's been almost a week, so what are you waiting for?) CeCe Drake (Vanessa Ray), aka Charlotte, who was born Charles DiLaurentis, was revealed as the girls' vicious tormentor. People all over the Twitterverse freaked out, telling showruner I. Marlene King that she'd ruined their lives. Others called King out for the transgender storyline, saying it was "hackneyed" and "harmful."

But King stuck by the show's big reveal and defended the writing.

"We certainly did not jump on the bandwagon," she told Entertainment Tonight. "We definitely came up with this idea three and a half years ago. I mean, it's been a long time in the works and if you go back and you watch the CeCe episodes -- because I went back and rewatched every single one, and reread all the scripts to make sure I didn't make any mistakes in this finale -- we've told you she is 'A' so many times." 

Now, Ray, who actually got to play the show's master villain, is opening up about the role

Speaking to Yahoo, the actress revealed, "I've always known that CeCe was doing more than being sassy. But this explains where her sociopathic tendencies came from and why she is like this. Of course when I found out I was ‘A’ I went back and looked at every conversation and every line of dialogue. I was like 'Oh, I should have known all along.'" 

She also supported King's claims that writing CeCe as a transgender character wasn't a recent idea. 

"This is a relatively new conversation in this country. We have some amazing people that are standing up for transgender people and it’s very cool to see that. I was bursting with the desire to talk about it and have conversations and see where the country is at," she said. "My only concern was that people were going to think it was calculated, but it’s not. This was a really bold move on [our creator’s] end." 

"Pretty Little Liars" will return in 2016 and will follow the girls through their daily lives five years after they unmasked "A."


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