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PLL’s Malia Pyles Reflects on Mouse’s Growth, Why She Wouldn’t Mind Ash Being a Suspect and More (Exclusive)

PLLs Malia Pyles Reflects on Mouses Growth Why She Wouldnt Mind Ash Going the Dark Side and More
Malia Pyles MAX

Malia Pyles is just getting started when it comes to bringing Mouse to life on Pretty Little Liars: Summer School.

During an exclusive interview with Us Weekly, Pyles, 23, discussed how Mouse has come into her own, what she would like to see from her character’s romance with Ash (Jordan Gonzalez) and the care that went into this season’s Pride episode.

Warning: This story contains spoilers about the Pretty Little Liars: Summer School season 2 finale.

“[Not having Mouse’s mothers during season 2] was incredibly necessary for Mouse’s growth. So much of her identity as a character is the fact that she’s been sheltered and kind of caged in a lot of ways her whole life. I do think she needed that level of independence to make these mistakes and also just to move freely with the girls,” Pyles said before noting how she would like Mouse’s parents to return in a potential third season.

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The actress was thrilled to see Mouse’s growth as an individual, adding, “Of course, you get to see Ash have sleepovers in her bed and I think their relationship as well reaches new heights. I definitely think having a certain level of freedom with her mothers being on a Disney cruise — which is hilarious — provides [something important for Mouse].”

PLLs Malia Pyles Reflects on Mouses Growth Why She Wouldnt Mind Ash Going the Dark Side and More
Malia Pyles MAX

Season 2 of Max’s Pretty Little Liars picked up with the friend group trying to enjoy their summer while taking extra classes. Mouse found herself wrapped up in the Bloody Rose mystery through the horror website Spooky Spaghetti. But that was just the first of her problems as Mouse was also in charge of watching her grandmother, whose mental health was deteriorating quickly.

“Loretta being a part of this season is integral to the story line with Mouse’s own growth and her as a protector and being pulled in two directions with the mystery aspect of it,” Pyles noted. “But also having her grandmother’s health deteriorate in such a way and kind of spiraling — she is trying to understand how to put on these different hats and help the situation.”

Pyles told Us that she would like to see Mouse roar in future episodes, exploring the rage that she’s kept bottled through the first two seasons of the reboot.

“With Mouse we haven’t — unlike maybe some of the other girls — she’s so good at covering and she can be so isolated in her emotions. I would love to see a manifestation of her female rage in a really palpable way,” she shared. “Also going further, with utilizing her computer skills it would be kind of cool to see her go against her enemies by hacking or doxing them or doing something really dark on her computer to aid in their mystery. I think she deserves it at this point. I would really love to see Mouse and the rest of the girls kind of lose their s—t a little bit.”

A Pride-themed episode of Pretty Little Liars was a highlight for Pyles during season 2. As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, Pyles could not have felt more seen by the show, adding that she was “really glad” for “that moment of celebration.”

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“It was so special because it was the first time I feel like it was so palpable. Just queerness being celebrated on a set for me and my experience and just being there on the day. All of our background artists were queer as well — and it was such an inclusive and diverse space and just getting to hear their story and having these really wonderful conversations,” she said. “I remember walking onto that set and I got so emotional. I got so emotional just to see such a beautiful display in real time of real life pride. And to have that celebrated by the studio and by the show is just something I always hoped to be a part of after being in this industry for over 10 years.”

Pretty Little Liars prioritized Mouse and Ash’s relationship in season 2 as well. In addition to Mouse being more comfortable in her sexuality this season, the show offered Ash a platform to address his experience as a trans man.

“I love that a healthy queer relationship can be depicted on TV. I think that it’s so important. But I think me and Jordan would both be hopeful that moving forward there can be conflict between them,” Pyles admitted. “In the same way that queer relationships can be super healthy and amazing, we still like any other relationship have conflict.”

Pyles pointed out how Ash became an honorary Liar, which meant he was never a suspect when the main friend group would try to figure out who could be targeting them season to season. In the name of chaos, Pyles wouldn’t mind mixing things up a bit and having Ash as a suspect.

“I don’t think there’s a such thing as being a hundred percent safe on this show,” she teased. “I think it’s interesting with absolving Ash of everything [in the season 2 finale], could it possibly be a red herring to what’s to come? We’ll see.”

In the original PLL series, which ran on Freeform from 2010 to 2017, love interests would work with A to help keep their significant others safe. Pyles wouldn’t mind exploring something similar with Mouse and Ash.

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“The most interesting part of a villainous character is their complexity. And again, not to even put Ash in that role,” she clarified. “I think there is a genuine nature to their love and their romance. But it would be interesting to explore what that would look like.”

Ash could have an opportunity to try out something new after the season 2 finale, which started streaming on Thursday, June 20, showed a group with masks that resembled the Liars. Despite not knowing what is to come, Pyles has plenty of theories.

“There’s so many opportunities to explore so many different villains next season. But I just love the uncanny valley of our faces being reflected back on some unknown people. And just having a real life face off with yourself and how that can lend to our different manifestations of trauma and how fractured that could be and psychologically intense,” she told Us. “I love the idea of the psychological horror of us having to battle ourselves and also just if there’s five villains, how that can really open up the idea of an A team. And just different cast members possibly being a villain.”

Pretty Little Liars: Summer School is currently streaming on Max.

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