Shay Mitchell Breaks Down Complex Character on ‘You,’ Compares Her to Allison on ‘Pretty Little Liars’

Shay Mitchell in You and in Pretty Little Liars
Shay Mitchell in You and in Pretty Little Liars Courtesy of Lifetime

A new chapter! Shay Mitchell is best known for playing Emily Fields in Pretty Little Liars, but her new role couldn’t be a bigger transition. In Lifetime’s new thriller You, Mitchell plays Peach Salinger, a very dominant best friend to Elizabeth Lail’s Beck.

“I think Peach is closer to the Allison in PLL than Emily,” Mitchell told Us Weekly at the Television Critics’ Association press tour on July 26. “She says what she thinks without thinking too much about it and doesn’t really care what other people think. She has a lot of insecurities on her own, which I feel sort of bleed out in how she acts and handles certain situations. But yeah, she just could not be more different than Emily – in wardrobe, head to toe – everything.”

Shay-Mitchell-Elizabeth-Lail-You
Shay Mitchell and Elizabeth Lail star in Lifetime’s new series YOU Courtesy of Lifetime

She also told Us that she’s enjoying playing a character who isn’t the nicest.

“It was fun! I think any actor can attest that it is fun to play a villain every once in a while,” she said. “You know, hopefully you’re never like that in your real life, so to be able to say little comments and little digs here and there, it was fun.”

Mitchell played the role of Emily on Pretty Little Liars alongside Lucy Hale, Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson and Sasha Pieterse from 2010 to 2017. The women have stayed in touch since the Freeform drama ended, and Mitchell added that they’re basically a family.

“We worked together for seven years and saw each other more than we’d see anybody else in our lives, so you create a very, very strong bond,” she told Us. “I’m just so lucky to have come out of that show with so many great relationships that will be in my life forever.”

You premieres on Lifetime Sunday, September 9, at 10 p.m. ET.

With reporting by Carly Sloane

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