Some Pretty Little Truths from Ian Harding

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Published March 17, 2011

Ian Harding has always been good at lying—at least to his mom. So it’s fitting that he has generated buzz as teacher Ezra Fitz on ABC Family’s surprise hit Pretty Little Liars. Harding plays Fitz, who is in a relationship with his student, Aria Montgomery [Lucy Hale]. This is Harding’s largest role since Adventureland, with Ryan Reynolds and Kristen Stewart.

Although his popularity is growing, he is still just a typical, laid-back guy living on the west coast and pursuing his dream. Harding is down-to-earth and sees acting as much more than a job. We recently caught up with Harding, who told us about his character’s development—and his thoughts on being a heartthrob.

 

ILANA KAPLAN: How did you become interested in acting?

IAN HARDING: I always was getting into trouble some way, because I was really good at lying when I was a kid. If I left my jacket at school for the third time and my mom was really angry at me, I would make up a lie and I would just really believe in it. This sounds a little bit sociopathic. She was like, “I know that’s not true.” Years passed and whatnot, and like any boy in Virginia, I got into sports and all that stuff. I went to this high school and they had excellent, excellent sports teams, and these guys were All-American everything, and I wasn’t that good. So I was like, “I think I’ll do this drama thing because it’s co-ed.” I went to an all-boys school, and girls from various girls’ schools did it. So I was like, “Oh yeah, women.” The girls kind of took second place to the actual performing. Then, everything just went from there forward, and now I’m in Los Angeles.

KAPLAN: How did you go about getting this role on Pretty Little Liars?

HARDING: It was fall 2009, and I got an email for this audition from my agent. I went in, and I don’t say this in a really arrogant way, but I just kind of flirted with everybody that I came across. They were like, “You have the part.” I said, “Wait a minute, okay… I think you’re making a mistake.” They decided that they weren’t, and now I’m here. It was a really interesting audition process. It was so out of the blue and so surreal. It’s so ridiculous how you just get a call one day and go on an audition that can easily change your life for the next several years.

READ THE FULL INTERVIEW.