It's officially been one year since Pretty Little Liars has come to an end — and just like us, Shay Mitchell still misses a few things from her time on the Freeform series. As Emily Fields, Shay was one of the show's titular four friends who join forces against an anonymous enemy known as just "A" following the disappearance of their friend Allison. Today, she yearns for Rosewood and her on-screen BFFs.
"The cast and the crew and the craft service — let's be honest that was a huge part of it," she joked to Life & Style exclusively before getting serious. "Being in New York with those girls, yeah I miss the family that we created. When you're with people for seven years, I saw them way more than I saw my own family, so just getting to hear how their kids are doing and seeing people's kids from zero to seven, it was like the craziest thing."
However, she reassures fans she still keeps in touch with Ashley Benson, Lucy Hale, Sasha Pieterse, Troian Bellisario, and the rest of the cast. "It's a really close-knit family that we built, so it's awesome to have those relationships still and know that they'll be life-long friendships," she added.
Along with the lasting relationships with her former co-stars, Shay, who recently teamed up with Allergan for the "Know Your Birth Control" campaign, also loved the series for the important "taboo" topics it covered — that many shows typically ignore. "We definitely tackled a lot of things on the show, which is one of the many reasons why it was so great to be a part of it," she explained. "I think, especially with [PLL] we also did give those resources for the girls to go to, no matter what issue it was that we were tackling. We spoke about it at the end, and I think that was important."
She continued, "Even playing the character that I did, it opened up a lot of conversations for girls and guys to have that initial conversation with their families about whatever it is that they may not have felt comfortable talking about before. So, I loved that the show was a great vehicle for them to start those conversations."
And just like Shay, we're counting down the days until the PLL spinoff, The Perfectionists.