Hanging out with Pretty Little Shay Mitchell

Hanging out with Pretty Little Shay Mitchell - Vervegirl.com

BY VANESSA DULLABH

It was a hectic day when I was asked to interview Shay Mitchell. Humanitarian, model, actress and role model, I’d say my day was sparse in comparison to what she has on her plate. Our first attempt was boycotted by a massive snowstorm; her flight from New York was cancelled. The following day, I received the call from her publicist letting me know that Shay made it into Toronto and Vervegirl was part of the revised schedule – we didn’t have a lot of time and I was nowhere near her hotel. I had two hours to get ready and find myself in the city. OMG!

With some quick phone calls, I made it to her hotel right on time. My nerves were in overdrive when I caught a glimpse of the lovely Shay Mitchell, aka Emily on Pretty Little Liars (PLL). There she was in her pretty pink peejays, enjoying some spring rolls. She cheerfully asked, “Hey Vervegirl! Want a spring roll?” How is it possible that she was so zen while I was completely stressed out? This was a clear indication of how important it is to embrace the moment. Shay has so much more going in her life – filming, press conferences, modelling and jetting to Cambodia to fight against human trafficking. It was amazing to me that a girl in her early twenties is able to embrace her crazy lifestyle and channel positive energies. Shay explained, “I am very passionate about giving back, fundraising and doing humanitarian work in places like Cambodia, because they truly need our help and it is easy to take our rights for granted until you see them taken away from others.” Shay emanated calm – she was very welcoming and sweet.

We chatted about her experience on PLL and about her character, Emily.

“Emily in one word is: loyal. Out of all the girls, she is the one you could tell all your secrets to, and she is very close with each of her friends,” says Shay.

Shay Mitchell at the 2011 MuchMusic Video Music Awards - Flickr - VervegirlcanadaWhile Emily is discovering and exploring her sexuality, Shay confirms that in real life, she is heterosexual but enjoys the challenge of playing a lesbian. “Emily Fields is just like any other person who falls in love and has feelings. It is an honour to bring someone like Emily to life.” Can you imagine being ridiculed for even playing a gay character? Shay affirms that she has received nothing but positive feedback from fans and the industry. When I informed Shay that Emily Fields was even listed as one of Rolling Stone’s 15 Most Groundbreaking Gay Roles on Television, she was completely ecstatic. She responded with a candid, “What?! OMG, really? That is so amazing and surreal! I’m so happy for Pretty Little Liars.” This was confirmation that Emily is an important role model to many people as the reflection of Emily to the public.

How does Shay manage it all? A demanding job, passion for humanity and doing interviews with people like me. It is clear she is grounded because of her great family and her relationship with her cast-mates, and inspiration for the girl who wants to do it all! Look for Shay in the next season of Pretty Little Liars on MuchMusic.

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