'Pretty Little Liars' Star Troian Bellisario on Her Darker Role in WIGS webseries, 'Lauren' (Q&A)
Lauren, played by Bellisario, is a dark story about a soldier who is assaulted by her fellow soldiers and reports this attack to her commanding officer. Jennifer Beals costars as her commanding officer who has to struggle with the repercussions of reporting this incident while remaining true to the country she serves.
Celebuzz spoke with Bellisario about the role, how she got involved and how the dramatic turn was different from her day job on the set of Pretty Little Liars.
Celebuzz: Can you tell us about your new web series project, Lauren, and what you're doing with WIGS?
Troian Bellisario: It's really cool. It is this web series that was kind of a last minute thing for me. Lesli Linka Glatter who I've worked with on the show. She directed the pilot of Pretty Little Liars and she directed the finale. She kind of called me last minute and said she was doing this project and did I want to read it and get back to her? After I read the script for it, I was really drawn into it and really shocked. I called her back immediately, even though we were going to start filming a day and a half after that. I knew that I really wanted to tell the story.
I didn't know anything about the situation that was going on in the American military, which is that 1 in 3 female soldiers is sexually assaulted by her fellow solider. She runs a higher risk of being sexually assaulted than being shot by the enemy. I think there are a lot of woman that are finally feeling strong enough or have left the army and are feeling strong enough to come forward and tell their stories. I felt very honored to be able to play one of these stories.
CB: There will be 3 episodes in the series that start on Monday, August 13th. How will these episodes premiere?
TB: I don't know that off the top of my head but they're really amazing episodes. I mean I got to work with Jennifer who's just incredible. It's really hard to be with her because she looks so much like my mother but at the same time she's playing my commanding officer. It's a constant struggle of will she help me in this fight. She was a lioness. It was amazing to be across a powerhouse like that. I hope they take their time getting the episodes out but I know that you won't be disappointed in them.
CB: Lauren definitely seems more intense or at least a different kind of intense than Pretty Little Liars, can you tell us about the difference between filming this and PLL?
TB: You know Pretty Little Liars is definitely a dramatic show. We handle a lot of very delicate issues and really important issues. People's lives are at stake but I think the difference is that there's this camp to our show. Somebody dies on the show and it's of course a really big deal because somebody died but it's not really dealt with in the same way because these are fictional characters that live in a very bizarre sort of Lynchian world.
To do something with the very, very high stakes and the real stakes of the Afghanistan war and a female going through a horrific tragedy that unfortunately so many woman in this world go through. Her just reaching out and not even understanding who she can reach out to or who will respond and protect her because she's chosen a life she's very, very proud of and very attached to. It's definitely really difficult. It was really beautiful to play around. Some moments were very fun but there wasn't a lot of horsing around.
Lauren's first episode along with a behind the scenes featurette premieres Monday August 13th on the WIGS channel.
Watch the first episode above and check back to watchwigs.com for the next two episodes on Wednesday and Friday this week.