Shay Mitchell: Playing a lesbian character was the best part out of everything

The Pretty Little Liars star on why Emily means so much to her and the LGBT community.


Instagram @shaymitchell


As hit high school drama Pretty Little Liars draws to a close, actress Shay Mitchell has opened up about her experience of playing iconic lesbian character Emily Fields.


In a new interview with the Huffington Post, Shay was asked what playing such an influential gay character meant to her. She replied:


“That’s the best part. That was definitely the best part out of everything. I’ve had guys and girls come up to me and say, ‘Thanks to your character, I came out to my friends and family’.” 


She admitted that having such an impact on people’s lives is important to her:


“That means more to me than anything. The fact that I got to play this character that I had so much fun with and we got to be on an entertaining show that’s one thing, but to have a small impact on people’s lives in that way… Words can’t explain. That’s just awesome.”


Shay also spoke about the commemorative tattoos she and her co-stars got to make sure they never forget the adventure they’ve shared:


“I’ve never really been a big tattoo person. I don’t love needles. But all the girls were doing it and I would do anything for them, so I was totally game.”



And finally, she revealed that the most shocking part of being famous is:


“That you can be in the most remote place and have somebody come up who knows you and knows your name.”


She recalled a particular time that very thing happened when she was in the UK.


“When I was in Ireland, on this really small island of 110 people, we were stuck there because the ferry wasn’t going back due to delays, and literally this one girl was like, ‘Wait. Miss, are you Shay?’ And they welcomed me into their house and the whole school came out, it was just awesome. I think it’s surprising you can be in a place that feels so remote and they know your name.”


Only reading DIVA online? You're missing out. For more news, reviews and commentary, check out the latest issue. It's pretty badass, if we do say so ourselves. //


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