"Hola!" A glowing Shay Mitchell, beaming with a smile from ear-to-ear, exclaims as she walks in the door, leaning in to greet us with a warm hug and kiss.
"I'm trying to practice my Spanish," she says. The Pretty Little Liars actress, who has played the role of Emily Fields since the show premiered in 2010, was tapped by Stella Artois to help kick off the brand's "Host One to Remember" campaign, with a Belgian-inspired street party in New York City. Last week, we sat down to have a #LiquidLunch with Mitchell, over some Stella Artois brew of course, to talk about her partnership with Stella, discuss all things #PLLEndGame (how are there only three episodes left?!), her favorite place in Mexico and more.
Read it all in our exclusive interview below.
You recently teamed up with Stella Artois, tell us a little about that.
I did. I'm helping Stella launch the start of the campaign that we're doing tonight. The event tonight is "Host One to Remember." It's just trying to inspire people to throw their own summer soiree. Now that were coming into that season, it’s perfect for having friends over for a BBQ and making it a memorable event or night, while adding your own personal touches. At the event, we're going to have a grilling station where, I personally, will be grilling burgers and adding my own personal touch to it. I think it's just about having a fun event where people can come and have amazing beer and drink good food.
What are your top tips for a successful summer soiree?
I would say a playlist is very important. Having a playlist already set so you're not constantly having to go up and change the song. I also think having things that maybe aren't ordinary. Tonight, we're going to be having a flower crown station. I love it because you can take it home, it makes for an awesome photo, and it's just something you'll remember from the event. And I also think going back to the staples you would have at a normal BBQ, but adding your own touch to it. So instead of just like a regular salad, you would maybe add-in different ingredients that make it seasonal and fun.
What's on your summer playlist?
What’s on my summer playlist? I have a little bit of everything. I have a mixture of like when I'm cooking, it’s a little bit of Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, and then a little Edith Piaf. I also like Buddha Bar playing in the background, or The Weeknd's new song. It’s kind of is all over the place to be honest. And a little Spanish music so I can learn, plus it's sexy.
You’ve traveled a lot and have visited Mexico and various other Latin American countries — which one would you say is your favorite?
Ugh! That’s too hard to choose, but I do love Mexico City. All the food over there is so good and the restaurant scene is amazing. Honestly, I'm learning Spanish right now. I'm really excited because I go to so many amazing places where, if I could speak Spanish, it would just make it that much better. I am learning. But I don’t know, that'd be too hard to choose. There are so many great places.
Again, it just all depends. I mean, in my mind, I thought Barcelona and paella. Then I thought Tokyo and Sushi. I really am a fan of global cuisine.
You say you're learning Spanish, when did you start?
About a few weeks ago I bought Rosetta Stone — I'm doing it! I'm really making an effort because having Spanish blood in me, I think it's important that I could speak the language, you know? I just love it.
What would you say is your favorite thing about the culture itself?
I think family more than anything. My mom, being Filipino and Spanish, when we get together it’s very loud, there's good music, and there's good food. I just picture a loud household of amazing-ness.
Let's talk PLL! Important question: who do you think is A.D.?
You know, you just never know. It could be Emily. It could be Pam Fields. I am really excited for people to find out who it could be.
So, Emily and Alison…
Mhm…hot and heavy.
Not happy about that.
Who did you want Emily to be with?
I just feel like Emily deserves better.
Okay, that’s fair! Everybody has their own opinions.
How did you first feel about that storyline when first introduced?
I thought it was quite a triangle. There's been a few moments in Emily's life where there's been not just one lady but a couple, and I always think it's going to be really interesting to see who she ends up settling with, if anyone at all.
Describe the finale in three words.
I would say memorable, intense and heart-warming.
What's been your favorite part about playing Emily?
I think the story arc that she's had and the impact she's had on people's lives playing the character that she was. Also, just being on a show that shows strong female relationships.
How do you feel now that it's about to be over?
It's sad, but it's also exciting! I'm excited to see where everybody's going to go from here since we've grown so much as a cast together. It's going to be fun to see all the different things that everyone does.