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‘Pretty Little Liars’ Star Zaria Put a Fidget Toy in Her Shoe to Understand Faran’s Physical Pain (Exclusive)

Zaria went above and beyond to portray Faran’s physical pain during Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin.

“One of the things that I did to help me get into her [during] season 1 is we had this little fidget toy and I would stick it in my shoe,” Zaria, 27, exclusively told Us Weekly about channeling her character’s chronic back pain. “It was just uncomfortable enough.”

The form of method acting allowed Zaria a glimpse into Faran’s state of mind. “I would stick it in my shoe so I could be reminded of her back pain. So there was so much that I could feel inside of Faran. How I get into Faran is I figure out where she is in her body [and] what hurts today because so much of her hurts.”

Season 2 of the hit Max series — which was rebranded as Pretty Little Liars: Summer School — introduced a new version of Faran.

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“You meet Faran [in the first season] and it just seems like she knows everything. She feels as if she knows everything. So it was very interesting revisiting her [in the second season],” Zaria noted. “You go to season 2 and she’s like, ‘I’m feeling kind of better. My doctor says I’m good.’ And I’m like, ‘What?'”

Pretty Little Liars Star Zaria Put a Fidget Spinner in Her Shoe to Understand Farans Physical Pain
Zaria Karolina Wojtasik/HBO Max

Zaria found herself having to “relearn” Faran as a result, adding, “I had to relearn how she stood. A lot of it was uncomfortable for me. A lot of it felt inauthentic. I feel as though [I got there] through Faran’s question[s] of herself, of her standing, of her love [and] of her love life.”

During the sophomore season, Faran has to come to terms with her new normal. A major part of that is Faran choosing to let go of her dream to do professional ballet in order to explore another path in its place.

“It’s really hard when something that you thought you’ve always loved and something that you thought was who you were kind of gets ripped from you. I think she’s embarrassed by it — hence why she lies about it,” Zaria explained. “She doesn’t really say that she’s not going to continue to do dance to everyone. She doesn’t share that with everyone at first.”

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Zaria continued: “I think a lot of [relearning Faran] had to do with getting in the gym, doing my lifeguard lessons, which is always really fun. [Creators] Roberto [Aguirre-Sacasa] and Lindsay [Calhoon Bring] are so great at allowing me to get in and kind of feel her out and figure her out.”

Pretty Little Liars, which originally aired on Freeform from 2010 to 2017, followed a group of teens being tormented by an anonymous person known as A. The new iteration on Max introduced a friend group trying to track down why a stalker was suddenly obsessed with each of them.

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Karolina Wojtasik/Max

PLL: OG Sin starred Bailee Madison, Chandler Kinney, Maia Reficco, Zaria and Malia Pyles, who have returned to the second season. In addition to Zaria, Madison also told Us about her approach to bringing Imogen to life in PLL: Summer School.

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After spending the entire first season playing a pregnant character, Madison, 24, didn’t know what to expect when exploring Imogen‘s next chapter. (Imogen gave birth in the first season finale and subsequently decided to give the baby up for adoption.)

“I — for one — was like, ‘Who the heck is Imogen without her pregnancy stomach?’ That was even such a mind twist for me to try to gravel onto. Then I realized very quickly that Imogen has no idea who she is,” Madison recalled. “So what I had to do was honor the uncomfortableness the best that I could and figure out this character that is familiar, but reinventing herself as seasons go on, which is the joy of getting to do this show.”

Pretty Little Liars: Summer School is available to stream on Max with new episodes released on Thursdays.

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