Brant Daugherty (Noel) Talks PRETTY LITTLE LIARS

Brant Daugherty

One more suspect in the hunt for A was eliminated on PRETTY LITTLE LIARS when it was revealed at the end of the “Know Your Frenemies” episode that Noel Kahn (Brant Daugherty) was A’s victim and not, in fact, A. Of course, that doesn’t mean Noel still isn’t someone to watch out for.

Daemon’s TV was there when Brant Daugherty talked about what he likes most about playing Noel, what’s up next for him, and what the fan reaction has been like.

On playing Noel

According to Brant, his favorite thing about Noel is “his duality.  I remember when I was first on the show during the first ten episodes and Noel was a great stand-up guy and everyone talked about how perfect he was and he’s a great life and all these great things happening for him.  Then just suddenly, he flips completely and you’re never really sure what to make of him after that.  Is he lying?  Is he telling the truth?  Who is he lying to?  Why is he lying?  I think when I sat down and talked to Marlene and Oliver about this transition, they were so excited to see how it played out and I was right there with the.  I couldn’t wait to show this side of the character.”

Brant said that one thing he thinks he has added to the character of Noel is his smile.  “They mentioned a couple of times in the script, ‘Noel smiles and it’s sweet; Noel smiles at Aria and it’s romantic.’  Now that Noel has taken this turn, it’s ‘Noel smiles-ooh, it’s eerie,’ so I really wanted to make that transition where suddenly it’s not romantic anymore, and you look at him and go,  ‘I don’t know what that smile means now.  I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing,'” Brant explained.  “So that was my challenge, especially in episode 12 during the party-all the meaningful looks at the pretty little liars and just kid of genuinely smiling at all of them and each one had a slightly different meaning.”

When asked what his favorite scene has been so far, he said, “I think one of the scenes that was the most fun for me is the very opening of the midseason premiere where you see Noel at the aftermath of Hannah’s accident-just so briefly and in a flash, he’s gone.  I had such a blast filming that because I dressed in all black and I got to come up through the fog and give Aria that great look and then I disappear.”

On Noel’s motives

Noel’s actions against Ezra came as a surprise to many fans, but Brant explained the motivation behind it. “I think that he’s lashing out a bit, maybe trying to get back at Ezra.  He thinks that Ezra is taking advantage of Aria and Aria has asked him not to do anything, so he struggles with how he’s going to handle the situation.  Ultimately, he tries to get a dig into Ezra the only way he knows how-intellectually, through his work.”

Brant doesn’t think we should underestimate Noel. “He may not be working maliciously as A, but he still has a bone to pick and he’s still trying to figure things out for himself.  Then ultimately, at the end of episode thirteen, he becomes a victim himself, which adds another interesting twist.”

On what’s next for Noel

“In the future, we’ll see how he’s going to relate to these four girls and what reaction he’s going to have, Brant said. “We’re going to see a bit of him around town and everything, but mainly, it’s just how he relates to these four girls, so when they’re ready for him, he’ll be around.”

When asked what Brant would like to see happen with Noel, he answered, “I think if we continue down a darker road with him, it will be a really interesting thing to play out because knowing that your girlfriend and your teacher are together isn’t just something you can un-know.”

When asked if he thought Noel and Aria would get back together, Brant said, “She’s picked Ezra in the love triangle, but I have to say that Noel is a pretty persistent guy.  I don’t think that he’s going to give up without seeing it through to the bitter end.”

On fan reaction

Noel’s character shift has caused quite a fan reaction. “Some [fans] are just furious and hate me and can’t believe the dark turn I’ve taken.  They can’t believe the way I’m hurting their poor, dear Ezra,” Brant laughed.  “Some of them love it–some of them are kind of rooting me on saying `Get him,’ which is great because coming in I wasn’t sure I’d win anyone away from Ezra, but I got a couple of them and I’m happy with that.”

On why Pretty Little Liars is so popular

Brant thinks the reason behind Pretty Little Liars’ success is pretty simple. “It has to be the four pretty little liars themselves.  They so accurately depict sort of America right now-these young girls with their struggles and the lies they have to tell and the secrets they have to keep.  Especially hitting things like eating disorders the last couple of episodes and coming out to your parents as a gay teenager.  These things really resonate with the youth in the world today and I think it’s storylines like that that keep people coming back every week.”

On the identity of A

It seems Brant’s as much in the dark about some of the Pretty Little Liars’ secrets as we are. He said, “I honestly have no idea who A is.  I’ve been watching and following with the fans trying to figure it all out.  Turns out they don’t tell me anything about that.”

Pretty Little Liars airs on ABC Family Mondays at 8pm eastern/7pm central.

You can read all our Pretty Little Liars coverage here.

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