Did anyone ever dare guess that it was Mike that would be wooing Mona on PRETTY LITTLE LIARS? Sure it is hard to be wooing a girl who is now in the grave, but it was still a jaw-dropper as fans started to see what brought these unlikely characters together and that it just may have turned into something more real than either character could have imagined. That’s the fun of all the “A” games — you just never know who is helping who and who may just have fallen under love’s spell in the process.
In a recent press call, startalked about that surprising twist and teased a bit about what may be next in the “A” world as well as sharing who would be his number one pick to guest star on the show.
What do you think it is about Mike and Mona that made them such a good match for each other?
CODY: I think the dynamic between them, and the relationship that they have, is so unique because they both needed something that they weren’t getting and I feel like that was an understanding. Mona and Mike were sort of scrutinized by a lot of people and they were at the will of people’s judgment, so I think what they both gave each other was an understanding for who they are, and who they wanted to be, and what they wanted, so there was really something special. There was a connection there that really made them unique.
Can you tell us more about that secret bag Mike was leaving behind? What was going through your mind when you were filming that scene?
CODY: There was a close-up shot of the bag and I think the audience saw there were some sour candies in there, which are actually my favorite. I love sour gummies. I’m a huge fan of Sour Patch Kids. The real question is, it’s interesting to see how people interpret it because it’s – it almost read as disappointment on Mike’s face — and that could be led to assume, was he waiting for somebody? Was he intending to meet somewhere there at the dock? Was he just out there taking a stroll? That’s the question in the air right now. Fortunately, we will get those answers very soon in the episodes to come.
What can you tell us about the motivation behind Mike’s recent actions?
CODY: I think what’s motivating Mike is what’s been motivating The Liars from Season One — and that’s to find answers. That’s the extent of it all. He wants to know why and what happened. He wants answers about Mona.
Will Mike’s character, or even the viewers, be getting those answers sooner rather than later?
CODY: Absolutely! I stand behind saying that. The answers will be given to the audience very, very soon. I know that there’s been times where cast members have said “soon” and then a season has gone by before something has actually happened. But I can tell you, in regards to Mike and what’s going on with him now, the audience will receive answers very soon rather than later.
Is it more fun to play Mike now that he’s a really mysterious character?
CODY: What attracts me to different characters, and the different roles as an actor, is to take on what almost scares me in a way. I want to take on what’s a stretch, and what’s so far out of my everyday life, that really makes me commit to a character and sort of lose myself. It’s great to really be in a position to create something new and spontaneous. That’s what I’m getting now with Mike. I’m doing these scenes and then all these things that are happening with the characters that are so out of character for Mike. Being able to portray that, and being able to be behind it and create all these new moments that the audience has never seen, is so exhilarating for me. I’m definitely excited for fans to see the rest of this story arc and what else is to come with Mike.
What can you say to the theory that Mona isn’t really dead?
CODY: I don’t think it can be put to rest because you know, that’s the thing in Rosewood —- you could see a body but that doesn’t mean someone is dead.
Do you have a favorite episode or favorite scene from the series?
CODY: Yes, I actually do. My favorite episode is yet to come. It’s actually episode 520. It is by far my favorite episode that I’ve shot, my favorite episode to film, and I think when fans see it they’re going to know why.
What’s it like working on set with everybody?
CODY: The cast is incredible. We’ve had time to grow and sort of connect with each other. We’ve been able to see and learn everyone — how they work with each other, what makes people laugh, how to make people smile on bad days, all of that. So it’s really just this big family. I know that sounds cheesy and cliché but it really is. You spend all this time together. I’ve known Lucy now for almost four or five years and all this time accumulated, and all this time working together, and all this time laughing, or maybe it’s being upset, or maybe it’s being sad. Tt’s incredible to know that you can go there and have this support group, this extension of a family that is close to you and is there for you no matter what you need.
What do you like the most about your character Mike?
CODY: One of my favorite things about the character is the relatability he has to our demographic and the audience. When we started the show, he was such a normal kid and, in my opinion, he was going through things that a lot of people go through in their lives — whether it’s turmoil within their own family, whether it’s depression, whether it’s maybe some rage because of things that are happening that are out of their control. What I love about the character is that he’s able to portray these events and provide this relatability to people that are watching. Maybe somebody that’s watching can see this performance, or see the character go through something, and understand that they’re not the only ones and it’s not just the. I love the fact that I feel that Mike has that potential to almost help our audience and demographic in whatever way that they might need.
Which celebrity would you like to guest star on PRETTY LITTLE LIARS if you had the choice?
CODY: (Laughs) How awesome would it be if Liam Neeson comes in, right? And he’s just like, “I will find you and I will end you.” That would be pretty intense. I would love that.
If you had to wager that one of The Liars was “A”, who do you think it would be most likely to be?
CODY: It’d be insane if one of the four girls were A. I mean, that’s crazy. I couldn’t imagine for a second, but let’s go down this road of believing that one of the girls could be “A”. I think it would be Hanna or it would be Spencer. My reason is because Spencer – Spencer is always in control of everything. She always has the answer; she always knows what’s next; she’s always on top of everything. So her being this mastermind with a plan makes perfect sense. But then again, what about Hanna because Hanna is all about this disillusion, right? You think she’s harmless and innocent but, really, she’s got brains that could be behind something as crazy as “A” and this whole mastermind plan to torment the girls. I think it’s smart to say Hanna or Spencer and I’m sort of torn between the two. I couldn’t really pick one.
What originally drew you to playing the role of Mike?
CODY: A job was what drew me to the role. But when I got past that part, I was really able to read the script and fall in love with the character and fall in love with the story. There is so much substance there and what I realized when I was reading the pilot script, was “wow, this show could go on forever!” I could see this show developing – and that’s ultimately what you want when you get on a new project, or when you’re on a pilot. I got that feeling when I was reading it and I just wanted to explore and experiment and I wanted to grow up with this character. I thought it would always be awesome to be on a show and be growing up with the character, so that’s definitely something that drew me to the role.
Is there a character that you would like to do more scenes with or get more interaction time with?
CODY: Yes. In the episodes to come, you will definitely see Mike branching out and having interactions with characters that you might not have expected in the longest time. So that’s a nice thing to look forward to but, speaking on my behalf, I love working with Ian [Harding]. I would love more scenes with him. I think it would also be interesting to see Mike branch out and maybe have scenes with The Liars. We’ll just have to wait and see what the rest of this season and season six brings for Mike.
In what ways do you think your character has grown, or changed, from all these experiences?
CODY: I think a lot of it has forced him to grow up. At the start of the show, Mike was definitely a child. He was a kid, a normal kid with a normal life. He went to school. He played sports. He had his friends and then that was it. Then all of these things started to unfold and it really forced him to have to change his perspective and grow up prematurely. Looking back, hindsight being 20/20, I don’t think that was a bad thing. I think Mike being the grown up that he is now, and the side that we’re seeing of him in season five, is definitely what he needs. And maybe what his sister needs, his family needs, and other people in Rosewood need at this point.
Did you think Mike would be in the place that he is now when you first started the series?
CODY: No, I didn’t. That’s sort of one of the exciting things, you never really know. Our writers are fantastic about churning out these new storylines and keeping everything fresh, keeping everyone second guessing, and keeping the story unpredictable. I never knew where Mike was really heading and now that I have the story that I have now, I’m thrilled. I’m thrilled to be playing it, representing it as a character, and I’m even more thrilled to see what’s in the future.
If you could be on any other ABC Family show, what show would you like to be on?
CODY: Well, I actually auditioned for one of the leads on THE FOSTERS. I actually tested alongside David Lambert. When I first read that story I was really interested. So maybe if PRETTY LITTLE LIARS doesn’t want me anymore, they can kick me over to that show
What does the cast like to do on set to help break some of those intense scenes?
CODY: We’re a bunch of children, so we pull pranks on each other all day and we try to scare each other. We try to keep everything light and try to keep everything fun. A crew that’s laughing all day is a crew that’s having fun and that crew is going to put the best work out there. We try to keep everything light and the atmosphere easygoing. That definitely gets us through the day.
How will this darker side of Mike be affecting his relationship with his sister, Aria, in the coming weeks?
CODY: This is something that the past has already answered previous times before. I think we’re going to see an instance, maybe of the past repeating itself, history repeating itself in Rosewood. Mike and Aria have always been best friends and they’ve had each other’s backs – and at the same time, we’ve also seen them at each other’s throats. At this point, Mike’s done taking orders from people. He’s done being told what to do and he’s going to do whatever he feels is necessary to get the answers that he wants. He’s going to do that at no one’s mercy, so that might cause some tension between Aria and Mike. But at the end of the day, I don’t think it’s anything they’re not going to be able to get through. They’re family and they would do anything for each other.
Do you think Mike will have any upcoming potential love interest toward that?
CODY: I would like to think so. I would like to think that Mike will eventually get over the loss of someone that he loved and be able to move on. How soon that’s going to happen, I don’t know. I don’t know if it’s something that we’re going to see immediately. I don’t know if it’s something that Mike’s going to have to take some time and really sit on because I can tell you, right now, a lot of people have disbelief about it. But the relationship that Mike and Mona had was very serious and it meant a lot to him. He’s devastated to see her gone, so I don’t know how much time he’s actually going to need before he’s ready to move on to something else in his life.
Who is your favorite couple on the show?
CODY: I’m going to stay with the home team. I’m going to stay with the sister. I’m going to say Ezria. They’ve been through so much – just let them be happy
Do you and Lucy [Hale] have a brother/sister relationship off set?
CODY: I would like to say that we do. She’s the older sister; I’m the younger brother. I’m very protective over her. Any time she has somebody new in her life, I always find myself observing the guy and being like “Okay, are you a good match for her? Are you going to treat her right?” I just do it without even knowing. I do it subconsciously. We have a great relationship, both onset and offset.
Which cast member in real life do you think would most have the skills to be “A”?
CODY: I feel like I’m going to answer and one of these people that I say are going to come after me. I don’t know actually. Everyone is great. All the girls are such sweethearts. All the guys are so polite, so nice. I don’t know!
If you could choose any character on PRETTY LITTLE LIARS to play, who would you want it to be and why?
CODY: I’d like to play Caleb, for a couple of reasons. He’s the bad boy without even trying to be the bad boy. Plus, he’s the hacker that can break into anything. I think that’s pretty cool. Plus, he gets to date Hanna on the show, so that’s a plus. I’d probably step in Caleb’s shoes for a little bit.
If you were on a desert island, and you could only pick one of The Liars to get you off, who would it be?
CODY: I would not pick Aria because I feel like Aria would just cry about it, in the nicest way possible. I would not pick Hanna because I feel like she gets a tad emotional at times. Emily is a pretty solid choice. If I pick Emily, she’d probably put me on her back and swim me out of there. If I pick Spencer, she would arrange something for me to be picked up in a helicopter, so I’m going to go with Spencer.
To see what’s next with Mike and if there may be a resurrection of Mona, be sure to tune in for all new episodes of PRETTY LITTLE LIARS on Tuesdays at 8:00 p.m. on ABC Family Channel.