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Pretty Little Liars: Huw Collins on the hope of an Elliott return

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Freeform/Eric McCandless

Spoiler alert: This post contains details from the July 5 episode of Pretty Little Liars.

Last season, Pretty Little Liars introduced Elliott Rollins as both Charlotte’s doctor and Ali’s future husband. Flashforward to last night’s episode and not only is he now the show’s biggest villain — sorry, Mary Drake — but he’s also dead. 

EW talked with Huw Collins about Elliott’s fate, that final scene, and whether there’s hope to see him again in the future.

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How has the fan reaction changed during your time on the show?

HUW COLLINS: It has changed a lot actually. I was expecting more of a backlash from fans about being evil but I’ve kind of experienced a weird reaction that I’m very flattered by that people prefer the character as a villain. While obviously a lot of them have been concerned for Ali’s safety and talked about how they don’t like what my character is doing, they have been very complimentary about how affected they are by my character. I was pleasantly surprised at how people received Rollins’ change of character. I think for a little bit the show has lacked a true villain, someone who out and out is a baddie and isn’t ashamed of it. I think people have really appreciated that and I think that’s why the reaction has been fairly good to his dark turn.

Or do they just prefer the accent?

[Laughs] Yes, I was about to say it’s probably just the accent, but as an actor and wanting my ego to be inflated, I will naturally gravitate to them just loving my performance and being so affected by everything I’m doing. [Laughs] 

When did you find out you were going to die?

I officially found out not that long before we shot episode 3, but I have to say as soon as I knew I was going to be a villain on the show, I assumed that it would happen and I kind of read into the subtext in the first couple of episodes that there was a good chance that it wasn’t very far off on the horizon. I didn’t officially know for certain until Marlene [King] called me, but I did have an inkling.

Is there hope to see more of Rollins, maybe in flashbacks?

Yes, I would say there’s definitely hope for that. This is a personal perspective, but I think it would be really useful and interesting to see where this darkness of Elliott and Mary and their team originated from. Anytime a character is so extreme, like Elliott has been, I think you always feel like you want to know why he was so extreme about it. Otherwise, it’s a motive-less action. I think it would be interesting and I hope that we will get to see why Rollins was prepared to go to such lengths to get what he wanted. It’s Pretty Little Liars: I think fans have come to understand that anything is possible. So we’ll have to just see what happens.

Tell me about filming this death scene. Did he blow a tire?

No, you can see it’s a very misty evening, as most are in Rosewood, and he loses control of the car or possibly hits a little something on the road that he doesn’t see, which causes him to go off balance which gives Alison her moment to strike. It was a night shoot; we had stunt people there to do some of the accident and we had to split it up a little bit so it was quite a technical scene. The blood in my mouth is obviously fake blood, but there was a lot of it and Ashley Benson was sitting there at times looking grossed out because she was acting and at times I think genuinely being grossed out by the fact that I was drooling a mixture of saliva and fake blood. [Laughs] It was funny to stare into the face of Ashley, Troian [Bellisario], Lucy [Hale], and Shay [Mitchell] with blood all over my face and dripping out of my mouth for two hours. 

At the end of it, because I was covered in so much blood, I had to go and take a shower and the showers are on one of the stages at Warner Brothers and it’s like two in the morning at this point and everyone had left and the lights are all off and there’s blood pouring off me in the shower going down the drain and Psycho is in my mind. [Laughs] I was a little freaked out, so I was happy to get the blood off and get home to my wife and get into a nice warm bed.

Pretty Little Liars airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Freeform.

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