It must be scary to join the cast of Pretty Little Liars. Yes, it’s great for your career, but teenage girls will probably hate you for disrupting the universe—especially if you’re brought in to complicate the central romantic relationship of the show.
Ryan Guzman has done just that this season, as a new love interest for Lucy Hale‘s Aria. The actor took a break from prepping for the next Step Up film to talk to OKMagazine.com about PLL and martial arts.
OK!: You had never watched Pretty Little Liars before you were cast, so how did you catch up?
Ryan Guzman: Actually it was perfect for me, because my character is kind of clueless. He’s coming into a new world, so I’d rather learn as I go along. It was a shocker for me as I was doing the episodes to learn how much these girls’ lives are screwed up.
OK!: Was it hard to bond with the cast?
RG: Oh yeah, they’re all horrible. I hate working with them.
OK!: I’d be intimidated! They’re like the cool kids.
RG: For the first two times I worked with them, everyone was acting like the cool kids. You’re coming into an environment that everyone’s already familiar with, but I break down those barriers real quick. I don’t beat around the bush, and I find out how to have a good time with everyone really fast. We all hang out. I get along with Lucy the best because I work with her all the time, but everyone’s enjoyable.
OK!: Is there a way to get that great chemistry you guys have?
RG: For me and Lucy, it wasn’t hard. We were friends before Pretty Little Liars, and we had a good time on set and enjoyed each other’s work, so it was easy to have that chemistry.
OK!: You now have over 120,000 fans on Twitter. How has the show changed you life?
RG: [Laughs] The Twitter following has risen, definitely. It’s an absurd number. I can’t even keep up. Funny story: I was hanging out with Adam Shankman for Samantha Ronson’s birthday and Lance Bass was there. I don’t really know Lance, but he comes over to me and goes, “Hey, I just wanted to let you know I’m a fan of Pretty Little Liars and I’m rooting for your character.” It was surreal! That’s how PLL has changed my life.
OK!: You’re an expert in martial arts and dancing. When did you find the time?
RG: I trained in martial arts and wanted to become a UFC fighter. That was my goal. I only really learned how to dance three weeks prior to making Step Up Revolution. Dancing will always be fun, but MMA is something I’ll never give up. I will eventually get back in the octagon and be fighting professionally again.
OK!: What does training for Step Up 5 entail?
RG: It entails me having sore legs, butt, back. It’s killing me right now! I’m losing so much weight through dancing, and that’s why I gained 20 pounds last month.
OK!: Whoa! How’d you do that?
RG: It’s actually not that fun. I lost 16 pounds in two weeks! It’s crazy. When we start actual rehearsals, we’ll be dancing 9 hours a day, so it’s a lot of cardio.
OK!: Whose career would you love to have one day?
RG: My own career. I separate myself from others. But Mark Wahlberg, because he’s [done] comedy and action and drama. He’s produced stuff like Entourage. That would be great!
Are your rooting for Ryan on Pretty Little Liars, or do you wish Aria were back with Ezra? Are you a fan of the Step Up movies? How much fun would you have trying to gain 20 lbs? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @OKMagazine.