There are many words we’d use to describe Shay Mitchell – gracious, talented, and adventurous, to name a few – but “fearful” wouldn’t one of them. However, in a recent interview with SELF magazine, the Pretty Little Liars actress – known for her vivacious spirit, diligent work ethic, and incredible wanderlust – admits she’s uneasy about what the future holds. She’s portrayed Emily Fields for seven years now, so saying goodbye to the familiar world of Rosewood and stepping out of her comfort zone isn’t necessarily going to be the smoothest transition.
That said, being the indomitable force of nature that she is, Shay isn’t one to shy away from different experiences. She’s putting on a brave face and trekking forth into uncharted territory, eager to broaden her horizons and challenge herself creatively, whether it’s to write another book or produce a television series. “My generation realizes you can be multihyphenated,” the 29-year-old Canadian beauty, who can be seen gracing the publication’s November 2016 issue, explained. “You don’t have to stay in a box. Just because you started off in one industry doesn’t mean you can’t jump into another one. I wouldn’t say that acting is a stepping-stone, per se. But it’s another step in the direction of where I want to go.”
And in case her go-getter attitude isn’t impressive enough, Shay is already making major strides in terms of achieving her career goals and growing her personal brand. For example? The mighty workout enthusiast, who spent her birthday in a spin class and boxes like she’s Rocky Balboa’s long-lost daughter, is about to release her own athleisure clothing line. “Next I’m doing a series on my workout lifestyle. I like to switch it up so I don’t get bored,” she revealed in the article. “Sometimes I’ll just go to the UCLA track and run up and down the bleachers.”
Not only that, but she wants to unleash her inner daredevil and participate in an action-movie franchise as well. “I want to do my own stunts. Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby—I would love to do that,” Shay stated, reminding us a bit of Nina Dobrev, who, after leaving The Vampire Diaries in season 6, took on more physically demanding roles.
“When [my cast mates] see a script for action films like Mission: Impossible, they’re like, ‘Shay, are you going out for that?’ Because that’s the direction I want to go in,” she continues. “We are all so supportive of each other.” As for her next major role? Shay’s set to star in the horror thriller Cadaver, in which she plays a former cop and recovering addict who works at the morgue. “This is a big push for me,” she confesses. “I’m going to be scared shitless.”
Nevertheless, despite her slight case of nerves, Shay’s fully committed to pushing her boundaries and exploring unconventional interests. “The message I’m trying to put out there is that you can do whatever you want to do,” she explained, “and if I’m going to say that, I need to do it myself.” Yas, queen. Preach!
On that note, what sort of roles would you love to see Shay Mitchell take on when PLL ends? Tell us in a comment below!