“Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin” stars Bailee Madison and Maia Reficco both have shining moments in Episode 4 of the HBO Max series, where they’re forced to confront the trauma being inflicted upon them by “A.”
Madison’s comes toward the middle of the episode, when her character Imogen asks her friends to help her use a Ouija board to talk to her mother, who died at the end of the premiere. The teen goes through a whirlwind of emotions as she wonders aloud why her mom “abandoned” her, eventually screaming through tears: “F— you!”
“That scene was actually one of the scenes that I tested with when I was hoping to be a part of this show,” Madison told TheWrap in a recent interview, calling the moment “very insightful with the fact of the emotional rollercoaster that Imogen allows herself to freely go through…her whole world has been flipped upside down, and she’s just trying to survive through it.”
Despite losing her mom, being stalked by a murderous assailant, and dealing with a teen pregnancy all on her own, Imogen has remained fairly restrained up until this point. Her unraveling in this scene is the first time she allows herself to be vulnerable with the other girls whom she now shares a bond with because of their connection to “A” — finally leaning on someone else for support.
Filming the scene took about nine hours, as the camera crew had to get coverage of not just Madison but also her co-stars, the actress explained.
“I think it was hard for me to leave once I was in there. I felt very truthful and honest. I walked away and I was like, ‘I don’t know what I just did, but I know whatever it came out was like, I was just tapped in with her in that moment,’” she said, adding that her co-stars were just as locked into the scene as she was. “I remember turning to them at one point, especially Maia, and I was like, You need to stop crying because it’s not your coverage.’ There was just so much love and support.”
In the same episode, Reficco has her own moment that’s a more physical manifestation of her trauma, but arguably just as intense. In the final minutes of the episode, her character Noa realizes that “A” has broken into her building and is trying to find her. She runs into the attacker outside of her apartment door and takes off. On the roof, she confronts “A” and asks why he’s stalking her, to which he replies that he wants to “punish the guilty.”
“Physical and very emotional scenes are my favorite scenes to do, so that literally was a perfect marriage of those,” the actress told TheWrap, adding that she and the crew wanted to make it “as real and honest as possible.”
The scene is startling, considering that fans of the “PLL” universe aren’t used to the anonymous stalker speaking at all, let alone revealing any sort of motive. While Reficco says the interaction between Noa and “A” was “exhausting in many ways, it was also rewarding because I felt like we could find truth in such a crazy, otherworldly type of experience.”