Pretty Little Liars’ Ian Harding

Tonight’s the night…the season finale of the television phenomenon Pretty Little Liars hits screens. We sat down at The Meatball Shop with its residing hottie – Ezra Fitz, also known as Ian Harding – to chat about the enigma that is the universe. Kidding, but we definitely got pretty deep. We talked about how men should treat women, owning who you are, his affinity for brunettes and the fact that his ideal food day is a beer crawl…and that alone.

From start to finish, what would be your ideal food day?

A beer crawl in Portland, Oregon.

Most memorable moment on Pretty Little Liars so far…

That’s a tough one. Blowing up a house was pretty amazing.

What’s surprised you most so far in playing your part on the show?

How cool our audience is with a rather explicit relationship.

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Something we don’t know about a few of your cast members…

How funny they all are. And how potty-mouthed Ashley [Benson] is.

Something no one knows about you…

When I’m in NYC, I make it a point to walk around at night. I know this sounds odd, but I love doing it. No one recognizes me; no one stops me, but in a city as diverse and vast as New York, I get a kick out of people-watching with relative anonymity.

What’s always in your onset trailer fridge?

NOTHING. Also, a side story: I had the same fridge for two seasons straight when one day it simply stopped working. I asked for a new one, which I received, and was delighted to see it was twice the size of my old one. Whilst restocking it one day, Shay Mitchell happens to pop by my room, and spots my new toy, and remarks how hers is a bit smaller.

The next day, I come in to find a tiny ‘POS’ fridge sitting in my room. Shay had stolen mine!

I got her back though…

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What do you snack on, on set?

There are these protein bars called Perfect Bars that I love. The peanut butter in particular. Or I’ll eat fruit.

What’s your idea of the perfect first date?

Cooking together at either of our places, and perhaps a movie. Or Uno.

Do you have dating advice for guys? What would it be?

DON’T BE A DICK. Jokes, but seriously, don’t. Talk to a woman like she’s a person, and magically, she’ll respect you. If you have “game,” be prepared to have either just a one-night-stand or a horrible relationship, because your whole first connection was a lie.

What are some of the things you love to cook?

A bit of everything. A go-to standard (if I’m entertaining a ton of carnivores), is a standing rib roast covered in flour and dried rosemary. Sounds odd, I know, but if you put it in the oven at a high heat for an hour, then leave it for two hours without opening the oven door, it essentially sits in its own juices and cooks itself. The flour does something to the skin, making it almost crispy. It’s nuts.

Similarities/differences between you and your character…

Well, not lusting after high-schoolers is one big difference. A similarity would be deep respect for brunettes.

Do you have a personal grooming regimen? What is it?

Grooming is always remembering to shower and to wear a hat. My idea of hair styling is a baseball cap.

Three items every man should own…

Good boots, a tailored suit, and a phat ass library.

How do you practice ‘beauty’ from the inside out? 

Being honest with yourself about what you eat. As in: Eat whatever the f*** you want, but if you want to be ripped, then eat for it. If you want to explore different culinary paths, do that. There’s nothing more beautiful than owning who you are, and I think that extends to your plate.

What are your favorite cities for food? What restaurants do you go to in each? 

Oh man, this is tough. In Portland, Oregon, Pok Pok and Salt and Straw. In Seattle, The Walrus and the Carpenter. In Stockholm, Rolf’s Kök. In Munich, Pfistermuhle. In Los Angeles – tons! – Sushi by H, Father’s Office, Osteria Mozza, Bar Amá, and Beer Belly.

Advice you’d give to your younger self…

You’re allowed to have fun. Not everything has meaning. And when a lover treats you like shit, leave them. Abuse is not passion and love, respect is.

Best advice you’ve ever received…

One day you will die, and none of this will matter, so enjoy it, and laugh at the absurdity of it all.

“Life is but a sport and a past time” – The Quran

The instagram accounts you couldn’t live without…

@fuckjerry, any of my college friends, @humansofNY, @sophiiieeehart  and @taylorswift (YEAH I SAID IT.)

What would your last meal be? Who would it be with?

A burger from Father’s Office, a pear tart from Sweet Lady Jane (L.A. bakery) and an IPA from Virginia Beer Company. And if my girlfriend wasn’t around for my last meal ever, along with zero members of my family, then perhaps Tom Hanks or Christopher Hitchens.

In the same vein as ‘what is the new black’ what’s the new potato right now?

Home distilleries seem to really be taking off, but other than that, it seems to be tech. Yet, I would love for “the new thing” to be slowing down. Not feeling like you need to have a phone in hand at all times. That’s my new thing. And a sous vide. That shit is magic.

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*Ian Harding, photographed at The Meatball Shop in New York, NY by Danielle Kosann. Ian wears a Splendid Mills jacket, and Saturdays Surf NYC shirt.