Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Ian Harding: CMU Graduate, Actor & Now Author

The “Pretty Little Liars” star shares behind-the-scenes glimpses into the show — and his love of bird-watching, in his first book.

photos courtesy Sophie Hart


Attention all “Pretty Little Liars” fans, memoir readers and even bird watchers. Ian Harding, a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University who plays Ezra Fitz on Freeform’s “Pretty Little Liars,” recently came to town as part of the tour for his new book, “Odd Birds.”

Pittsburgh Magazine sat down with Harding before his book signing at the Barnes & Noble in Robinson Township to talk to him about his inspiration for the book, his love for bird watching and his Pittsburgh nostalgia as a CMU grad.


What is it like being back in Pittsburgh?
“It’s great! I was here a little while ago back in December and actually, I found myself getting very sad just because I was just hit by this wave of nostalgia. Of course as I’m getting ready to graduate I thought, ‘I’m getting out of here, never looking back,’ and now that I come back I think ‘God I didn't use this city like I could have.’ And now I just see it and I get like misty-eyed, even driving up today.”

How did the book process begin for you?
“I started this because halfway through season six, I was getting a little bored, like I just wasn't as stimulated and fulfilled as I used to be, so I decided I needed to do something big, so I decided, let’s go straight in for a book.”

Who are your favorite authors?
“I really love, in terms of non-fiction, Rebecca Solnit. And currently, I know I’m late to this party, but I discovered Zadie Smith. I’m reading a book she wrote called “On Beauty,” which is really nice. Bill Bryson was also very inspirational for this book. That’s sort of my jam.”

What was your initial inspiration behind the book?
“There is a part of me that really wanted to rehash everything that I’ve experienced over my seven years on the show. Because it was just such a weird experience; I just went from zero to 60 in like no time flat. So I wanted to somehow process it.

I interviewed a lot of my cast mates for the book and a lot of the material that I sort of penned with and for them was eliminated from the book, just because it didn't really make sense in the context. It was great talking about experiences, and hearing their side of it, because we all grew up together essentially.

I didn't want to do the usual Hollywood tell-all, I didn't want to out anyone, as I know, privacy is very limited these days, especially with social media.”


Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Pittsburgh's Can't Miss Concerts in April

This month's lineup includes Rick Astley, Billy Price, Christopher Cross and Ronnie Milsap.

Pittsburgh Flicks and Nightlife in April

Tour local social clubs with the Roaming Social Club; expect changes at AMC Waterfront

April: Best of Culture in Pittsburgh

Check out some of the finest stage plays, dance performances and exhibits taking place this month in Pittsburgh.

Undercover: What We're Reading in April

A look back at "The Mysteries of Pittsburgh" as it turns 30, plus two literary events coming up in April.

Perspectives: ‘This Is Us’ Is a Story of Us

A former Pittsburgher finds more than a few similarities between his own life and that of the siblings on "This Is Us."

Spare Change: A New Way of Giving

A local group is using music and some spare change to help charities — and filming every step of the way.

Look How Mighty This Bellevue Garden Has Grown

Last season, the Rosalinda Sauro Sirianni Garden produced 4,862 pounds of food; the harvest was donated to three food pantries.

When and Where to Dump Your Junk (including old TVs)

A state environmental agency wants to help you recycle your hard-to-dispose-of household clutter.

Watch: Trailer of “Won't You Be My Neighbor”

The documentary about Mister Rogers' iconic show takes viewers beyond the cardigan collection and into “the heart of a creative genius.”

On a Lark: Pittsburgh Mom Creates Activewear for Babes

Unable to find cute, environmentally friendly gear for her newborn son, Lark Adventurewear founder Pallavi Golla launched her own line of moisture-wicking clothing for kids.

Pittsburgh MultiStories: The Beacon's Perch – The Grant Building

When it opened in 1929 as the city’s tallest structure, crowds of sightseers paid a quarter to visit the rooftop observation deck of the Grant Building — named for the street, which was named for the hill, which was named for the somewhat hapless general.

Rick Sebak Digs Up Distant Carnegie-Trump Connection

Research into Andrew Carnegie’s marriage reveals an unlikely, albeit tenuous, connection between the Pittsburgh icon and the 45th President.

JuJu Smith-Schuster Teams Up with Drake, Travis Scott and Ninja to Play Fortnite

Drake and Ninja broke Twitch viewing records, and Smith-Schuster and Scott joined in later.

Growing Up: mossArchitects Moving to Garfield

Principal Andrew Moss says his architecture firm will move to the heart of the Penn Avenue Arts District after outgrowing its current space in Lawrenceville.

Teaching Cyber Safety - The Things You Might Not Know

iQ:smartparent’s Cyber Safety segment offers advice on topics such as what to do with “sexted” images you find on your kids’ phones and more.