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 ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Mobile Service To Connect Hungry Pitt Students to Free Food

PittGrub app will send folks in need to events with leftovers.

What's It Like When You Go from Laborer to Being The Boss?

Pitt's Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence has been teaching business strategies to startups and century-old companies for 25 years.

The 400-Word Review: The Equalizer 2

An unnecessary sequel to the Denzel Washington action flick arrives for a quick beat-em-up fix.

The 400-Word Review: Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again

The sequel to the 2008 ABBA musical is far from perfect, but might have enough charm to keep you on board.

You're Going to Be Upside Down a Lot on New Kennywood Coaster

Kennywood has revealed its replacement ride for “The Log Jammer” which will be located in a new portion of the park entitled “Steelers Country.”

Restaurant Review: Poulet Bleu

Richard DeShantz steps it up with a move from Downtown to Lawrenceville and shows Pittsburgh how to make French dining fun.

Pittsburgh to Host Nation’s First Black Beer Festival

Day Bracey and Ed Bailey of Drinking Partners Podcast and Mike Potter of Black Brew Culture online magazine will bring 12 black-owned breweries to Pittsburgh in August for Fresh Fest.

Coming Clean: Why We Aren't a Green City ... Yet

Pittsburgh is no longer a smoky city, but that doesn’t mean it has cleaned up its act. Pittsburgh's air quality still ranks among the worst in the nation. What steps are being taken to reduce Pittsburgh's ongoing dependence on fossil fuels?

Ultimate Comfort Food: The Joy of Dumplings

Why our dining critic thinks dumplings might be his ultimate comfort food.

Our Seven Favorite Dumplings in Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, of course, is best known for the pierogi. Our love of dumplings extends beyond that, however. These seven dumplings are our favorite restaurant versions of their various styles.

The Tailor's Dumpling: Kreplach

A Pittsburgh chef and his family continue to craft a family recipe with roots in Poland.

The Pittsburgh Region's Top Dentists 2018

Our annual list, which contains 376 dentists across 11 specialties, as determined by topDENTISTS.

A Weekend Mission of Mercy in Pittsburgh

More than a thousand people come to PPG Paints Arena once a year for free dental care, thanks to an ambitious, all-volunteer effort.

Jump Into the River: Open Waters Beckons Strong Swimmers

It takes a strong swimmer and the right timing to dive into the three rivers. for those up to it, the difference between the pool and open water is profound.

Pirates Are Still a Long Way From a Hollywood Ending

Despite an 8-1 winning streak going into the All-Star break, the Bucs are in desperate need of a sequel, not only to win back some credibility with fans, but also to convince their owner not to sell off more pieces of the team.