Two months after coming out as bisexual, Tyler Blackburn has hinted that he and his Pretty Little Liars co-star Ashley Benson were more than just friends while playing a couple on the hit show.
In a new interview with Playboy, the 32-year-old actor opened up about his sexuality and rumors that he and Ashley, 29, were together in real life. Looking back on their on-screen chemistry, he said it ‘felt real,’ but explained they were never really an item.
‘We never officially dated,’ he said. ‘In navigating our relationship — as co-workers but also as friends — sometimes the lines blurred a little. We had periods when we felt more for each other, but ultimately we’re good buds.’
Scoop: Tyler Blackburn, 32, has opened up about his relationship with his Pretty Little Liars co-star Ashley Benson, 29, saying their on-screen chemistry ‘felt real,’ but they were never an item
Affectionate: Tyler said he and Ashley (pictured in 2017) ‘never officially dated’ but ‘sometimes the lines blurred a little’ in their relationship
Chemistry: The two played Caleb Rivers and Hanna Marin, a couple so beloved they were dubbed ‘Haleb’
Tyler said he and Ashley bonded over their mutual distaste for the tabloid fodder they had to tolerate while starring on a hit teen show.
‘For the most part, those rumors made us laugh,’ he said. ‘But then sometimes we’d be like, “Did someone see us hugging the other night?” She was a huge part of a huge change in my life, so I’ll always hold her dear.’
Tyler said he is now dating an ‘amazing guy,’ while Ashley has been in a relationship with bisexual model Cara Delevingne for about a year now.
While he only publicly came out a few months ago, he told a few members of the Pretty Little Liars cast and crew he was bisexual over the years.
Common interest: Tyler said he and Ashley bonded over their mutual distaste for the tabloid fodder they had to tolerate while starring on a hit teen show
Keeping it real: The actor admitted there were ‘periods when we felt more for each other,’ but they were ultimately friends
Hard times: When Pretty Little Liars ended in 2017, Tyler admitted that he struggled with depression and anxiety because he wasn’t sure what was next for him
During the final season of the show, he started his first serious relationship with a man. However, he struggled with not knowing how to tell some of his co-workers, which led him to ‘go into a little bit of a shell’ on set.
The actor recalled his boyfriend being ‘hurt’ when he was mistaken for his brother at a Pretty Little Liars convention, and he admitted the relationship came to a halt because they were in different places in their lives at the time.
When the show ended in 2017, Tyler admitted that he struggled with depression and anxiety because he wasn’t sure what was next for him.
‘I didn’t know what my career was going to be or where it was going. My personal life— my relationship with myself — was in a really bad place,’ he said.
Tyler was later cast in the CW’s Roswell, New Mexico, an adaptation of the WB’s teen drama Roswell. In the new show, which debuted in January, he plays Alex, a gay Army veteran.
Candid: Tyler publicly came out as bisexual in April, saying: ‘I’m queer. I’ve identified as bisexual since a teenager’
Moving on: Tyler said he’s now dating an ‘amazing guy,’ while Ashley has been in a relationship with bisexual model Cara Delevingne (pictured in 2018) for about a year now
Confidants: While he only came out a few months ago, he told a few members of the Pretty Little Liars cast and crew (pictured in 2017) he was bisexual
Three months after the show premiered, he came out publicly in The Advocate.
‘I’m queer. I’ve identified as bisexual since a teenager. I just want to feel powerful in my own skin, and my own mind, and in my own heart,’ he said.
Although he is currently in a relationship with a man, Tyler has been in love with women before and makes a point to remind himself of that.
‘Once I decided to date men, I was like, “Please just let me be gay and be okay with that, because it would be a lot f*****g easier. At times, bisexuality feels like a big gray zone,’ he told Playboy.
‘I’ve had to check myself and say, “I know how I felt when I was in love with women and when I slept with women. That was true and real. Don’t discredit that, because you’re feeding into what other people think about bisexuality.”‘