Shay Mitchell is about to destroy me completely with a single tap on her iPhone. The woman who plays the delectable lesbian next door on the most tweeted-about series in television history just accepted my invitation to see who could get more action on our social media feeds over the course of our time together.
Just looking at her tells me I’m a goner. The star of Pretty Little Liars, a cult-smash cable crime thriller about a group of mean-girl high school vixens tormented by a web of cyber threats, dark hoodies, darker secrets, and outrageous murders, arrived at a Los Angeles art museum on this rare rainy day dressed like the planet’s hottest secret agent —complete with a short-short trench coat, her pink cashmere thumb sleeves tantalisingly peeking out. There’s stretchy black denim underneath, knee-high riding boots, an adorable pink umbrella. Right on the nose for a girl who is famous as the most desirable DIY sleuth to ever wind up on America’s ABC Family network. My pathetic selfie is out-favorited the very moment Mitchell’s glorious pic hits Instagram. “Whoa, this is kinda crazy,” she says as more than 1,000 likes register under her photo in less than 60 seconds. Yes, 1,000. @Shaym can dominate you like that.
At 27, she spreads her seductive magic in so many ways and via so many platforms — on TV; in print as a model; on her YouTube channel; with her lifestyle blog, charities, and endorsements; and via Facebook and Instagram — she seems like an entirely new kind of celebrity life form. Too alluring and ambitious to stick merely to one screen, Mitchell sucks you in to them all. As we enter a gallery of Picassos, she snaps a shot of a reclining nude even after a uniformed guard announces that photos aren’t allowed. “I really like taking risks,” she whispers, gazing with a head tilt at the painting: a masterwork of cartoonishly large breasts floating over a disembodied vagina. Mitchell flips back her chestnut hair and grins. “Poor woman,” she says. “Picasso obviously did this way before Photoshop.”
For the full interview grab the July 2015 issue of MAXIM, in stores from June 18 to July 16.
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