Shay's favorite movie is Selena
Shay is double jointed in her hands.
Shay loves classical music.
Shay originally tried out for the role of Spencer on Pretty Little Liars before she landed the role of Emily.
Shay appeared in Sean Paul's video for "Hold My Hand."
Shay's mother is Filipino and her father is Scottish and Irish.
Shay: (On seeing herself on billboards)/em> Being in L.A. and driving by a main street and seeing our billboard is like, 'Oh my goodness' and I'm pinching myself. Everyday I'm like is this really happening because if it is that's great but if it isn't, don't ever wake me up because this is really cool.
Shay: (On living in Hollywood) It's so nice. I was living in Toronto before moving out to L.A., and before that I was living in Vancouver where my parents currently reside. So I've lived on the East Coast and I've lived on the West coast of Canada, and now to live on the West coast in the states is great. To have the beach right there, and I'm finding all these neat little pockets of Los Angeles that I'm falling in love with. It's really neat. I have my weekends off to discover all these great little places, so it makes it really fun. Then I go home to Canada too, which I"m doing next week. I miss Canada a little bit too. It'll be nice to go home and see my friends and family.
Shay: (On meeting the author of the books Pretty Little Liars is based on) Oh my gosh, yes, we did meet Sara Shepard. We met her actually in New York last March, end of March of this year, and she was so great. We met her twice because she came out to L.A. again and did the book signing with us that we had right before the show premiered. Sara is amazing. She is so much fun. We had a great dinner with her and then when we saw her in L.A. last time and even when she came on set for that episode that she did. So, yes, she is so great and we want to have her back to do another cameo.
Shay: I just worked with the Trevor Project, and I think it's an amazing organization where they have a hotline 24 hours every single day where you can call in and talk to somebody. And I think at times like that when you're getting bullied and you feel like you are alone and you're the only one, that is key. I feel like there are so many people out there that would help you and are willing to listen and talk you through it. And I think that you need a friend. Everybody needs a friend. And I feel like with these hotlines out, they're so crucial and that you should definitely call them. With everything else, I think with the bullying – in all bullies, you have to realize it's because they're insecure with themselves and really at the end of the day it has nothing to do with you. It has everything to do with them and what's going on in their life and their need to make you feel bad. I think it's important, so crucial, and everything to life an authentic life, so I would say never change yourself or never fake being somebody or never want to be somebody or something different than who you are. So with all of those things, it's horrible and that's why playing this character, I've been very proud to do it.
Shay: (On her favorite parts of Pretty Little Liars) I think on-screen, the next couple of episodes that will air January 3rd, those are some of my favorite scenes up to date. So those were … characters and were scenes that I was really, really happy with everything, and that was kind of the best moments for me on screen. And then off-screen I would say everything was just driving up to Warner Brothers Films and getting to go to work with just amazing girls and amazing crew. It's just become such a great big family, so it's just lovely. There's too many things to list, but those are just some of them. Just getting to go to work every day.
Shay: (On her role in Pretty Little Liars)The feedback I have been getting from a lot of girls is that it's really helped them talk about their sexuality with their friends and with their family. And they're happy that Emily isn't a character who labels herself [as gay or straight]; she's just figuring herself out. And that makes her relatable to them. And to me, that's really awesome.
Shay: (On how she gets along with her Pretty Little Liars' co-stars)Whenever you work on a show, and especially when there's four lead girls, you expect some kind of drama. But we're all so different and we all bring something unique to the table, that it actually helped us bond more. Even when we're not filming, we hang out on the weekends. It's really, really nice. I'm so happy because coming over here from Toronto, I didn't know too many people. To be able to work with a really cool cast and still hang out with them on the weekend, that's really comforting because my old friends are back at home.
Shay: (On her character in Pretty Little Liars) She is the nice one. But she's also from a very conservative family, and she's trying to come to terms with whether she likes boys, girls or both. I don't really feel like there's a particular label that she falls under, but she's discovering who she is while having to hide it.
Shay: Grade 8 wasn't a really good year for me. Looking back at it now, I can see that it was just petty insecurity and dealing with their own stuff, so they felt they had to be mean to me. But I'm happy I went through it. I'm happy it was a struggle and I was on my own a lot, because going into high school, I knew a lot more about myself.
Shay: (On if she relates to her character on Pretty Little Liars)Emily has a lot of admirable qualities that I respect. I would love to say that we share some characteristics like her competitive nature in sports, her love for the water (I also swam when I was younger), and her loyalty to her friends.
Shay: (On where she'd like to travel) I want to go everywhere. Morocco, India, Tokyo, Greece, Spain… there are too many places to pick just one. I have traveled quite a bit but anywhere new is always great to explore and check out.
Shay: My ideal day would be to wake up around 10:30 (I rarely get to do that now) and to go to a cute café somewhere with a friend to have a delicious brunch. Then drive down the coast with my dog foxy in the back and find a remote beach so we could lay out on a blanket. I would hang out there all day then pull out a picnic bag and have dinner while watching the sunset.
Shay: (On if she was a fan of the book series Pretty Little Liars is based on) I definitely am now. As soon as I got later on in the audition process, I went online and realized they have a huge fan base, so I went straight to the book store and grabbed all the books. I've read them all, they're great books.