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Lucy Hale’s roots are showing. Like any good Southern girl, the Memphis, Tenn.–born star of the ABC Family smash hit Pretty Little Liars — which returned last month — is remarkably polite. And while she hides her twang well, she hopes to bust it out again when she records a country-music album. Here, she spills on her favorite hometown grub, her plans for college and, of course, the secret identity of “A.”

On college, maybe: “I was going to take online courses when we were filming last year, but I couldn’t commit to it. But it’s always there, on the horizon. I’d do photography or maybe psychology.”

On her Memphis must-have: “When I’m home in Memphis, I have to hit this place called Central BBQ. I’ve tried places in L.A. looking for something even close to it, but it doesn’t exist anywhere else.”

On her future career as a country crooner: “I’d describe myself as country pop — like a Carrie Underwood meets Taylor Swift. I grew up on that and that’s what I want to do.”

On her Southern roots:
“I’ve brought my Southern hospitality out to L.A., and I hope I never lose that small town-ness. I miss the seasons and the food.”

On her reality-TV addiction: “I’d prided myself on never seeing an episode of Jersey Shore or Keeping Up with the Kardashians. But one day I binged — and I totally get it now.”

On who “A” really is:
“The writers don’t tell us! We learn what’s next when we open our scripts, which definitely keeps things interesting.  In the meantime, I’m reading the books. Once you pick up one, it’s hard to put them down!”