On handling each social media platform with a marketer’s precision: "My Instagram is like an art gallery-no blurry photos. Come to Snapchat and see it all being made. Instagram is the appetizer. Snapchat is the meal."
On the gender of a potential partner: "When I started, people were like, ‘What are you?’ I’m like, right now I’m dating a guy. I don’t know what it’s going to be in three years. You love who you love. Black, white, polka-dot, that’s what my dad always said. I’m never going to label myself. I could be 50 and dating a woman and then what? I said I was straight and now I’m not?’"
On auditioning during the day and working bottle service at night pre-Pretty Little Liars: "I have so much respect for waiters, waitresses, girls who work in clubs. It’s tough. I’d have old guys saying ‘You’re so pretty, why are you working?’ or ‘Come live with me, honey.’ Like, what, so I can be taken care of? That’s the last thing that I want. What I wanted to say was, ‘[I work] so I will never end up with someone like you.’"
On where she’s headed post-Pretty Little Liars: "I’d rather have a company. I don’t want to be dependent on a call from my agent-taking projects I’m not okay with because I need to. To be honest, winning an Oscar is not one of my goals."
For more of Shay Mitchell’s exclusive interview and photo shoot with Cosmopolitan, pick up the June 2016 issue on newsstands May 10 or click here to subscribe to the digital edition!