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OTRC: Nia Peeples talks Shay Mitchell, 'Pretty Little Liars' and more: 4 highlights

Nia Peeples appears in an interview with OTRC.com on Aug. 1, 2013.

Nia Peeples is known to different generations of television viewers as a variety of characters. To some she's Nicole from the television series "Fame," to others she's known as Karen from "The Young and the Restless" and younger viewers might know her as Pam Fields, Emily's mother on "Pretty Little Liars."

OTRC.com correspondent Tony Cabrera recently sat down with Peeples to talk about her role on the popular teen drama, interacting with different generations of fans on Twitter, her appearance on "Celebrity Wife Swap" and her series of online hangouts called "More Than Skin Deep: The New Philosophy of Beauty."

Check out 4 highlights from Peeples's interview below and check out video from her sit down with Cabrera above.

1. She calls her "Pretty Little Liars" co-star Shay Mitchell a "sharp cookie."

"Shay is fantastic. 'Pretty Little Liars' is her first big show and I'm coming in as the vet. So it's been fun to watch her evolve," Peeples said about Mitchell, who plays her daughter on the show. "She's very savvy. She comes from the world of modeling, so she was traveling the world at 16 modeling. So she knows what hard work is."

"She said to me, 'Look, I know. Six months ago I was waiting tables in Toronto. So, I know what this means.' And she takes advantage of every bit of it," Peeples added. She later said, "I've watched her evolve as an actress as well. She learns 'cause she cares. So she's a sharp girl. She's a sharp cookie and really fun."

2. She thinks it's "kind of neat" to talk to different generations of fans on Twitter.

"You have to remember, I've been doing series since my early 20s. So for 30 years I've been in various television shows, right? So now, with 'Pretty Little Liars,' it's all about social media," the actress said. "So you're able to connect with your fans in a way that you couldn't even 10 years ago."

Peeples later added, "So you have generations of, well on Twitter for me it's women, sitting together that know me from a different decade and it's kind of neat. I'm really happy to see that people are watching it together. It's pretty neat."

3. Her time on 'Celebrity Wife Swap' was a "great experience" for her family.

Peeples and her family appeared on the July 7 episode of "Celebrity Wife Swap," where she traded places with singer Tiffany.

"That was a really interesting process. It was a little frightening to put ourselves out there because you never know what they're going to do in editing. Like we're just going to show you the really nasty parts of Nia and her family or we're going to show you what kind of story we're going to put together," the actress said of her episode.

She later added, "It turned out to be a great experience for the family as a whole, on a personal level, and thank God we didn't come out looking -- like you didn't see a lot of our garbage."

4. Watching "Pretty Little Liars" with her daughter inspired her to start a conversation about beauty.

Peeples recently launched "More Than Skin Deep: The New Philosophy of Beauty," which is a series of online hangouts where Peeples has a conversation with fans about beauty inside and out. She's set to host another hangout on Aug. 14 with "Pretty Little Liars" costume designer Mandi Line.

"It's been an interesting journey for me being on this particular show in this time in my life when I have a teenage daughter myself," she said. She later added, "So you have both of us on opposite ends of the spectrum dealing with what we look like and what the standards are that we're being held up to and I'm looking at my face, you know, falling, and it's all your perspective."

"How do we hang on to our own self-esteem? Who are we really? What is it really that beauty really is? And that's what this is," Peeples said. "'More Than Skin Deep' is a conversation about redefining what beauty is and understanding that in order to be the most beautiful you can be and the most beautiful you've ever been, on a deeper level, you have to take into account what's happening on the inside."

Reporting by Tony Cabrera, correspondent for KABC Television's entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).

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