When some people have some down time, they take a vacation, read a book or just relax.
Brant Daugherty dances!
As you probably know, the actor - best known as Noel Kahn on Pretty Little Liars - has been wow-ing us with his mad dance skills on Dancing with the Stars this season, slaying the competition and outlasting the likes of celebs Snooki, Valerie Harper and Christina Milian.
But Daugherty's time away from Rosewood has come to an end as he recently posted pics of himself back on the Pretty Little Liars set.
I jumped on the phone with Daugherty last week to find out how he's holding up both physically and mentally on DWTS, and also to gather up some scoop about the return of Noel Kahn...
TV Fanatic: How are you holding up physically and even mentally?
Brant Daugherty: You know busy for a performer is always good. So I always love being busy, as challenging as it is. But Dancing With the Stars has been tough. We all kind of got into this little midseason rut for a little while…we all started showing up a little more worn down every day, realizing that we were about halfway through everything that we had done.
Everything that is going according to plans, we'll have to do that much work again to get to the finale. It was just a little bit daunting for a period of time, but I think everyone's starting to come back up again. We're nearing the finals. We're getting that second wave of energy and things are going well overall.
TVF: Last week, you all did the group dances, which were such much fun to watch. Is that tougher to do something like that or is it actually a nice break from the 1:1 training?
BD: It was a little bit of both. It was a nice break to dance with the group. I mean you kind of see how everyone else works but as close as we all are, we are competing against each other. So it was nice to be on the same team with some people for a little while. With that said, it was a dance we had to do in addition to our couple's dance for the night. So it really stepped up the pressure and we had to put a lot more rehearsal time in and it was pretty exhausting.
TVF: Just like an athlete would go back and watch games after they performed, do you go back and watch the episodes or at least watch your dances just to see what you liked, what you didn't like, what you could learn from?
BD: I try. I have a really intense dislike of watching myself on the screen. I don't know why that is. I really love doing the work and I love performing but I hate watching myself. I'm very critical. So I generally watch just to see if I thought the judges votes lined up with what I saw and how I could do better next week and then I put it away.
TVF: Which of the judges is kind of the toughest to impress?
BD: They all have their expertise and different strengths they look for in the dance. I know Len [Goodman] is historically the tough one. He's the one who really watches the technique and the timing and he has a lot of ballroom experience. He's actually been one of our biggest supporters on the judge's table, which has been a huge relief. I think he can see the work and the technique we're putting into everything.
TVF: Len's actually off this coming week and Cher's sitting in for him.
BD: Yeah, we're all dancing to Cher songs this week. So we've been exposed to a couple of [her songs] lately. I can’t say which song we’re dancing to but it's one of her classics.
TVF: Can you say what the dance is this week?
BD: We're doing a Fox Trot this week.
TVF: Which dance so far has been the toughest dance for you, Brant?
BD: I have to say our jive was for me the most challenging dance. It's just a minute and a half of jumping and running and sprinting and spinning and jumping again. I was exhausted by the end of it. It was the kind of dance where you could only run it once or twice before we had to take a break, but it was hard to learn it like we learned some of the other dances.
With the Tango, you can just practice the Tango all day. But as soon as you do the Jive once, you're sweating and you're exhausted, and you have to take a breather before you can try it again. So it was a bit more challenging than the other ones.
TVF: You and Peta [Murgatroyd] seems like you got along so well. What's one thing you've learned about her that surprised you, if anything?
BD: I really learned over the last two and a half months - three months, however long it's been, how tough she is. I really didn't know much about dancers or dancing before all this started. It seemed like it was challenging but I didn't know it was as brutally exhausting as it was. For Peta, she's not only learned and choreographed all the dances but danced them and taught me the dance and watched me as I danced and critiqued me. She has a lot going on. I have a lot of respect for her. She has one of the hardest jobs I can imagine.
TVF: It was really cool to see all your PLL co-stars in the audience recently. And you’ve been back filming so how has it been going back now that you're in the middle of Dancing With The Stars?
BD: It was pretty awesome. It had been over a year since I was on the set, actually. I really missed those guys. It was kind of like having a family reunion when I showed back up again. They were all so supportive of me on Dancing With the Stars. A lot of them have come and watched me in the audience. It was good being back home. I really love being there a lot.
TVF: Hopefully we’ll see more Instagram pics of you dancing with the girls. I saw the one with Lucy Hale…
BD: [laughs] Yeah. I was trying to teach her how to Tango.
TVF: Is there anything you can talk about with Noel getting back on the show? Anything at all?
BD: Ooooh. I can't really say much without giving anything away but Noel comes back in a big way and I think the audience is going to be very happy with what's going on in that episode.
TVF: Have you had time to keep up with the show, because the Halloween episode was pretty epic?
BD: The Halloween episode is actually the only episode that I've seen all season, unfortunately. I have them all in my DVR, but this has been a really crazy year for me. I haven't stopped working all year. I really haven't had a lot of time to watch TV.
TVF: I know Army Wives is not coming back…
BD: It's unfortunate. I wish we could do another season.
TVF: I know they said they're going to do some kind of two-hour wrap-up special. Do you know anything about that?
BD: I have heard from our showrunner Jeff Melvoin that they’re going to do a retrospective. I don't honestly know if that's going to be new footage or if it's going to be the old footage kind of put back together to tell the story again. I'm not really sure what's going to happen. I'd be very open to kind of get filming something for them if they wanted me.
Dancing With The Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. on ABC. Pretty Little Liars Season 4 returns with new episodes on January 7 on ABC Family.
Jim Halterman is the West Coast Editor of TV Fanatic and the owner of JimHalterman.com. Follow him on Twitter.