Despite all the talk this week about male strippers and the release of "Magic Mike," the steamiest story of the year is the fan fervor over "Fifty Shades of Grey" and the big-screen adaptation that has Hollywood all atwitter.
Specifically, who will play the lead roles of Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey? We've done plenty of our own speculating here at MTV News, so when we caught up with rumored candidate Lucy Hale recently for a chat about her plans to release a country music album, we had to ask for her thoughts on taking on the racy role of Ana.
"I'm on 'Fifty Shades Darker,' " Hale said, name-dropping the second book in E L James' saucy trilogy. "I get flustered even talking about it, so yeah, I'm on that train."
We then brought up the subject of fan support for her landing the leading role in the movie version, which Hale finds very intriguing. "People have said that, but people have also said [I could play] the little sister, which I think could make sense, because I look a little young for Ana, but God, what a big role to take on," she said. "I'm really curious to see how it's all going to [play out]."
Hale said that any involvement with the film would take her career in a different direction, and she's comfortable with that type of diversion.
"I definitely am ready to take a step and do something a bit more risky, absolutely, but it's a fine line," she said. "I don't know what that fine line is, but I'm definitely ready to explore a darker side of my acting abilities."
In exploring that "darker side," we asked Hale what her parents would think of her involvement in a likely NC-17-rated film and whether they would see her in it.
"No, they would be banned!" she said. "My father, I don't even know. My mom, she's always been sort of really understanding, but my dad, even when he watches ['Pretty Little Liars'], he will be like, 'All right, I saw that scene with you and Ezra ... ' and I'm like, 'Dad, come on!' So it's still kind of like that, but I'm his little baby girl, so I get it."