How in the world could this adorable face possibly play one of the most conniving characters (and creepiest texters) on TV?! It was just revealed that Janel Parrish‘s Pretty Little Liars character, Mona Vanderwaal, is the mysterious “A”! So just who is this amazing young actress and how did she get her start in the biz? Read below to find out where she grew up, what part she originally wanted when auditioning for PLL, and her connection to Glee star Kevin McHale! Because with acting chops like that (yeah, we’re still talking about the “A” thing). this girl is not going anywhere anytime soon.
1. Janel was born the day before Halloween in Oahu, Hawaii.
2. While living in Hawaii, Janel became a local star. She was involved in musical theater and held leads in Here’s Love, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Best Christmas Paegent Ever, and On Dragonfly Wings.
3. She entered a state-wide singing contest called Kiddieoke-Plus at the age of 6 — and won. We were probably just learning how to tie our shoes at that age.
4. She played Jade in Bratz alongside Nathalia Ramos and Chelsea Kane. Not only was this her feature film debut, but the the movie also allowed her to make her music debut as well! She’s the voice behind the song “Rainy Day”.
6. Remember boy-band NLT? Janel appeared in their music video for “She Said, I Said (Time We Let Go)” and also sang background vocals. And yes, that is Glee‘s Kevin McHale from waaaay back when!
7. Before being cast as Mona in PLL, Janel actually went in for the role of Spencer! After not getting the part, she went home and read the books and nailed her call-back for Ms. Vanderwaal.
8. While PLL is on hiatus until April, Janel is playing Anna in the Los Angeles production of Spring Awakening. That’s Janel in the green!
You can catch more of Janel in Season 3 of Pretty Little Liars this June! Did you think Mona was “A” all along? Do you like Janel as Mona or would you have liked her better as Spencer? Tell us in the comments!
And make sure to check out this exclusive interview with Janel on prettylittleliars.com!