8 Things to Know About Janel Parrish, Pretty Little Liars‘ “A”!

by: on | in The New Star | 36 Comments

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.

Star Bulletin

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”.

Lionsgate Home Entertainment

5. In 2007, Janel was signed to Geffen Records. Some of her label-mates include Blink-182, Greyson Chance, and Bratz co-star Malese Jow.


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!

Find Out How The Teen Eds Feel About “A”‘s Big Reveal

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  • Mirline pierre

    Yes i like Spencer than her because she was Hanna friend she’s not suppose to do that to her friend .

    • LarissaW

      I think you missed the point of the question…

  • llyssbb

    Have u guys ever heard of Canada? It aired there the same day as the states. God people

  • Jessie

    I was shocked when Mona was revealed as A. I’ve never read the books cause I’m not really a book person. Haven’t been since I was in junior high. My twin sister reads more then I do. But I kinda have to agree with Zeandra. In the season finale if you watch closely, someone visits Mona in the nut house. And they don’t even show his/her face. And Mona tells him/her that she did everything that was asked of her. So whoever it was, was probably the real A. We’ll probably find out next season. I’m so excited for next season. I’m so anxious for it. :)

  • Emily Lange

    I love Janel! She’s so beautiful and talented.

  • michelle

    Mona made it clear there was an A team, in the end u see mona speaking to the real A who yet is not revealed in the psychward! Mona is just helping the real A that’s the twist in the show that they changed from the book

  • Danielle

    I thought they were going to change the whole thing. def didn’t think Mona would’ve been -A. The series are very similar but very different from the books at the same time. Only diff is after Mona was discovered as -A in the books she died.

  • Jenna

    lol at all the people complaining about people complaining. PLL is only half done in most places outside the US. The US is the ONLY place where the Finale was this past week. So you’re all the real idiots really… Get your facts straight before you go calling people stupid and idiots and such. Now you all just look, and probably feel, really really dumb right now.

    • Mel

      No. Read the comments rights first before you call people names. Obviously you knew the season ended in the US. Therefore, do not read thngs if you dont want to know what happened. And like another user had mentioned; stream the videos and you can watch them before they are aired outside of the US. And lastly, the name calling is childish and not needed! Hope you enjoy the rest of the season!

  • Rowan

    NICE! Good for Janel :) I never knew she was so involved in this stuff, but played Mona so well.

  • Tabitha

    She nailed the character Mona! I can’t imagine her as Spencer. … And no I didn’t even peg her as A- not once… Even when they were in the car I was like.. Nnnnnnnooooooooo :( lol
    Hugs, she’s a super star! x

  • Hannah

    Because Mona was A in the books, i wasn’t expecting her to be A in the show. It sort of suprised me because whenever she was acting suspicious and i thought she seemed like she could be A i would convince myself that she wasnt. I was so glad she was A and she does such a wonderful job acting as Mona.It wouldnt be the same if she played Spencer, she is perfect for Mona.

  • Valencia

    I’m on one side a little shokked and at the other side not cause she hated Alli and her friends. Mona wanted to be friends with Alli and crew but they were ignoring her so thats why i felt that she might be ‘A’.

  • stephanie

    never would have thaught it was mona, she kinda looked like too much a p****y to pull all that off, someone told me in the books that allison had a twin in a phsyc ward and she eskaped and got alli stuck in there and the twin was the one who got killed…. now c that would have been such a better fanalle

  • Lanisha

    i absolutely love her character in pll .. its a twisted yet intense movie that leaves you on edge :) i live on the big island of hawaii and to make it a big star of a tv. show and how much she has accomplished is amazing .. she has came a far way!!

    cant wat wait till the show airs again :)..

  • dooodi

    I don’t think that she’s “A” if you watch the end of episode 25 you well see

  • Br G.

    I don’t think Mona was the right choice,not even for A’s slave or something.Neither would Ezra be a good A.I mean,there are some stuff only the girls knew,and Aria didn’t tell him everything,so,not possible.Unless the A team has one of the girls on it.

  • Lucy

    I think Janel Parris is perfect for Mona…. and she is one really good and beautiful actress :))))

  • A

    I’m not a big Spencer-fan, think she’s the most boring of them all and the (waay) least goodlooking of them. I actually think I’d like that character more with another actress, so would be fun to see how Janel would be as Spencer, but I love her as Mona so I don’t know. Guess it’s all good.

    And Jane – I live outside of the US too, but there’s something called downloading and streaming.
    I’d never wait for the episodes to come out here, would take way too long!

  • Pll_addicted

    I often thought of Mona…but as the producers said that they were going to changed -A…I was very disappointed when I watched the episode..I thought -A was Ezra ! …

    • zeandra

      Well technically in the tv show Mona isn’t A…she was just one of A’s helpers. The real A hasn’t been revealed yet.

      • Mirline pierre

        yes i love that that’s what i though too :)

  • Blubber

    hahahah to al the idiots who havent watched season 2 finale and read this xD xD

  • Oakley

    They had to keep quiet for about 48 hours of who A was. It’s been 4 days since the
    Episode. Anyone can talk about it now. So they didn’t ruin it for you.

  • nemdy

    thanks for the spoiler alert!!!you guys just had to ruin it for me..

    • Andrea

      Um, are you stupid? The episode aired a week ago. If you haven’t watched it yet and you’re stupid enough to read about it, it’s not a spoiler.

  • Sam

    i knew she looked familiar! she was in the bratz!

  • Jane

    thank god i read the books or else this wud b a h8 comment since outside of the u.s season 2 is only about half done

    • Federico

      A Southern Fairy tale has the cutest tautriol on making this cookie cut out and frapuccino gift set. a0I love her fun honest style of writing. a0Maybe it is just that I can relate to her I am kinda a last minute girl! confession. a0These little gift packages would make great gifts to give to co-workers, mailman, teachers, BUS-DRIVERS (hint hint), hostesses, and the list goes on and on. a0I would suggest making a few just to keep on hand for those last minute unexpected gift needs.