‘Pretty Little Liars’ Star Janel Parrish Dishes on Playing the Bad Girl + More!
Janel Parrish gives us the scoop on Mona Vanderwaal, on-set antics, and her dream outfit!
We’ve all snickered, shuddered, and gasped over Mona Vanderwaal’s conniving antics on Pretty Little Liars. From her burning zingers to the downright evil acts that landed her in a psychiatric institution, she’s one unforgettable character. We chatted with Janel Parrish, the actress who plays our favorite bad girl, about her favorite Mona-ism, pranks from the set, and where you’ll catch her next.
Betty Confidential: Mona is so deep and vulnerable. What does it take to play such a multi-dimensional character?
Janel Parrish: I honestly just have so much fun with it. I put myself in her shoes and come from a really organic place. Mona has a lot of different layers: She’s vulnerable, tough, can be completely insane, and she’s really, really dark.
BC: Can you relate to Mona in any way?
JP: I think everyone can relate to her in some way. She started out unpopular and bullied, and I know what that was like because I wasn’t the most popular.
BC: What do you hope happens with Mona next?
JP: I’d love the audience to get more answers: why Mona is “A”, how she managed to pull all of those things off. I still don’t have all the answers to that.
BC: Do you think she’ll always be the bad girl?
JP: It’s hard to know. She harbors a lot of hurt and hatred after being tortured by Ali. I would’ve said yes last season, but maybe she could change.
BC: Do you have a favorite Mona-ism?
JP: She has some great lines and they all tend to blur together after a while! During our last Halloween episode, she said something like Halloween is “better than Christmas” because there’s “more makeup.” It’s a crazy, hilarious line.
Up next: Janel talks personal style, on-set pranks, and more!