'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!
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‘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!

-Diana Denza

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.

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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!


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