'Pretty Little Liars' Janel Parrish On Finding Out She's 'A' and a 'Darker' Season 3
'Pretty Little Liars' Janel Parrish On Finding Out She's 'A' and a 'Darker' Season 3
Fresh off of her turn from bubbly, awkward outcast Mona to psychotic puppet-master of the past two seasons, Janel Parrish took some time to discuss last night's Pretty Little Liars finale and what direction her character is headed going forward.

Parrish first found out that she was "A" a week before shooting of the season finale was to take place and she was admittedly overwhelmed, "It was surreal and exciting. It was so hard to keep it a secret, I wanted to tell everyone!"

From Mona to "A"

But it was not the first inkling she had that her character might be destined to don the emblematic hoodie of her literary counterpart, however: "I was reading the books at the time we were shooting the pilot and I would ask the writers if I was going to be "A", and they were very coy about it. 'We're not necessarily going to follow what's in the books.' But I started to get a feeling that they were headed that direction when "A"started sending texts to Mona, because that happened in the books."

One of the main reasons it might have been difficult for her to think that Mona would wind up being "A" in the TV series, is how her character has been handled throughout most of the first two seasons. Parrish admits that it will be difficult to shift from the doe-eyed character she's cultivated for two years to her new psychologically twisted iteration, but "I'm creating a new character. It'll be fun to be able to take a risk playing a darker character."

About Season 3

Pretty Little Liars
will begin filming its third season on April 2 and premieres on ABC Family on June 5. It will pick up six months after the day of Maya's death and two years after the murder of Allison. It was also announced that Janel Parrish has been retained as a series regular for next season, so there's still plenty left to be uncovered about Mona. Specifically, Parrish discussed where she thinks Mona and Hanna's friendship stands now: "I think it's safe to say their friendship is ruined. I think it would be great if they went toe-to-toe with each other. I'm hoping for a showdown."

Parrish also addressed the fact that some fans weren't as thrilled about the writer's decision to adhere so strictly to the books: "I am not surprised we followed the books and understand if maybe some people weren't as surprised by Mona being "A". But I can promise that in season three, there will be a lot more surprises headed their way."

Comparing Twin Peaks

And considering I've spent the last few weeks in my recaps of Pretty Little Liars hammering home some of the similarities between it and Twin Peaks, I would have been remiss if I didn't take the chance to ask one of the show's stars if she was familiar with the seminal '90s drama: "I have seen Twin Peaks and I am a big fan. I definitely see the comparison between the two shows. Both take place in a creepy town where the queen bee gets killed. I'm happy to be a part of it."

Season 2's Top Moments>>

Parrish can currently be seen returning to her first love of theater in the Los Angeles production of Spring Awakening.

Casey Casteel
Contributing Writer

(Image courtesy of ABC Family)