ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars unmasked “A” – or at least the public face of the Liars’ tormenter – in its Monday-night Season 2 finale, but it’s rather evident that not all is as it seems when it comes to the true puppet master behind all the chilling chicanery.
The morning after the big reveal, TVLine spoke with Janel Parrish, who plays Hanna’s onetime BFF aka the vengeful Mona – and now a series regular for next season — about bringing her “A” game to such an “intense” character.
ON FIRST LEARNING ABOUT HER FATE | “I got the official word about a week before we filmed the season finale, and it was just so surreal,” Parrish gushes. “It’s an honor, really, to play such an intense, important character to the story, so I just embraced it and loved every minute of filming it.”
ON HAVING ANY SUSPICIONS OF HER OWN | “I had a feeling it was [Mona], because obviously Mona was ‘A ‘in the books. I [previously] tried to get answers from the producers, and they basically said, ‘It could be you but things can change. We’re not following the books exactly.’ But I had hoped that’s where [the story] would go, and I’m so glad that it did!”
ON DONNING A HOODIE FOR THE FIRST TIME | “It was so exciting,” Parrish says of slipping into A’s outfit of choice. “[Series creator] Marlene [King] cried when she saw me walk on the stage wearing it for the first time…. It was like watching her baby come to life.”
ON THE “A” TEAM (AKA MONA’S ACCOMPLICES) | “You guys will definitely find out in Season 3. Next season will focus more on people’s connections, finding out how Mona did things, and if people were helping her, who and why…. Allllll the pieces will come together.”
ON THE PERSON WHO VISITED “A” AT THE END | “I know who it issssss,” the actress teases. “But I can’t tell you!” (As for whether that mystery person is also whom Jenna met with at the picnic table and/or the Black Swan at the gala, “I can’t say for sure… I don’t 100-percent know everything. I’m curious, as well!”)
ON EARNING A PROMOTION | “I am officially now a series regular for Season 3, which is a dream come true. I’m so honored to be a part of such an amazing show.”
ON THE LENGTH OF MONA’S LOONY BIN STAY | “That, I do not know. I know that when we come back [in Season 3], it’s six months after the finale has ended, so I will have been in the sanitarium for that time. But I do not know for how much longer she’ll be in there.”
ON HER HOPES FOR A MOMENT BETWEEN MONA AND HANNA | After all, it was the Liars’ appropriation of that friendship that triggered Mona’s psychotic break. “It’d be really interesting to see their interaction now that everything has happened the way that it has. Mona’s world got shattered — she lost somebody that she trusted and loved — so I’m sure were going to see the repercussions of that.”