All the Actresses Who Auditioned to Play Spencer Hastings on Pretty Little Liars

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More than six years into the show, the cast of Pretty Little Liars seems just about as strong as it can be. But if we look back on the time leading up to Sara Shepard‘s book series turning into a television hit, things were a little more up in the air. Well, for the most part…

“I think I was the first person they were sure of,” Troian Bellisario said about landing her role as Spencer Hastings on PLL. “I mean, they offered Aria to Lucy [Hale], but I was the first person that they were sure of that they cast.”

But just because the 30-year-old felt pretty confident throughout the audition process doesn’t mean the show’s executives didn’t consider any other young stars to play the smart teenager. Here are all the actresses who also auditioned to play SH before Troian was cast:

1. Shay Mitchell — Emily Fields and Spencer Hastings are perhaps THE most opposite characters on PLL, so to think that Shay could’ve played the latter is pretty hard to wrap our heads around. According to IMDB, the 29-year-old actress originally auditioned to play the brainiac, but the show’s executives felt she didn’t quite fit. Fortunately, she ALSO read for Emily and was much more comfortable in her shoes. “I actually felt really ready when auditioning for Emily. I was like, ‘This is my character!,’ she said.

2. Janel Parrish — The 27-year-old’s journey to playing Mona Mona Vanderwaal was not easy. “Actually, I auditioned for Spencer and had a few callbacks and then didn’t get it, and I was very sad because I loved the script,” she told Cosmo back in 2014. But even though she was very upset that she seemingly missed her chance to join the pretty Little Liars family, she got another opportunity to read for the show’s execs. “About a month later, I auditioned for Mona and that’s the part I booked. But it’s crazy to think of it as any other way [now]. I think everything worked out. I’m in love with my character and in love with the show.” SAME, GIRL!

3. Tammin Sursok — Although the 33-year-old jokingly told InStyle magazine she first auditioned to play Emily Fields, it was actually Spencer who she read for before she landed Jenna Marshall. “I first auditioned for Spencer,” she said, and even though she didn’t get the part, the show’s producers had her reel on hand so she “didn’t have to do very much [to get cast as] Jenna” in the end.


At least Hanna Marin wasn’t recast like these other PLL characters!