- Freeform’s “Pretty Little Liars” is a teen mystery drama that aired from 2010 to 2017.
- The show’s main characters were teens, but many of the actors who played them were well past their teenage years at the time.
- Some actors were about a decade older than their characters, including Bianca Lawson, who played 16-year-old Maya St. Germain.
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Freeform’s series “Pretty Little Liars” was all about mysterious teens, but most of the actors who played them were actually in their 20s or 30s at the time.
The drama series aired from 2010 to 2017 and throughout its run, the show’s cast was often playing characters who were multiple years their junior.
Here’s how each of the teenage characters on “Pretty Little Liars” differ in age from the actors who play them.
Lucy Hale played 16-year-old Aria Montgomery when she was 20.
The character of creative and fashionable teen Aria Montgomery was first brought to life by Lucy Hale when the actress was about a week shy of her 21st birthday.
Tyler Blackburn played teenager Caleb Rivers when he was 23 years old.
When Caleb Rivers, troubled teen and love interest, first appeared on season one of the show, he was said to be around 18 years old. The actor who played him, Tyler Blackburn, was 23 years old at the time.
Bianca Lawson was 31 when she played 16-year-old Maya St. Germain.
Maya St. Germain was the first girlfriend of Emily Fields and a recurring character during the show’s first three seasons.
Bianca Lawson first played the character when she was 31 years old, meaning that St. Germain was more than a decade younger than the actress portraying her.
Troian Bellisario was 24 when she started her role as 16-year-old Spencer Hastings.
The de-facto leader of the show’s main clique, Spencer Hastings is a focused and ambitious perfectionist played by actress Troian Bellisario.
Bellisario was 24 years old when “Pretty Little Liars” first aired in 2010, making her a full eight years older than her 16-year-old character.
Hastings was said to be around 23 when the series ended in 2017, whereas Bellisario was 31 years old in real life.
Keegan Allen was 20 years old when he first appeared as Toby Cavanaugh.
Supporting character and love interest Toby Cavanaugh was about 17 years old when the series made its debut. He was portrayed by actor Keegan Allen, who was three years older than his troubled character.
Sasha Pieterse first played 15-year-old Alison DiLaurentis when she was 13.
Reversing the trend of casting adult actors to play younger characters, 13-year-old Sasha Pieterse had the role of 15-year-old Alison DiLaurentis on the show’s pilot.
Shay Mitchell was 23 when she portrayed 16-year-old Emily Fields.
Emily Fields is an athletic and rather shy character played by Shay Mitchell.
When the show’s pilot aired in 2010, Mitchell was 23 years old, making her more than five years older than her 16-year-old character.
Janel Parrish was 21 years old when she first played Mona Vanderwaal.
The complicated character Mona Vanderwaal was first introduced as Hanna Marin’s best friend.
Although her character is presumed to be about 16 years old on the show, actress Janel Parrish was 21 when she first portrayed Vanderwaal on the show’s pilot.
Ashley Benson was 20 years old when she portrayed 16-year-old Hannah Marin.
Hannah Marin was about 16 years old during the pilot episode of “Pretty Little Liars” in 2010.
However, actress Ashley Benson was 20 years old when she first appeared as the glamorous queen bee.
Marin is said to be approximately 23 at the show’s conclusion, whereas Benson was 27 years old in real life.