Troian Bellisario may play one of the most popular characters on TV in Pretty Little Liars’ fearsome brainiac Spencer Hastings, but — if young Troian had gotten her way — she never would have auditioned for the role. What did Troian tell Larry King Now about landing the TV role she never thought she wanted?
When Troian auditioned for the role of PLL’s Spencer, she was a recent graduate of USC’s theater school and was intent on eschewing the TV industry: “I grew up in television. My parents were both creators of television and, as an act of rebellion, I didn’t watch TV,” Troian said. “My goal was to go to New York and become a theater and film actress. And it was actually the first pilot that I auditioned for … I was just thinking that I was going to move to New York.”
So, if Troian was so intent on leaving Los Angeles, why did she even go to the PLL audition? We have her agents to thank for that particular twist of fate: “My agents convinced me,” confessed Troian. “They said, ‘Look, we think this show is going to be a huge hit. They were right. They were like, ‘It’s going to be good. Just audition. Just get seen by these people. You’ve just graduated. It’s important for you to go out and get your sea legs.’”
Troian also admits that she never thought she would land the part — even after winning the role, she thought the PLL team had made a mistake. But, from the beginning, she connected with the script and the recognizable role of overachieving Spencer: “I read the script. I thought it was interesting. I knew the character because I was an overachiever in school. I thought, ‘I definitely know this girl.’”
Though Troian may be glad to have the landed the TV role, that doesn’t mean she doesn’t still think about the stage. When asked if she still considers doing theater, Troian’s answer: “Absolutely.”
Are you surprised to hear that Troian never intended on becoming a TV actress? Are you as happy as we are that she changed her mind and took a chance on PLL? Sound off in the comments below!
Catch the next episode of Pretty Little Liars on July 1, 2014 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.