PLL wasn’t the first TV hit she appeared on. Before winning us over as the always-clever and sometimes-cruel Mona on PLL, Janel had a guest appearance on teen classic The O.C. (so did Ashley Benson — check out this throwback photo of them together on set!) and a recurring role on Heroes as one of Claire’s cheerleading friends.
She starred on Broadway as a kid. Talk about impressive, Janel was a Broadway actress before most of us were still learning how to tie our shoes. She got her start with the Broadway and Touring Company playing Young Cosette in Les Miserables. She told OK!Magazine:
“The first time the curtain lifted on my first show of Les Miserables on National Tour in San Francisco. I was 6, but it’s a high I will never forget.” She would later go on to play the role on Broadway.
She was a contestant on Junior Singer. When Janel was only 14, she appeared on Junior Singer. Her song of choice? “On My Own” from Les Mis. Check out the video of Janel singing her heart out and talking about her family’s move from Hawaii to “the main land.”
She has 11 tattoos. At least that was the count in 2012 when Janel talked to ClevverTV at the Wango Tango Festival. We’re not sure where or what they all are, but this eagle-eyed blogger has detailed a few, including "passion" on her left wrist, a heart on her left thumb, "free" on her right foot, "Made in Hawaii" on her left foot, and "earth laughs in flowers" on her rib cage.
She auditioned for the role of Spencer. Can you imagine Janel as Spencer? Because that’s the Pretty Little Liars role she originally auditioned for. Janel chatted to Clevver TV about the audition process. Though PLL didn’t feel she was right for the part of Spence, they called her about Mona. And we’re so glad they did. Janel makes an amazing Mona!
Did you know these facts about Janel? What else do you know about the PLLer that might surprise us? Sound off in the comments below!
Kayti Burt is a contributing writer for Wetpaint Entertainment with a penchant for all things pop culture. Follow her on Twitter and Google+!