Actors and the roles they play don’t always have much in common, but one Pretty Little Liars star shares a trait with her character. Troian Bellisario, who played the academically minded Spencer Hastings in the teen drama, was a lot like her character when she was at school.
Troian Bellisario played the high-achieving Spencer Hastings in the popular teen drama ‘Pretty Little Liars’
Pretty Little Liars follows a group of girls who, after the mysterious disappearance of their friend Alison, start receiving threatening messages from someone known as “A.” This person seemingly knows all their secrets, and the girls work to figure out A’s identity.
The show was hugely popular, with millions of viewers worldwide tuning in to see if the characters could unmask “A.” Pretty Little Liars ended in 2017, but it has spawned a few spinoffs. They include Ravenswood, Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists, and the HBO Max series Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin.
Bellisario played Spencer Hastings, a competitive, high-achieving teen. Spencer’s drive for perfection is spurred by sibling rivalry — her older sister Melissa is also a high achiever, and the sisters often compete for their parents’ approval.
Like Spencer, Bellisario was a stellar student: ‘I was the valedictorian … and grades meant everything to me’
When it came time to play Spencer, Bellisario likely drew on her high school experiences. Like Spencer, the actor was studious and extremely focused on getting good grades.
“When I was growing up, I was a perfectionist,” Bellisario told J-14. “I was the valedictorian of my class in high school, and grades meant everything to me. The difference between Spencer and I is that I’ve just had time to re-prioritize and understand what’s really important. I definitely should have relaxed a little bit when I was in school.”
The actor’s ‘very logical’ questions about Spencer changed the way the character dressed in ‘Pretty Little Liars’
However, that might have been the only trait Bellisario shared with her character. She revealed that, in terms of fashion, she had more in common with Aria Montgomery, played by Lucy Hale.
Bellisario had some input into Spencer’s fashion, especially in later episodes of Pretty Little Liars. In an interview with People, Cameron Dale, the show’s costume designer, shared how the actor’s input changed how Spencer dressed in certain scenes.
Dale praised Bellisario for being “very logical” when it came to the character’s at-home outfits, saying, “If [Spencer’s] working from home, she is like, ‘Why am I in a pencil skirt and a really fancy blouse when I am working at home?’ And I’m like, ‘You’re right.’”
Troian Bellisario’s life after ‘Pretty Little Liars,’ from new roles to becoming a mom
After her stint on Pretty Little Liars, Bellisario scored roles in movies like Clara and Where’d You Go, Bernadette and shows like Suits and Stumptown. She is also a mom of two daughters.
After meeting and starring in a play together in 2009, Bellisario and Suits star Patrick J. Adams began dating. The two briefly broke up but got back together in 2010 and wed in 2016. They have worked together many times, including on Pretty Little Liars and Suits.