When Ashley Benson originally landed her role on Pretty Little Liars, she had no idea the impact the show would have on her life, both professionally and personally. At the time, Benson just found out her series Eastwick was coming to an end. “I was a bit disappointed that my show got cancelled,” she recalled to Cosmopolitan UK in 2021. Though she had high hopes for her new gig. “I thought it was going to be a hit show, but you never know. So it was crazy that it turned into what it was!” she added.
Of course, “PLL” grew into a runaway juggernaut that aired for seven seasons. During this time, Benson became friends with the other Little Liars who played key roles on the show: Lucy Hale, Shay Mitchell, and Troian Bellisario. “They’re like my family … I’ve seen them more times than my own family over the past seven years,” the “Spring Breakers” star told People in 2016 as “PLL” came to an end. “I will always make an effort to see them because they are literally my family.”
As filming wrapped, Hale shared similar family feelings toward her “PLL” co-stars. “Wishing my sisters love and light in the paths where life takes them,” she wrote on Instagram in 2016, alongside a snap of her castmates. Long before they worked together, Hale and Benson formed a friendship.
Lucy Hale met Ashley Benson on MySpace
Lucy Hale and Ashley Benson first met online well before Pretty Little Liars, when they were both teenagers. Not only did their friendship predate the hit show, but it happened on an almost-forgotten social media platform. “We actually met on MySpace. I was 15,” Hale said during a 2020 interview with Wired. Though it wasn’t a chance encounter. “We had mutual friends, I didn’t like finding them by accident,” added the “Katy Keene” actor. Apparently, Kendall Schmidt — who worked on Nickelodeon’s Big Time Rush — played a matchmaker of sorts and put the two in touch.
After hitting it off online, Hale and Benson decided to meet in real life. “But we became like MySpace friends, and then our first Hangoug was at Disneyland,” Hale told Wired. This led to the two actors becoming good friends for a time. “We were super super tight when we were teenagers and then we kind of lost touch,” the “Ragdoll” actor added, while mentioning how “PLL” reconnected them.
Following the show’s success, Hale and Benson were hired to work together on a campaign for fashion brand Bongo, bringing them even closer together. “Lucy and I have a great time together and the shoots are always really fun,” Benson said of Teen Vogue in a 2012 interview for Bongo. As PLL drew to a close, the actors decided to commemorate their experience in a meaningful way.
Ashley Benson stayed close with other castmates
When Pretty Little Liars wrapped filming for its final season, the cast wanted a way to commemorate their time together and decided on tattoos to match. They each had the first initial of their “PLL” character tattooed on their fingers. “[C]We shouldn’t be getting tattoos commemorating the show…obviously on our ‘shh’ finger,'” Lucy Hale shared in an Instagram Story with Cosmopolitan at the time. Later, the “Wizards of Waverly Place” alum said, “Why it’s actually a difficult tattoo.” It’s one of my favorite tattoos! It actually hurt the most because it’s right on the bones,” she told Wired in 2020.
Years after the end of “PLL,” Ashley Benson wowed fans when she posted a mini reunion photo with Shay Mitchell and Troian Bellisario to Instagram in 2020. Many were excited to see the three reunited, but several followers pointed out that Hale was noticeably absent.
Long after they worked together, Benson, Mitchell and Bellisario had become a solid trio. “I see this as my college years,” the Private Property actress told Cosmopolitan UK in 2021 of her time working on PLL. The three remained close as friends and close. “We all live from each other … minutes apart,” Benson added. Although it was not mentioned whether or not she kept in touch with Hale.