Most of the actors on “Pretty Little Liars” have been playing high school students since 2010. The ABC Family show is now ending the first half of its sixth season and kicking off new episodes in 2016 with a five-year time jump. The change means that the principal characters – Aria (Lucy Hale), Emily (Shay Mitchell), Hanna (Ashley Benson) and Spencer (Troian Bellisario) – will have skipped past high school graduation and college.
The time jump will kick-start episode 11, which is titled, “Of Late I Think of Rosewood.” Janel Parrish, who plays Mona, dished to E! Online that the girls will return to Rosewood because of Alison. When they get back to town, they’ll “take on a new troubling adventure.” There is no doubt that the Liars will be able to get into some trouble again, but can the actors look the part of 23 year olds?
When the ABC Family series first began, the Liars were supposed to be entering their junior year of high school. Time moves slowly in Rosewood, and the girls are now nearing the end of their senior year in the summer finale. But the ages of some of the actors today might surprise you:
Ashley Benson was 20 years old when she started playing 16-year-old Hanna Marin in 2010. Hanna is approximately 18 years old on “Pretty Little Liars,” and around 23 when the show picks up after the time jump. The actress is now 25 years old, which is the closest she’s been to her character in age.
Drew Van Acker
Jason DiLaurentis has been a spotty character throughout “Pretty Little Liars” but has played a major role in Season 6 so far. The character is 24 on the show, but actor Drew Van Acker is 29 in real life.
Like most of the cast, Ian Harding is playing a younger character. Ezra Fitz is 24 years old on “Pretty Little Liars,” and Harding is 28 years old. That means Harding was around 23 when the show started, and his character would have been 22.
Mona Vanderwaal is wise beyond her years, but she’s still only 18. Actress Janel Parrish, on the other hand, is 26 years old.
Keegan Allen’s character, Toby Cavanaugh, is supposed to be a year older than the Liars right now (although what 19-year-old is already a police officer?!). In real life, the actor is 26 years old, which means that he’ll be right around the age of Toby when the time jump happens.
Actress and singer Lucy Hale is now 26 years old. Her character, Aria Montgomery, will be around 23 when the show returns in 2016.
When Sasha Pieterse first started playing Alison DiLaurentis, she was only 13 years old -- though most of the first season was shot when she was 14 -- close to the age that her character went missing. Today the actress is 19 years old, which means that she’ll be tacking a few years on to portray 23-year-old Alison in 2016.
Shay Mitchell may have mastered playing a teen on TV, but in real life she’s 28. Her character Emily Fields is currently 18 and will be 23 after the time jump.
Troian Bellisario is the oldest of all the core stars. The actress was 24 years old when she first started portraying high school student Spencer Hastings. She’s currently 29 years old.
Tyler Blackburn’s age is definitely going to surprise fans. The baby-faced actor is 28-years-old and playing Caleb Rivers, who is 10 years younger!
Do the ages of the “Pretty Little Liars” cast members surprise you? Are you looking forward to the time jump? Tweet your thoughts to @AmandaTVScoop.