Sasha Pieterse reprises role of Alison in Pretty Little Liars spinoff

Sasha Pieterse reprises role of Alison in Pretty Little Liars spinoff
LOS ANGELES—Super loyal fans of Pretty Little Liars were not happy when the news broke that the mystery series would end in 2017.

Viewers had invested so much time and energy into the show.

Sasha Pieterse and Janel Parrish are back together in ABC s Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists.  (Rich Fury / GETTY IMAGES)

A lot of the challenge of giving the fans what they want fell on the shoulders of Sasha Pieterse, who played Alison DiLaurentis, the former queen bee whose mysterious disappearance rocked her small suburban town, on PLL.

She and Janel Parrish, who played the wicked Mona for seven seasons, make the connection between the dearly departed PLL and the new Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists, slated to launch Wednesday.

“What I love about what we are doing and what (executive producer I.) Marlene (King) has created is this bridge between PLL and this new world,” Pieterse says.

“What I love about Marlene is that she’s always managed to make things relevant, but not in the way of flaunting just what’s popular.

“It’s more in a way of opening conversations and creating deep relatable characters so we can all have real conversations about what life is about and what people of this age are dealing with.”

The story unfolds in Beacon Heights, a town that appears to be peaceful and tranquil.

What is quickly revealed is from its top-tier college — where Alison lands a teacher’s assistant job — to the overachieving residents, a mystery looms around every corner.

Fans of PLL will also have to decide whether Alison is trying to get past her bad girl ways.

The spinoff is based on the book series The Perfectionists by Sara Shepard, who also wrote the bestselling book series Pretty Little Liars.

Along with Pieterse and Parrish, the cast includes Sofia Carson (Descendants), Kelly Rutherford, Sydney Park, Eli Brown and Hayley Erin.

King has designed Perfectionists so that everything — at least in early episodes — swirls around Alison.

Pieterse loves the latest chapter in playing a character who has been mean, a tormentor, almost died, got buried alive by her mother and became a teacher.

The one thing Pieterse never was? Bored.

Pieterse loves that her character is now a little older and lot wiser.

“What’s charming about her now is she has a lot of wisdom. And there’s humour that comes with that, but also it’s way more than that. It’s deeper.

“But if you were a Pretty Little Liars fan, you appreciate so much of it without it being too in your face.”

She describes her new setting of Beacon Heights as a ramped-up version of Rosewood. All the mystery, intrigue, relationships and action that took place on PLL will be accented on Perfectionists with more focus on social media.

“It’s all about being perfect,” Pieterse says. “The pressures of what being a perfectionist is. How unrealistic it is. The pressure that younger people especially are putting on themselves to live this perfect life that is unattainable.

Understanding what it means to be driven at a young age is easy for Pieterse. She has been working in television since 2002, when at age 6 she was cast as Buffy in the reboot of the comedy Family Affair.

Her first major film role was the Ice Princess in The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl 3D, and she starred in Good Luck Chuck.

Other roles have included work on Heroes, House, Without a Trace and X-Men: First Class.

This went along with her work in scores of television commercials and modelling assignments.

As if being such a huge part of the launch of the Pretty Little Liars spinoff isn’t enough, Pieterse has launched a singing career, releasing four singles.
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