Lucy Hale Only Planned to Stay in Hollywood for ‘a Few Months’

It’s rare that people figure out their lifelong career at such a young age. But Lucy Hale has been pursuing a career in the entertainment industry for more than half her life. Hale has starred in movies like The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants as well as huge TV hits like Pretty Little Liars. Year after year, she continues to take on projects and make a name for herself in Hollywood. But, funnily enough, when Hale first came to the City of Angels, she only planned on staying a few months.

movie star Lucy Hale attends the Miu Miu show at Paris fashion week
Lucy Hale | Edward Berthelot/GC Images

Though her Southern twang is noticeably absent from many of the movies she stars in, Hale actually hails from Memphis, Tennessee. Though the movie industry wasn’t really accessible to her, her proximity to Nashville helped stoke her passion for music. This, coupled with her overactive imagination, led her to pursue a career in acting.

Lucy Hale reveals how she got into acting

“I always had a wild imagination as a kid and spent a lot of time alone and playing pretend,” Hale shared in an interview with SBJCT Journal. “That describes a lot of kids, but it felt different for me at a young age. I always just had a feeling my life path would look different than others. I definitely lived in my head a lot. Then I discovered a love of music which led to acting.”

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Once Hale decided that she wanted to try her hand at acting professionally, she and her mom came out to L.A. for pilot season. Pilot season is an industry term that refers to a few months where major networks look to cast talent for all their new shows. It’s a great way for new talent to get seen and create relationships with casting directors, agents, etc. Hale and her mother weren’t originally going to stay past pilot season. But, as luck would have it, Hale found some early success and ended up putting roots down in LA

Hale only planned to stay in Hollywood for a few months

“I found out what pilot season was and convinced my mom to bring me out to Los Angeles,” Hale confessed. “We were only going to stay for a few months, but 16 years later and I’m still there! It’s been such a wild ride.”

A wild ride is certainly an understatement. While Hale has found success in her career, she’s also dealt with some losses. A good example of this was her show Katy Keene, which she revealed was the most fun she’d had, being cancelled after just one season, something that’s happened to Hale more than once during her career. But what has it been like to grow up in the spotlight while building her career? According to the Pretty Little Liars alum, challenging at times, but well worth it.

The ‘Katy Keene’ alum gets real about growing up in the industry

“I definitely grew up fast and was constantly around adults” Hale confessed. “Working all day at a young age and supporting myself definitely changed the way I viewed the world. There are times now where I wish I could’ve been a kid a while longer but ultimately wouldn’t have changed a thing. I had to be professional from about 15 onwards and it has taught me so much about working hard. That inner drive has always been there. Without that passion, I’m not sure I’d be where I am today. Dealing with so much rejection was probably the most difficult part, but that also fueled to get me where I am today.”