Shay Mitchell & Troian Bellisario Both Auditioned for ‘PLL’ Because of 1 Scene That Got Cut Out

Pretty Little Liars was one of the most successful teen dramas of the past decade. Not only did it expand the careers of the cast members, but it also inspired two spinoffs, Ravenswood and Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists. Considering the show was such a phenomenon, it’s hard to believe that all four cast members weren’t extremely excited about the show from the moment they learned of its existence. But, one of the liars was hesitant to audition for the popular TV show at first.

Pretty Little Liars cast members Lucy Hale, Troian Bellisario, Shay Mitchell, and Ashley Benson
Lucy Hale, Troian Bellisario, Shay Mitchell, and Ashley Benson | Eric McCandless/Freeform via Getty Images

Troian Bellisario, who primarily played Spencer Hastings on Pretty Little Liars, grew up up in the entertainment industry. Her father is a screenwriter and a producer, while her mother is a writer, producer, and actress. Thanks to her parents’ careers, Bellisario grew up studying film and TV. However, she had never had any interest in watching teen dramas, let alone starring in one.

Troian Bellisario wasn’t originally interested in auditioning for ‘Pretty Little Liars’

“I had this idea in my head about what a ‘teen show’ would be, and I thought I wouldn’t want to be a part of it because I didn’t want to watch those shows as a teen,” Bellisario confessed in an interview with Vulture when asked if she was immediately drawn to Pretty Little Liars. “So I was like, why would I want to be a part of that world?”

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Though Bellisario had her own preconceived notions about what Pretty Little Liars would be, that all changed when she got her hands on the script. The actor was surprised by how edgy the show was for a teen drama and there was one particular scene that made her change her mind about auditioning.

Bellisario was intrigued by a particular scene in the Pilot episode

“But when I read the script and the sides for Spencer, there was a really risqué scene that actually got cut out of the pilot, but eventually we started doing stuff like that more and more,” the Pretty Little Liars cast member shared. “It was a scene between her and Wren, when she was bumming a cigarette from him outside of a restaurant.”

According to Bellisario, that scene, as well as others like it, changed her mind about what a teen soap could be. “She was bumming a cigarette and flirting with her sister’s fiancé!” Bellisario exclaimed about her character. “It was well-written, I remember that distinctly, and I related to it. That was a moment for me when I was like‘Oh, maybe I don’t know what this kind of show is about and I don’t know this world, and I have this idea about it.’ Truthfully, Pretty Little Liars was the first time all of my expectations broke down.”

Another ‘Pretty Little Liars’ cast member, Shay Mitchell, was also drawn to the scene

But Bellisario wasn’t the only Pretty Little Liars cast member who was drawn to the project because of the cigarette scene. Shay Mitchell, who was cast as Emily Fields, also took interest in that scene. So much so that she actually auditioned for the role of Spencer first, rather than Emily.

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“When I got the pilot for it, I actually read for Spencer first, that scene that she did,” Mitchell shared about her own Pretty Little Liars audition. “I had the same reaction she had. I was like, ‘Wow, yes, this is a little risqué! They’re smoking cigarettes!’ So I put myself on tape for that. They called back, and said they had already found Spencer, but they haven’t found an Emily character yet. They gave me the sides for that, and it was perfectI put myself on tape for that, and the rest is history.”

It’s a shame that the risqué scene got cut out of the Pretty Little Liars pilot. We’d have loved to see the scene that intrigued half of the main cast members enough to audition for the project. But, fortunately for fans, there’s plenty of scandalous scenes to choose from in the seven seasons of the show.