For viewers who did not read the Pretty Little Liars series, it may have been a shock at the end of season two when it was revealed that Mona (Janel Parrish) was A. But now, when season three premieres, Mona is in the hospital — and she is not talking — so it remains to be seen if she had any accomplices, or if she is possibly just the one taking the fall.
“I don’t want to die yet!,” Parrish joked at a press junket to promote the new season. “I would like to stick around for the longer haul. I had a bit of a heart attack when I was reading the finale because Mona actually dies in the books when she is revealed to be A. She and Spencer [Troian Bellisario] get into a fight and she falls down a cliff and then she dies. So when I read the script and flipped the page and I was alive — that was very exciting!
Fans can prepare for the season three premiere of Pretty Little Liars when Aria (Lucy Hale), Emily (Shay Mitchell), Hanna (Ashley Benson) and Spencer (Troian Bellisario) return to Rosewood with an all-day marathon starting on Tuesday, June 5 at 11 a.m. ET/PT on ABC Family, running up to the one-hour season premiere at 8 p.m. ET/PT.
But first, here is what Parrish had to say about Mona’s role in season three:
There is a preview scene where Hanna comes to visit Mona, can you talk about that?
Hanna wants some answers and some closure. They were best friends for years and she feels betrayed. Also new things are happening in Rosewood and Hanna wants to know if I am involved and what I know. It will be bumpy and the interaction will be turbulent.
Who is Mona working with? She seems to be working with an A team!
I think that is the question: Is there an A team? Is Mona working for someone? Is she calling the shots? That is the question. I think season 3 will delve into that. There will be shockers coming up!
Since nothing is predictable in the show if one of the main four girls ended up working with A, how would you feel about that?
I would never be surprised with anything in this show. I think that is what is so genius about this show, everyone in every way is suspicious. Even the four main girls — they all lie and they all have their secrets! I think Rosewood is a very sketchy town, and I don’t think anything would surprise me. We have great writers that keep us all on our toes. As actors we don’t even know what is going to happen. When we get the script we are like, “What’s going to happen?” We are so into it.
If you could pick one of the four, who would it be?
Spencer because I think she is the smartest! She would be able to pull it off!
Is Mona a pure villain?
I think Mona is always a bit pathetic. There is something sad about her. From where she started, she was a very vulnerable character. The flashbacks make you sympathize but she is also crazy! So I think that there are a lot of colors of Mona that will come out; that will change your mind. Every time you see her, you will have a different mindset of her, which is always fun!
In the books Mona was A. When you finally realized it was the same for the show, what was your reaction?
I was so excited and super honored. Of course, I knew when I read the books that Mona was A, but the producers said that it could go that way or it could go another way. We are changing things and adding new characters, so I didn’t know it was going to go that way but I always hoped for it. Not only would it have been fun, but an honor to play such a complex and important character for the storyline.
Any new characters from the books we should be looking for this season?
So far it’s been new characters, we like to keep the fans on their toes and not sure what to expect…
Is there any connection between Mona and Jenna (Tammin Sursok)?
You do see a connection being made in the flashback Halloween episode from season 2. You see them talking. I am not sure if that will be explored more, normally our writers don’t create something for the story if it doesn’t mean something. So nothing happens by accident on our show!
Does Mona have anything to do with Mya’s (Bianca Lawson) death?
I think that is being explored right now. We are shooting that now. I am still waiting myself as well.
How easy or hard is it to relate to Mona?
Certain aspects I can definitely relate to her. She has so many colors and some I don’t even know about yet that haven’t even been written. It’s hard to tap into because I have never played a character like her before. I hope that I am not a psychopath. But that is the challenge to playing someone that I am not like at all. Finding new colors is so much fun. I can relate to her vulnerability — when she was trying to fit in and tried to be liked by her peers and feeling out of place, I think every girl goes through that. I dealt with it through good family and friends and music. Music is my passion, singing, performing. I play piano and musical theater is my background.
Any chance the Mona and Hanna relationship can be salvaged?
I hope there isn’t. I think that will never be saved and I hope that it isn’t. Mona is a strong, smart character. The hatred she has for Hanna is what fuels her. I think as a character that it is important that it stays strong and true!