Inside the 'Pretty Little Liars' Cast's Transition Into Adults and Motherhood
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A lot has changed since Pretty Little Liars premiered back in 2010. At the time, the cast's five leading ladies -- Troian Bellisario, Ashley Benson, Lucy Hale, Shay Mitchell and Sasha Pieterse -- ranged in age from 14 to 24 and had nary a marriage or baby between them.
Flash forward to the show's finale in 2017, and Bellisario had tied the knot with Patrick J. Adams, Mitchell was dating her now-longtime partner Matte Babel, and Pieterse was engaged to her now-husband, Hudson Sheaffer.
Keep reading for an update on each of the women's lives since saying goodbye to A.
Bellisario was the first of the group to become a mom when she welcomed a daughter named Aurora in October 2018.
During an appearance on Katie Lowe's podcast, Katie's Crib, months after giving birth, Bellisario opened up about one of her biggest motherhood fears.
"I was thinking about my relationship with my mother, I was thinking about, honestly, my history with my eating disorder, this is horrifying," she said of how she felt after finding out she was having a girl. "My imaginings of a girl are just so, 'You're gonna hate me.'"
Bellisario later addressed how her past issues with food affected her breastfeeding journey in an Instagram post.
"Having to be conscious of everything I put or do not put in my body (it’s been almost two years if you count pregnancy) and that means alcohol, medication, even melatonin! I can’t even join in all of this cool CBD stuff that’s happening," she wrote in part. "But... no matter how much I HATE pumping or how complicated MY relationship with food is, it has been a joy, an honor and a no brainer to feed my daughter this way."
Benson began a relationship with Cara Delevingne in August 2018 and the pair was going strong for nearly two years.
In a September interview with Elle UK, Delevingne said she and Benson opted to keep their relationship largely private because it was "sacred."
"I get why people care so much, and I don’t want to be so secretive that people think I’m ashamed of anything," she explained. "But I’ve never been in a relationship where things are so public, or where I posted pictures of someone else. This seemed different."
"We had gotten to the point where we had kept it a secret, or at least not wanted attention, and now I feel like I’m not going to not be proud," she continued. "Which isn’t the same thing as wanting to pose on a red carpet together, either. People make their own assumptions and that’s what worried me."
The couple later called it quits in April 2020 and soon thereafter, Benson was spotted out with G-Eazy and served as a featured artist on his cover of Radiohead's "Creep."
After some people criticized Benson for her rumored new relationship, Delevingne came to her ex's defense on her Instagram Story.
"It's more important now than ever to spread love, not hate," Delevingne wrote. "To everyone hating on @ashleybenson please stop. You don't know the truth, only her and I do and that's exactly how it should be."
Things appear to be going well for the newly rumored couple, as Benson brought G-Eazy as her date to her sister's wedding and was even featured on his new project.
After Hale called it quits with her boyfriend, Riley Smith, in July 2018, she remained largely single throughout the following years. Though she's yet to tie the knot or have a baby, the Katy Keene star is perfectly content living the single life.
"When I was younger, I was constantly wanting to be with or date someone because I was so deathly afraid of being single or by myself," she said in the March 2020 issue of Cosmopolitan. "Now, I’m at the point where if I meet someone, they better really elevate my life, because I love being single."
Her happiness with singledom came after she found herself only drawn to "damaged people who had been through some s**t."
"I couldn’t tell you the amount of times when guys were like, 'You should grow your hair out again. I like long hair,'" she told the outlet. "I’m like, 'I’m not cutting my f**king hair for you.' I cut my hair for me. And I feel great with it this way."
"Or a lot of guys don’t like a bold lip color. I love a bold lip color. I don’t care. I don’t care!" Hale added. "I truly don’t dress for men at all. I dress for me and what I think is cool."
While Hale is focused on living her best single life, she's thrilled for her PLL castmates who have gotten married and had babies. Prior to the cast's virtual reunion, Hale told ET about how excited she was to hear the latest from each of the women.
"A lot has happened, and there's babies, and marriages, and I just can't wait to catch up," she told ET.
Mitchell became the second mom in the group when she announced that she and Babel were expecting their first child. The happy news came in June 2019, less than a year after revealing that she suffered a miscarriage, which she said left her feeling "broken as a woman."
After showing off her bump and getting candid about some of the less glamorous parts of pregnancy, Mitchell welcomed a baby girl, Atlas Noa, in October 2019. Giving birth wasn't an easy experience, though, as Mitchell endured a grueling 33 hours in labor.
"This is definitely the most intense experience of my life," Mitchell said on her YouTube series, Almost Ready. "Matte and I are parents and I can’t believe it. We thought being pregnant was a journey and I’m realizing we have just begun."
One month after Mitchell gave birth, ET spoke with the actress, who revealed that Bellisario had already met baby Atlas.
"She has been the person I've gone to for the most advice, obviously having a daughter of her own," Mitchell said at the time. "I'm the luckiest person in the world. She is not only such an incredible person, but the best mom ever. And so to have her give me advice is, like, more than I could ever ask for."
As for Atlas herself, Mitchell called her then-newborn "so incredible" and marveled over how she's "growing every single day."
ET spoke with the Mitchell-Babel household again in June, and the actress shared how life as a family of three is going.
"I'll feed her and then he's got the nighttime shift. We've just been switching off like, literally, a team of players," she said. "I'm grateful to have this time as a family right now... There are great days and not so great days, but we need them all to appreciate the other ones."
As for if marriage is on her mind since welcoming the little one, Mitchell was quick to shoot down that idea.
"A lot of people ask, it's never been something I really cared for," she said of marriage. "And I love weddings, love weddings. I can watch them all day long. I love attending, I love being a part of my friends' [weddings], anybody's to be quite honest. It's just not something I care for for myself and it's something that Matte and I have spoken about."
"He's been like, 'You sure?' And I'm like, 'Yeah, we work so well right now.' It's great and this dynamic just works for us," she added. "It may not always be the correct way but it works. That's how I sort of have to go, you know, that's how I do it."
In May 2018, Pieterse and Sheaffer got married at Castle Leslie Estate in County Monaghan, Ireland. When ET spoke with Pieterse before her big day, the actress gushed over her wedding location and dress.
"It's one of our favorite places, it's beautiful," she said of the venue. "It's the location. If I'm gonna do a princess dress, that's where I'm gonna do a princess dress."
Pieterse's next big life step came when she announced her first pregnancy back in May, on her and Sheaffer's second wedding anniversary.
"Today marks our 2nd wedding anniversary and what better way to share our joy then on the day when our lives changed forever (the first time ?) Motherhood is officially my favorite role ever!" Pieterse wrote in part. "@hudsonsheaffer thank you for making me a mom and for always being my unwavering rock and safe place. You bring out the adventurer in me and I feel like my truest self when I’m with you, luckily that’s all the time!"
The couple will officially become parents in October.
After the cast virtually reunited in June, Mitchell told ET that the whole experience was "really special," adding that the group was excited to get the chance to wish Pieterse well during her pregnancy.
"I'm so excited for her," Mitchell gushed. "We were able to say our congrats and ask her how it's been. I'm just so excited. She's going to be so wonderful, both her and her husband. Obviously, I'm here if she needs anything, a diaper bag, I'll send her mine. This is the most exciting time, you know? I'm so happy for her."
It turns out the Pretty Little Liars love runs deep -- even in the women's subconscious -- as Mitchell pointed out an amazing similarity between her and Bellisario's daughters, and suggested that Pieterse may follow in their footsteps.
"I'm always so curious because people are always like, 'Did you guys plan to name your kids with the initial A?'" Mitchell quipped, referencing the nickname for PLL's villain. "Maybe Sasha will follow. It was not a planned thing, but what a coincidence."
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