'PLL's Janel Parrish Is Taking On A New Role

by Amy Mackelden

I am basically freaking out right now, since it's just been announced that Janel Parrish will star in A Walk To Remember: The Unauthorized Musical . First up, news that there's going to be a musical version of Nicholas Sparks' greatest love story is beyond fantastic. Plus, the fact that Mona from Pretty Little Liars is taking on the role of Jamie Sullivan, originally made famous by Mandy Moore, is even more incredible. Even though she's a very different performer than Moore, I have no doubt that Parrish will be amazing as Jamie, and in case you're unconvinced, allow me to explain why.

Playing Mona Vanderwaal for seven seasons of Pretty Little Liars , Parrish has so much freedom as an actor. An endlessly complex and unpredictable character, Mona's allegiances are never completely clear, which has given Parrish several opportunities to reinvent herself. As PLL uses flashbacks so often, viewers also know that Mona wasn't always as smart and slick as she now appears, and if anything, old-school Mona has a lot in common with the character of Jamie. Parrish is also no stranger to performing, having had her songs featured in several TV and movie soundtracks, including Bratz: The Movie, of course.

Here are just some of the many reasons that Janel Parrish as Jamie Sullivan is a perfect casting decision.

1. Mona & Jamie Hate Gossip

If Mona and Jamie have one thing in common, it's that they both hate gossip. While Jamie refuses to listen to what people say about her, Mona has a tendency to get obsessed with the gossip, formulating complicated plans for revenge. Despite dealing with gossip in very different ways, the two characters understand that having confidence in yourself is the most important attribute.

2. Parrish Constantly Reinvents Herself

While Jamie's transformation in A Walk To Remember is quite subtle, Parrish is more than capable of it as an actor. As Mona, she's constantly reinvented herself, and her other roles to-date have proven she has a lot to offer, as a singer, actor, and performer. Parrish came in third on Season 19 of Dancing With The Stars , after all.

3. Mona & Jamie Are Interested In Morality

While the two characters have very different approaches to matters of religion, both Mona and Jamie are interested in forgiveness, redemption, and the power of change.

4. Her Crying Is On Fleek

As Mona, Parrish has more than proven that she's capable of crying, which will come in handy when she plays the tragic character of Jamie.

5. She's Surprisingly Upbeat, Despite Her Circumstances

Parrish showcases an impressive level of pep, despite playing a complicated and mistreated character like Mona. This attribute can perfectly come into play when she portrays Jamie, who manages to disguise her hardships and always maintain a positive attitude — no matter what bad things happen.

6. Mona Has Her Fair Share Of Medical Issues

Parrish has never been afraid to tackle Mona's mental health issues onscreen. Remember her stint in Radley? Meanwhile, Jamie is battling a serious health issue in A Walk To Remember.

7. Flashback Mona Dresses A Lot Like Jamie Sullivan

Moore made Jamie's cardigan famous in A Walk To Remember. Flashback Mona on Pretty Little Liars had a similarly less-than-stylish fashion sense, which made her a social pariah akin to Jamie.

8. Both Mona & Jamie Are Happy Without A Man

Jamie famously tells Landon not to fall in love with her in A Walk To Remember (a rule he obviously ends up disobeying). Mona, too, doesn't have time for romantic relationships and rarely dates anyone in Pretty Little Liars. Perhaps it's a defense mechanism, or maybe she thinks she doesn't actually need anyone. Either way, both characters are guarded.

9. She's An Expert At Revealing Secrets

As Mona, Parrish has become an expert at revealing long-hidden secrets, which is a talent she'll get to revisit as Jamie in A Walk To Remember .

10. She Understands The Awkward High School Experience

If anyone's going to understand Jamie's awkward high school experience, it's definitely Mona.

11. Parrish Can Seriously Sing

Parrish is an incredible singer, and it's exciting that she landed a role that will allow her to showcase her voice.

12. Witty Comebacks Are Her Speciality

When Jamie delivers witty comebacks, the people around her are shocked, since she's usually so quiet. Parrish will be perfect in the role, purely because she has oodles of experience delivering amazing one-liners as PLL's Mona.

13. Parrish Has The Perfect Amount Of Attitude

Parrish may have a different performance style compared to Moore, but she has the ideal amount of attitude to play Jamie.

A Walk To Remember: The Unauthorized Musical sounds all kinds of brilliant, and I can't wait to hear more about it.

Images: Giphy (17)