Lucy Hale is mostly known for her role as Aria Montgomery in 'Pretty Little Liars' (Image via ThePlace2)

Lucy Hale Continues to Thrive After the End of ‘Pretty Little Liars’

Lucy Hale has found a way to join many projects this year that have shown she’s much more than her ‘Pretty Little Liars’ role.

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Lucy Hale is mostly known for her role as Aria Montgomery in 'Pretty Little Liars' (Image via ThePlace2)

Lucy Hale has found a way to join many projects this year that have shown she’s much more than her ‘Pretty Little Liars’ role.

For seven years, Lucy Hale starred in Freeform’s most successful show, “Pretty Little Liars,” leading audiences everywhere to fall in love with her portrayal of the character Aria. Though this is the result most actors and actresses want from their performances, producing a beloved role can pigeonhole artists into playing characters similar to their iconic part, because no one can envision the performers portraying anyone else.

However, Lucy Hale has found a way to join many projects this year that have shown she’s much more than her “Pretty Little Liars” role.

“Life Sentence”

What it’s about: After being diagnosed with cancer, Stella Abbott, played by Lucy Hale, vowed to live life to the fullest, which included marrying a guy she knew for only a couple of weeks. However, after miraculously being cured, she discovers that the reality she thought she knew was just a fantasy made up the people around her.

The show then follows Stella as she begins to put her life back together while simultaneously realizing her actions truly have consequences.

What it shows about Lucy Hale: Her iconic character Aria faces a lot of hardships, so much so that often audiences didn’t get a chance to see Hale’s lighter side. When Hale plays Stella, however, viewers get to watch her bubbly side on full display.

In an interview for U.S. magazine, the actress said that she was attracted to the role because it was different from “Pretty Little Liars” and the other parts that had found their way to her desk.

Unfortunately, “Life Sentence” shares a genre and a network with several other similar shows, such as “Jane the Virgin” and “My Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” which both draw viewership away from the show.

Still, that doesn’t diminish how acting in this new CW series has broadened Hale’s performing skills. Some critics have even said that the lovable actress could be the one redeeming aspect of the show.

Truth or Dare Trailer #1 (2018) | Movieclips Trailers

“Truth or Dare”

What it’s about: On their vacation to Mexico, Olivia and her friends get asked by a stranger to play a friendly game of Truth or Dare, which turns out to be a huge mistake. By playing, they awaken a demon that forces them to keep the game going, because if they don’t, they will die.

As the game goes on, each friend gets pushed to their limit and forced to break laws or possibly their moral codes. All this horror leads the characters to decide whether to save themselves or each other.

What it shows about Lucy Hale: Though “Pretty Little Liars” is far from rainbows and sunshine, the storyline couldn’t get too scary because the show aired on Freeform. “Truth or Dare,” on the other hand, could push the scare factor as far as they wanted to, which led to scenes featuring inventive ways to die and a possessed Olivia forcing Lucas, another player in the sick game, to sleep with her. Hale’s star role in the horror film shows that the talented actress isn’t afraid to truly get down and gory.

Overall, since the release to theaters on April 13, the movie has received mixed reviews, ranging from soap-opera horror to a possible cult classic in the making. No matter what the critics say about “Truth or Dare,” the film provided Hale a space to expand how audiences see her by putting her character in new horrifying situations.

DUDE | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix


What it’s about: In this Netflix original, a group of friends that have been through everything together will soon go their separate ways since high school graduation is quickly approaching. Though they appear to be a sweet childhood girl clique, Lily, Chloe, Amelia and Rebecca see each other as dudes and don’t let the gender roles society has put in place truly define them.

What does it show about Lucy Hale: Many of Lucy Hale’s films and TV shows were made so young children could watch, leading her to never really do anything too scandalous. In the trailer alone, audiences see her smoking weed at least a fourth of the 2-minute video.

Though our culture now widely accepts marijuana, seeing Lucy Hale engage in illegal activity still surprised fans everywhere. A day after the movie announcement, an article titled “Lucy Hale Gets High with Her High School Friends in First Trailer for Netflix Comedy ‘Dude’” appeared on the site “The Tracking board.”

Similar headlines appeared when other children show actors Vanessa Hudgens, Selena Gomez and fellow “Pretty Little Liars” alumni, Ashley Benson collectively starred in “Spring Breakers.” Rather than ending their careers, that movie launched them in a new direction and landed all of them roles that they would have never gotten before.

Taking on those roles on “Spring Breakers” truly was their big break and it looks hopeful that the same will be said about Lucy Hale’s part as Lily in “Dude.” This film is an important milestone for her career and is a way to prove to the film world that she isn’t afraid to break the boundaries that came with her earlier roles.

To see her full transition into a rebellious teen, “Dude” was put on Netflix on April 20, coinciding with the day dedicated to smoking weed.

After the ending of such a popular show, many actors or actresses find it hard to live up to the roles that put them officially on the map. However, Lucy Hale seems to have taken off in the year since the end of the beloved “Pretty Little Liars.” She is proving to the world that she has a lot more talent to give and her latest projects exemplify how she will accept any challenge that comes her way.

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Ana Greening

Texas State University

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