Janel Long known professionally as Janel Parrish is an American actress, singer-songwriter, and pianist.
She is best known for her regular role as Mona Vanderwaal on the Freeform original series, Pretty Little Liars. She is also the main character on its spin-off, Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists.
She also placed third overall in the nineteenth season of Dancing with the Stars in 2014. She is also known for playing Jade in the 2007 film, Bratz: The Movie.
Life and Career
She got her start as a professional entertainer when she was cast as Young Cosette in the National Touring Company of Les Miserables, and later portrayed the same character in the Broadway production as well; the role showcased both her acting and singing abilities. She subsequently appeared in several community theater productions in Hawaii—most notably as "Scout" in Manoa Valley Theatre's revival of To Kill A Mocking Bird in 1998. Parrish got her first off-stage acting job as a minor role in 1999's four-part miniseries Too Rich: The Secret Life of Doris Duke. Shortly after, she appeared in two episodes of Baywatch as a young girl named Hina.In 2000, she was featured in Disney's made-for-TV live-action incarnation of the Pinocchio story entitled Geppetto. She then went on to appear as the character Vanessa in the short-lived sitcom The O'Keefes, as well as appearing in many Disney shows and made-for-TV movies on the Disney channel. Along with appearances on The Bernie Mac Show, Zoey 101 and The O.C.. One of her recent acting roles has been the theatrical Bratz motion picture, as one of the main characters, Jade. It is her first role in a theatrical motion picture as well as her first starring role. She also landed a recurring role in the hit NBC series Heroes.
Parrish began playing piano at age six. At age 14, on January 3, 2003, she appeared on the 2003 remake of Star Search, performing the song "On My Own".
In 2007, Parrish was signed to Geffen Records to produce her first album. Her first single, "Rainy Day", one that she has written, along with its music video, was released on July 7, 2007, and was also featured on the Bratz Motion Picture Soundtrack. She also makes a brief appearance in Prima Js "Rockstar" music video, which is also on the soundtrack. She also made an appearance in NLT's "She Said, I Said" music video. She provided background vocals for the song.
Parrish was cast in a recurring as Mona Vanderwaal in the hit ABC Family TV series Pretty Little Liars based on the book series by Sara Shepard. She originally auditioned for of Spencer Hastings before being offered the role of Mona. In March 2012, Parrish was promoted to series regular from the third season onward.
Parrish returned to her theater stage roots in Over the Moon Productions' intimate presentation of the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Spring Awakening as Anna, and understudying for Lindsay Pearce, former contestant of The Glee Project, as Wendla.
In 2014, she became a contestant on the nineteenth season of Dancing With the Stars, partnered with professional Val Chmerkovskiy. She made it into the finals and placed third overall. She also starred in the TV movie High School Possession as Lauren Brady.
In 2017, it was announced that Janel would reprise her role as Mona Vanderwaal in the Pretty Little Liars spin-off, Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists. She would serve as the main character, instead of a series regular.
She announced her engagement to her longtime boyfriend, Chris Long, on October 23, 2017. They found and booked their wedding venue on January 29, 2018. She announced that she had found her wedding dress on February 3, 2018, from Panache Bridal in Beverly Hills. The pair had their engagement party on February 12, 2018. She married Chris Long on August 9th, 2018 in a small ceremony in Hawaii. In attendance were fellow PLL cast and crew, Brendan Robinson and I. Marlene King.
|2010||Triple Dog||Cecily Gerber|
|2011||One Kine Day||Leilani|
|2011||4 Wedding Planners||Hoku Wolf|
|2012||Celeste and Jesse Forever||Savannah|
|2013||To Those Nights||Audrey|
|2017||Until We Meet Again||Lisa Wagner|
|2018||To All the Boys I've Loved Before||Margot Covey|
|2018||Hell Is Where the Home Is||Estelle|
|2018 (TV Movie)||I'll Be Watching||Kate Riley|
|2004||The Bernie Mac Show||Laura|
|2009||True Jackson, VP||Kyla|
|2010–2017||Pretty Little Liars||Mona Vanderwaal|
|2013||Hawaii Five-0||Rebecca Fine|
|2014||Drop Dead Diva||Chelsea Putnam|
|2014||Dancing with the Stars||Herself|
|2014||High School Possession||Lauren Brady|
|2015||The Mysteries of Laura||Jillian Havemeyer|
|2016||Rush Hour||Nina Taylor|
|2019||Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists||Mona Vanderwaal|
|2012||Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV: Villain||Pretty Little Liars||Won|
|2013||Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV: Villain||Pretty Little Liars||Won|
|2013||TV Guide Awards||Favorite Villain (with Keegan Allen)||Pretty Little Liars||Nominated|
|2014||Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV: Villain||Pretty Little Liars||Nominated|
|2016||Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV: Villain||Pretty Little Liars||Won|
|2017||Teen Choice Awards||Choice TV: Villain||Pretty Little Liars||Won|
Janel (via Instagram): I am so blown away by what an impact this show has had on my life since. We owe it all to you, #pllarmy. Don't ever stop watching and loving us. And I owe it to you, @imarleneking. Thanks for trusting me and believing in me and giving me a family and role to love for 7 years. Let's do this.
Absolutely. Our PLL Army has been so incredible since day one and I know that they’ll always be our army and they’ll always remember the show and it will always live on in that way.
Janel (via Instagram): Last night, we all got together to celebrate starting a new chapter with some new (and some familiar) faces. We can’t wait for you to see what we have for you... @sashapieterse27 and I feel so lucky to be continuing our @prettylittleliars story with some beautiful new family members.
About Mona in PLL: The Perfectionists: She's never really just on anybody's side, she's kind of on her own. I think she's established herself as one of the good guys, but she's definitely got darkness and issues, and secrets and that will stay the same... Because she's Mona. She's still going to be the smartest person in the room, which I love playing. I think that's such a fun thing about Mona. She's always three steps ahead of everyone else.
She's been a part of me, first of all, for seven years, but she’s hands-down been the most interesting character I’ve ever had a chance to play.
- Mona is Janel's favorite character that she has ever played.
- She loves to sing and considers music her true passion.
- She like Starbucks and her favorite drink is a caramel macchiato.
- She plays the piano.
- As of April 2017, Janel has twenty-four known tattoos.
- She enjoys the Twilight movies and considers herself a TwiHard.
- She is afraid of sharks and won't surf because of this fear.
- Her favorite city in the world is New York City.
- Given the chance to be an Avenger, Janel would choose Black Widow.
- Her parents are former body-builders, which has helped her stay in shape and exercise.
- She missed her original flight for her audition because her passport had expired, so she had to reschedule her audition.
- She originally auditioned for the role of Spencer Hastings but didn't book the role. A few months later, she was called in to read for the role of Mona and fell in love with the role.
- She found out that Mona was Uber A, a week before filming started.
- She, along with the rest of the PLL main cast, got tattoos on their pointer finger with their characters first initial.
- Janel was the first cast member to find out about The Perfectionists spin-off.
- Janel is of Han Chinese descent.
- She has one sister, Melissa Nohelani, who is eight years older and served in the U.S. Army.
- Janel has watched a lot of Romantic Comedy's and has seen many of the cult classics.
- Her favorite Rom-Com is When Harry Met Sally.
- Janel can't beatbox and has never been able to.
- She had a hard time getting into the television and movie industry because of her race and the lack of diversity in roles.
- She has never been involved in a love triangle and believes that they are too complicated to get involved in.
- Janel played Sandy in the Broadway musical, "Grease".
- During filming for To All The Boys I've Loved Before she channeled her relationship with her own older sister with her role of Margot. She views her older sister as her own Margot, and their relationship is very similar to that of Margot and Lara's.
- She got married in September of 2018.
- When asked how long she would play Mona for, she said that as long as the writers kept writing episodes with Mona in them she'd be there.
- She broke one of her ribs when she was in "Dancing With the Stars".
- Janel has a scar beside her elbow from where she burned herself with a curling iron.
- Her favorite childhood toys were Barbies.