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Janel Parrish Talks 'Tiger' Movie, 'The Perfectionists' & More in Exclusive JJ Interview!

Janel Parrish Talks 'Tiger' Movie, 'The Perfectionists' & More in Exclusive JJ Interview!

Janel Parrish is opening up in an interview with Just Jared!

The 30-year-old Pretty Little Liars star is on top of the world and hard at work on several projects, including her new movie Tiger and the upcoming The Perfectionists.

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Janel Parrish

We caught up with Janel to discuss everything she’s up to lately. Check out the interview below, as well as a gorgeous photo spread shot and glammed by Glenn Nutley from Hello Darling Salon.

You’ve been in everything lately. How lucky do you feel right now?

Well that’s nice of you to say! I feel very grateful for work. It’s what I love to do, and each time I work on something new, I feel myself learning and growing more as an actress and person. Grateful is definitely the word.

Happy Birthday, too! What did you do to celebrate?

Thank you! My husband and sister came in for the day. We had a table read in Portland, and my PLL family surprised me with a cake. Spent the rest of the day with my sis and hubby, enjoying the city, and Sasha Pieterse and her husband Hudson joined us for pool later. It was perfect!

You’re currently in Portland, working on The Perfectionists. How does it feel to finally be back in Mona’s shoes? Familiar or different?

Both. I slip back into her shoes so easily after 7 years, I feel like I know her so well. However, she is a little evolving. And that is something I love about Mona and our wonderful writers…they also keep me on my toes as an actress. Portland is an amazing city, and I’m so happy to be back in the PLL world, but with new stories and faces.

See more of the JJ interview with Janel Parrish inside…

What’s been the feel on set with a brand new cast?

Loving. Warm. Hard working, and genuine. This cast is wonderful…look out, here they come.

When you look at the new cast with Sydney Park, Eli Brown, Sofia Carson, etc…do you see a next generation Liars in them?

Absolutely. They all have so much passion in their acting. They respect and love our PLL family and world, and fit right in while bringing a new energy. Our PLL fans will love them. Aside for their amazing talent, they are wonderful people who are so happy to be joining our family.

How did you bond with the new cast as an incoming character who knows this type of world really well?

Like I said, the new cast members have been so happy to join our world and fit in like they’ve always been here. It feels natural already. It feels right!

Can you tease fans on how the new series will compare at all to PLL?

It will be very PLL, but moodier…darker, sexier. It has everything you loved about PLL, but we go a little deeper into the mysterious aspect of the show!

When PLL started, we remember a lot of the cast read the books to prepare. However, Mona isn’t in The Perfectionists books. Did you still read them? If you did, what did you take from them?

I did not. Marlene had told Sasha and I that it would be quite different, just like PLL series was from the books, and I didn’t want to become confused at all with the story lines. However, I heard the books are amazing!

Do you have a favorite character from The Perfectionists?

I think the world will love our Dylan. Eli Brown has such natural talent and his character will melt you!

Talk to us about Tiger and how the film spoke to you.

Tiger is a beautiful and true story about one man’s fight for all the things he believes in…and his fight to be seen as a MAN, just like anyone else. The story is so powerful. I wanted to be a part of this story. To start a conversation about not being afraid of things or people you don’t understand…to take the time to learn before you judge. To jump to love and not hate.

Was the boxing world something you were familiar with at all?

Absolutely not haha! It was so fun to watch the boys (Prem Singh and Michael Pugliese) train so hard and do all the boxing themselves. Such dedication and hard work…it was very inspiring.

This is another movie where the mother is never seen and your ethnicity isn’t questioned. How important was that to you?

Extremely. If you watch the film, you’ll see a little Easter egg: a photo of me as a baby with my actual mom who is Chinese used as a prop. It isn’t questioned, and a light isn’t shone on it. Because it’s not important to the story. When diversity is normal, and not questioned, that’s when I feel like progress has been made.

Why is this film important for fans to go see?

It’s empowering. It’s not just about race or religion, it’s about standing up for your rights as a human. Standing up for anything you believe in, even if it makes you different in anyone else’s eyes.

Hopping over to To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, how anxious are you for the sequel news? (more importantly, have you heard anything?)

I haven’t yet! But I am SO ready. None of us could have predicted how well the film was received, and we are all so thrilled and anxious to make more.

As Margot, you probably have a preference that Lara Jean should be with Peter instead of Josh. But as Janel, which guy do you think suits Lara Jean better?

Haha! I actually do think Lara Jean is better with Peter. He challenges her…and she softens him. They balance each other in every way. Also they’re obvi super cute

TATBILB was hailed as such an amazing movie. How did you personally handle all the praise on social media?

That’s amazing! It was an unexpected surprise…we couldn’t believe it was one of the highest streamed Netflix movies ever! We are so grateful.

Lana Condor’s social media presence was raised quite a lot after the premiere. Did you notice your own presence increasing at all? How did you feel about it?

Sure, but to be honest, social media doesn’t affect me much. I care more about having a fanbase that knows and appreciates my work, and having them peak into my world as Janel is super fun too, but I don’t care much about the numbers. I will post for 6 million followers the same way I would post for 6. I’m honored if followers want to see my goofy, silly life. Lots of pics of Kleo and my friends and family

You, Lana Condor and Anna Cathcart have all spoken about the bond you formed on the set of the movie. What were some things you all did to get that bond?

LAUGH. We just laughed together so much, whether it was on set or off. We did dinners, night shoots…we just fell in love. Those are my girls for life.

You’ve spoken out about a couple of issues lately that are close to your heart – with MADD (so sorry about yours and Chris’ loss), and with bullying. Why do you think it’s important to speak on these things for your fans?

Thank you. I think raising awareness for things that can be prevented is important. If I can speak out, raise awareness, and help save one person from getting behind the wheel drunk, then that’s worth something. If I can make one person stop and think “maybe my words really hurt someone”, then it’s worth trying.

Celebs have also been getting a lot of backtalk from certain people online when they voice their opinions on things, especially politics. Is voting something on your mind? What would you say to them?

Yes. But to be honest, I like to keep my opinions on politics quiet. When you’re in the public eye, it’s important to pick and choose what you keep for just you, and this is one of them. Everyone will have something to say on the matter and I applaud those who are brave and outspoken. But this is one topic I keep for me and my family. As for voting…I DO. And please do vote. Your opinions are yours and valued, it’s your voice so use it. Whether you post about it or not though is up to you.

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Photos: Glenn Nutley
Posted to: Exclusive, Interview, Janel Parrish

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