Lucy Hale is determined not to lose herself to Hollywood. Her six year stint as Aria Montgomery in Pretty Little Liars launched her to international stardom, but, as she says here candidly, “when things died down a little a couple of years after, and I didn't have that anymore, I felt smaller. I was like ‘wait, I need to really reassess who I am, because I'm not that show. I'm a human being and I have worth regardless of all of that. I have worth just because I am, just because I'm here.’ So it was then that I went on this whole journey of discovering the things I loved about myself.” She continues, “I'm a good person, I'm smart, I work hard, I have passion, and I’m interesting. I think it's really all about finding what you have to offer the world other than your achievements, and the way you look. That's not what life is about. Life is about connection and life is about doing the things you love. Remembering that is how you get your power back.”
This self-knowledge, and acute awareness of the line between authentic self and celebrity image, is perhaps the key to Hale’s success. She may have started working at just 15, but unlike the cliché of the teen star who falls off the rails, she has kept her feet on the ground, and thrived across a spectrum of genres from horror to romantic comedy. When we speak, she’s just returned from London, where she spent four months working on the upcoming crime drama Ragdoll, and her enthusiasm about both the show and the city is palpable.
Here, the Rollacoaster cover star opens up about her personal journey of self-discovery, why Ragdoll was her most challenging project to date, and why you’ve got to dare to fail if you really want to succeed.