Ashley Benson on her friendships with Pretty Little Liars cast

Kerri-Ann Roper, PA Entertainment Editor

Pretty Little Liars star Ashley Benson has revealed she is still close friends with her former co-stars from the series.

The actress, 31, starred in the teen mystery drama which ran for seven series until its end in 2017.

She appeared alongside Lucy Hale, Shay Mitchell, Troian Bellisario and Sasha Pieterse in the series which featured a close knit group of high school students taunted by a mysterious figure known as A, who threatens to expose their darkest secrets.

The Great Debaters Premiere- Los Angeles
Ashley Benson (Ian West/PA)

Speaking about Bellisario and Mitchell, she told Cosmopolitan UK: “We all live by each other. Minutes away. So it’s very funny. I want to see them, but I also have to be mindful right now, even though I’m getting tested weekly (for Covid-19). It’s a scary time for everyone.

“I’ve never met Shay’s baby, and she’s like, ‘You have to see her!’ They’re like my sisters and they always will be.”

Benson, who also starred in the film Spring Breakers, praised a storyline from the series in which Mitchell’s character Emily Fields comes out.

She told the April edition of Cosmopolitan: “I’m not quite sure how many shows had that before ours. (It’s important), especially in this day and age, to just be your true self and not feel judged by how your heart feels and by who you are as a human being, and who your soul connects with.

“I certainly feel that way about myself. It’s who I connect with. It’s not about a gender or anything like that. And I think that’s really important for people to understand.

“There is no reason that somebody should get bullied or talked about or shut off for who they love. I think acceptance right now is everything, and the more we can educate people about these topics, the better it will become for everyone.”

Ashley Benson on Cosmopolitan UK
Ashley Benson speaks to Cosmopolitan UK in their April edition (Cosmopolitan UK/Ramona Rosales)

The cast of the series reunited for the first time in three years in May last year.

During a livestream raising money for the coronavirus relief effort, Hale teased a potential film of the series, saying: “I always get asked, ‘when are we doing a movie?’ People still think we’re making a movie. I think we just need to do it.”

The April issue of Cosmopolitan is available from March 4.