Ashely Benson has pretty much grown up on-camera. The actress is best known for playing Hanna Marin in the iconic Freeform series Pretty Little Liars which ran from 2010 to 2017, but she began acting when she was only 12 years old, booking small roles in movies like 13 Going on 30 and shows like Zoey 101. She even starred in the famous soap opera Days of Our Lives from 2004 to 2007 as a character named Abby Deveraux! Keep reading to see her impressive transformation over the years.

After three years on Days of Our Lives, Ashley went on to pursue other projects, such as CSI: Miami, Fab Five: The Texas Cheerleader Scandal, Supernatural and teen show Eastwick. The day she discovered that Eastwick wasn’t being renewed for a second season in 2010, she got a call from the producers of Pretty Little Liars.

“I didn’t think anything of it,” she told Cosmopolitan in March 2021. “I was a bit bummed that my show got cancelled. But then I met with them, and a week later, I was in Canada filming the pilot. I thought it would be a successful show, but you never know. So for it to become what it was was crazy!”

Following the wrap of Pretty Little Liars in 2017, Ashley took a long deserved break after filming over 160 episodes for the past seven years. “It was the best thing I ever did,” she revealed. “I didn’t work for a year and studied directors I wanted to work with and looked at actresses who inspired me, who came from TV and made it into film. I started to compartmentalise my wants and needs.”

“I wrote two scripts and am about to start filming one,” she added. “That’s super rewarding.”

The PLL alum starred in The Birthday Cake alongside Ewan McGregor in 2021. She’s also appeared in Private Property, The Loneliest Boy In the World and Laphan Rising. “It’s been interesting working on projects that I normally wouldn’t have time to focus on.”

And is she still close to her Pretty Little Liars costars?

“We all live by each other,” she admited. “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.”

Scroll through our gallery to see photos of Ashley’s transformation over the years.

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