Lucy Hale almost didn’t play Aria on “Pretty Little Liars”

We think a lot sometimes about all the shows that could’ve existed and almost did, but still never came to be (um, hello, CBS’s Nancy Drew.) But what we don’t consider as much are the roles that were almost completely different! We fall in love with characters and the actors who portray them so well in equal parts, and it’s wild to think about how much would’ve changed in shows we love had casting gone a bit differently. And apparently, one such almost-reality was Pretty Little Liars without Lucy Hale as Aria Montgomery.

Lucy Hale revealed that she nearly chose something other than the role she’s now best known for:

"I was offered another pilot, but my gut kept telling me to go towards Pretty Little Liars," she said in a recent interview with Cosmopolitan. "There was just something about that name that kept replaying in my head and I knew that that was probably the right decision to make."

Whatever the pilot was, Cosmpolitan details that it was kind of a big deal. It had bigger stars, bigger producers, and was coming out of a bigger studio than ABC Family/Freeform’s eventual breakout. Even still, Lucy’s gut told her Pretty Little Liars was the way to go.

"It's very easy to get excited about the glitz and glam of something, or how much you're getting paid for something, or get distracted by who else is involved. But I think the reason I made the choice for PLL was that creatively it really excited me."

We love Aria, like, a whole lot, so we’re really excited she made that decision, too!

And although Lucy says she had a lot of great advice from friends and colleagues and other loved ones, she also said that while getting that advice is great….

" the end of the day, you're left with yourself," she explained. "And I think that inner voice that you have is the strongest and most important."

We couldn’t agree more — and we’re glad following that inner voice led Lucy Hale to Rosewood!