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:

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.

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….

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