The actress, 34, admitted during the Wednesday, November 1, episode of “Call Her Daddy” that she often “felt the pressure” to keep up with her costars. Hale played Aria Montgomery on the Freeform series from 2010 to 2017, alongside Ashley Benson (Hanna Marin), Shay Mitchell (Emily Fields) and Troian Bellisario (Spencer Hastings).
“What the f–k these are angels amongst me. Do I fit into that?” Hale told podcast host Alex Cooper on Wednesday. “People always wanted to pit us against each other. Were we all best friends? No. Some of us connected some of us did not. Did we have rough patches? Of course. We were in our f—king 20s, of course.”
“Some of the gals really did connect and bond in a big way and I’ve always found it tricky to connect with people,” she explained. Hale said that because of this she wouldn’t always hang out with her costars off set and fans would start rumors that none of the other PLL actresses liked her — which was false.
“I was marching to the beat of my own drum,” she said.
Despite the ups and downs between the women when filming, “there was always a lot of love” between them. However, Hale often felt overwhelmed by the pressure, which exacerbated her past eating disorder struggles.
Hale explained that she was “overwhelmed” by how her career was changing and wasn’t quite sure where she fit in. The actress recalled feeling “disgusted” with herself after watching the show, so she decided to control her eating habits. Hale said she was doing the best she could at the time, and having control over her food allowed her to feel better.
“To know that young women were watching this show … I just want people to know, I was not in a good place,” Hale said on Wednesday’s podcast.
When it came to her feelings during her PLL days, Hale said she’s “never” spoken to any of her castmates about the pressure she felt. “I don’t know if they felt the same way,” she admitted.
Hale noted that there was no outward competition between her and her costars but explained, “realistically, there were magazine covers and they were only choosing one” girl.
Despite her past experiences, Hale still has a lot of love for the PLL cast.
“I loved them, I still love them to this day,” she said. “I’m so proud that we maintained a level of — it felt like family. You don’t always vibe with certain family members but you’re family.”