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Shay Mitchell Talks Nabbing The Role Of A Lifetime On Pretty Little Liars: “I Remember Screaming, Everybody Thought I Was Getting Murdered”

Submitted by on June 13, 2013 – 10:08 amOne Comment

These days, life’s a beach for Pretty Little Liars star Shay Mitchell.

The 26-year-old actress was summertime ready wearing a sky-blue criss-cross Peter Pilotto dress for her fashion shoot featured on the cover of Elle Canada‘s July 2013 issue. Inside the magazine, the Toronto native shed some light on her meteoric rise to fame and her humble beginnings.

“When I was in high school, I was so uncomfortable with myself,” Mitchell says upon realizing she looked different than the kids around her. “All my friends were blond and blue-eyed. My mom is Filipino—but my friends’ nannies were Filipino.”

Thankfully, by the time she was 18, Mitchell realized her unique looks would be her strength while working as a model in Bangkok and Hong Kong. “I was getting cast because I didn’t look like anyone else,” she says. “I moved out to Bangkok pretty much alone; I had to find my way and get on a motorbike to go to castings.”

In 2009, two days after she flew out and auditioned in Los Angeles, Shay learned she had landed the role of Emily Fields on the hit ABC Family television series Pretty Little Liars…and things would never be the same. “I just remember screaming,” she says. “Everybody at the hotel must have thought I was getting murdered. On the flight home, I was walking to my seat in the back and the flight attendant checked my ticket and was like, ‘Oh, no, you’re in first class.’ I’d never sat there before—it was surreal.”

Go behind-the-scenes of Shay Mitchell’s Elle Canada shoot below and read the entire interview here

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