ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars was a hit with its premier last night. The new TV series is based on the bestselling teen novel series about four estranged friends whose darkest secrets are about to unravel. Did you know one of the cast members is a Filipina-Canadian? Shay Mitchell stars as Emily Fields, an athletic girl who is struggling with her sexuality and the loss of her best friend. Mitchell, born Shannon to a Filipino mother and Irish/Scottish father, is a native of Toronto, Canada.
She appeared in the hit series DeGrassi: The Next Generation and booked several national commercials. She also landed a recurring role in the Disney series Aaron Stone, is featured in the music video for international recording artist Sean Paul’s hit song “Hold My Hand” and will appear in the upcoming ABC series Rookie Blue.
It’s also worth noting that Shay Mitchell’s character on Pretty Little Liars was not of Asian descent in the book. For all of you who are thinking, “who cares about her race.” It does make a difference, especially with Filipinos being underrepresented in mainstream media. If you haven’t seen the show, you can see the pilot for free on the Pretty Little Liars official website at ABC Family.