My friends and my family "" the people who I love and who love me back. Whenever I get down, when I want to crawl under a rock, I just look around at them and I see how rich my life is. You have to remember what's most important in life. I am loved by so many people and have a wonderful job. I know I'm incredibly blessed. I am a completely lucky human being.
Even when I was young I wanted to be an actress. I knew the actors and the paparazzi. It was just kind of always in my landscape. It was never directed at me, but it was always somewhere so I could see how it operated and I could see it from afar and go 'Wow, that's not really glamorous, it's kind of exhausting not having any privacy.' So it was never something I pursued. The first time I saw the billboard for Pretty Little Liars I almost got into a car accident!
I've had a lot of girls reach out to me about struggling with body image. I've only been able to write back to a few of them, but I've been able to write and have correspondence with a few of them and really talk about what I think they should do or if I think they should ask for help.
What Hollywood truly wants is for people to be themselves. I think what it's designed for is to kind of turn people into something and just make them saleable. But what it really stands for, what it really loves, are people who are unafraid to be themselves, and as you can see, these are people who are excelling in their careers.
I grew up in Hollywood. My father always told me that this is a job. These events are filled with people you work with; it's not like glam-schmooze time. That's why I only like events that celebrate people I have a connection to; otherwise, it's someone else's night, and I don't need to show up in a dress to try and steal their attention.
I was going to move to New York after college and had no interest in pilot season. I'd seen what happened on TV shows because of my dad, and I didn't want to open myself up to that. But 'Pretty Little Liars' had a very early audition, and my agents encouraged me to go even though I didn't think it would be my thing.