Career

Ten minutes with Pretty Little Liars actress Sasha Pieterse


Down to earth, millennial, driven and go-getter are a few words of the words that come to mind to describe A-lister Sasha Pieterse.

But as Miss FQ‘s digital content producer Maxine Fourie found after getting ten minutes to chat to the Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists star, she’s not all that different to you and me…

Read on to find out more about Sasha Pieterse and why this Teen Choice Award-winning actress is actually more relatable than ever:


Sasha Pieterse has been in the industry for as long as she can remember; she found her calling at the young age of three after posing for the camera in a family photo shoot.

Her parents saw the love that their South-African born daughter had for the camera and sent her snapshot off to a local talent agency – and yep, you guessed it, the rest was history. Pieterse was booked straight away, something that tends to be completely unheard of in the world of show-biz – and since then, she’s been making moves in Hollywood, climbing her way up the ladder, one step at a time and humbly, might we add.

“I was three and a half when I started and I never ever wanted to stop doing it” she told us.


She didn’t stumble upon the industry by chance; Sasha was passionate about her career from the get-go.

“My parents were always very supportive of me and they had always told me I could stop at any second, so I think because of that and the fact that it was my decision, it just has always fuelled me to do what I love and want to do and that’s always been acting,” she says.

Being in the industry for twenty years this year, Pieterse considers herself as one of the lucky ones. Playing different roles in a string of hit series and films, she’s never become bored of playing a character.

Although she’s known most famously for her role in Pretty Little Liars as protagonist Alison DiLaurentis, a character who constantly evolves, her list of credentials string far beyond her role in Marlene King’s hit drama.


If you don’t recognise her from early 2000s film Shark Boy and Lava Girl (and come on, this was a classic, how can you not?!) you’ll probably recognise her from her role in Inherit Vice, a role that she considers to be one of the biggest highlights of her career.

“I was surrounded by so many incredible A-list actors and it was the first time that I’ve ever kind of realised just how amazing and how diverse the business is. It’s amazing to be in a position where you’re surrounded by these legends.

“I think that was probably the highlight because people have just been in the business for so long. I was working with Joaquin Phoenix and Martin Short specifically in my scenes and there’s so much knowledge there and so much that they have to offer. I think that was a highlight because I could learn from them and basically, just being in their presence was incredible,” she says.

Pieterse is positive, grateful and humble about her experiences, not bringing it back to her own many years of experience in the industry or her ‘famous’ status. It’s easy to see why this down-to-earth beauty has become such a success in this industry.

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But it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. Despite an undeniably successful career, she is open and up front about the own hurdles she’s had to jump over through living life as a celebrity.

When questioned about what her biggest challenge is, Pieterse responds with a sharp and honest reaction.

“Oh my gosh, my biggest challenge?! There’s been a lot in this industry,” she exclaims.

“I feel with being a public figure, an audience comes along with it, which is kind of like a double-edged sword. It’s so incredible to have people that love what you do… it means that you’re doing something right and that’s kind of the whole point – to move people and make them feel things.  But in that, also with social media, it becomes a positive and negative because a lot of people have very short opinions and you can’t please everybody.”

“I think there’s so many assumptions, so many negative things that people say on the internet and they kind of feel like they know you even when they don’t. There’s a lot of pressure that comes from the industry and I feel like that’s always the biggest challenge – overcoming those.”

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With a cult following of over 9 million Instagram followers, the 23-year-old needs no practice staying down to earth. And although facing online criticism may be a challenge, it’s also a secret to her success, leading her to back down the path of self-love.

“It’s really about loving yourself, always checking back in with yourself, making sure that you have the right people around you and the right support system,” she says. 

“For me, it’s always been about making sure that I always stay true to myself and constantly learning and making sure that my headspace is in the right place – and not relying on other peoples opinions. I always have to remind myself that this is my own journey, don’t copy anybody, you don’t need to.”

With an Instagram and Facebook bio saying “don’t compare your behind-the-scenes to someone else’s highlight reel” Pieterse sure does practice what she preaches.

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Another area of self-love the actress finds herself indulging in, is her wardrobe. Describing herself as a “creature of habit” when it comes to style,  her wardrobe staples consist of neutral colours and a lot of black and greys, which makes her feel the most comfortable.

“I think making sure that you stick to your own personal style and what you feel comfortable in, it just helps your confidence a lot.”

“My signature black skinny jeans, I don’t know what I would do without those?!”

With no mention of designer brands or extravagant ballgowns, the word #relatable most definitely comes to mind and I start to think, maybe we all have a bit of Sasha in us…


With a carefree and not to mention practical approach to her style, we weren’t at all surprised to hear her top three makeup staples.

When prompted on the items she can’t live without, Sasha sounds like an ecstatic beauty junkie, who could sell you absolutely any beauty product, such is her passion.

I cannot live without Neutrogena makeup cleansing towelettes, I use them every single day because we always have so much makeup on our face – I’m obsessed with those. I have to take them everywhere I go,” she says.

“I also love the Kiehl’s new butterstick, because my lips are always extremely dry and so I need it all the time. It’s slightly tinted so it’s like a lipstick, but I can wear it wherever, whenever. I love that.”

Sasha chuckles as she describes her last, but not least beauty staple.

“There’s this mascara, it’s by Urban Decay called Better Than Sex and I really love that one. I love mascara, because I can just throw it on and you don’t have to do a lot, but I just don’t feel the same without it.”


Having achieved so much already, Sasha’s love for entertaining has led her to explore new avenues, with plenty more in the pipeline for eager fans.

“I have just premiered a new YouTube show called Sasha in Good Taste, which is my cooking and home decor brand that I’m developing which is a lot of fun. Part of the reason why I’m doing that is because I wanted to share that different side of me and my life. I’ve always loved cooking and I’ve always loved entertaining people,” she shares.

“I have a cookbook coming out at the end of the year that I’m super excited about. I haven’t released a date yet, that’s going to be a surprise, but I cannot wait for people to see this cookbook that I’ve actually been working on for about five years.

“So there’s that… and I’m working on a new project called Big Night which is going to be really fun. So yeah, I’m keeping busy that’s for sure, and hopefully, we’ll have a season two of Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists.”

We’re out here crossing our fingers for that, too.


Watch Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists on NEON.

Words: Maxine Fourie
Photos: Supplied

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