Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin: Are Karen and Kelly played by twins?

"Spirit Week." Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin. Photo:Barbara Nitke/HBO Max.
"Spirit Week." Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin. Photo:Barbara Nitke/HBO Max. /
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Spoilers ahead of Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin

Every teen drama needs a mean girl, and in Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin that’s Karen Beasley. We’re introduced to the character within the first few minutes of the premiere episode, and you immediately get the vibe coming off her.

Is she your typical mean girl? Pretty much. So far the character isn’t different to similar roles we see in movies and television. We learn right off the bat that this mean girl is going to cause problems for the lead, Imogen, who is played by Bailee Madison. And, by the end of the first episode, it’s the bully who brings the five girls together.

Karen also has a twin sister who looks just like her. The two have even perfected switching places at times. So is the character played by a set of twin actresses?

Are Karen and Kelly played by twins in Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin?

Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin premieres July 28 on HBO Max, Photograph by Barbara Nitke/HBO Max
Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin premieres July 28 on HBO Max, Photograph by Barbara Nitke/HBO Max /

Karen and Kelly Beasley actually aren’t played by twins. Actress Mallory Bechtel takes on the role of both sisters!

If you look closely, you can tell the way the camera is positioned that the roles are played by one actress. At some points they do show both of the girls thanks to production magic. But most of the time the camera is angled on one, with the back of the head of the other showing. And that’s totally normal! Many productions do this and it still looks great.

It can sometimes be a challenge for an actor or actress to play a dual role, and it’s a bit more time consuming when filming. But usually everyone is up to the task and it’s done very well. And that’s the case for Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin.

Both Karen and Kelly (especially Karen) aren’t well-liked characters, but Bechtel is doing a great job so far of portraying the twin sisters. Why did the series decide to just hire one actress? That just could have been a production decision. Or maybe the big decision makers were so impressed by Bechtel. Whatever the reason, you certainly love to hate Karen and Kelly!

Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin releases new episodes Wednesdays on HBO Max.

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