Shay Mitchell Biography
Shay Mitchell is a Canadian actress, model, and entrepreneur who is best known for her role as Emily Fields in the Freeform series ‘Pretty Little Liars.’ Born as Shannon Ashley, Mitchell was a big fan of Jennifer Lopez “JLo” and hence was called ShayLo by her friends. A talented girl, she had a passion for the performance arts since childhood and even talked to her parents about pursuing a career in the same. After excelling in dance and modelling, she switched gears to acting and even took acting lessons in Toronto. A couple of commercials and guest appearances in television series later, Mitchell clutched the big break of her career. She was cast in the role of Emily Fields in ‘Pretty Little Liars.’ Her acting skills gained commendable praise from both critics and audience. She also has moved to the big screen with films like ‘Dreamland’ and ‘Mother’s Day.’ And extending her talent to writing as well, she recently co-authored a young adult novel ‘Bliss’ along with Michaela Blaney.
- Shay Mitchell was born as Shannon Ashley Mitchell on April 10, 1987, in Mississauga, Ontario, to Precious Garcia and Mark Mitchell. While her mother is a Filipina, her father is of Scottish Irish ancestry. Both her parents work in finance. She has a younger brother, Sean.
- Since an early age, Shay showed an interest in arts and theatre and made up her mind to pursue a career in the same. By the time she was five, she was taking dance lessons. Along with a group of dancers, she toured the city, competing at various dance schools.
- When she turned ten, her family shifted base to West Vancouver, British Columbia. A year later, an excellent opportunity came knocking at Mitchell’s door. An international modelling agency held an open casting call for teen and pre-teen girls who were looking for modelling opportunities. She soon found her place amongst the selected few.
- She attended the Rockridge Secondary School before enrolling at the West Vancouver Secondary School, graduating from there. A big fan of Jennifer Lopez aka “JLo”, Mitchell was called ‘Shay Lo’ by her friends, which led to her nickname Shay.
- Shay Mitchell’s selection in the international modelling agency sealed her fate and destiny for a glorious future as a model. By her late teens, she had carved a name for herself as a model and had successfully become the poster girl for a number of companies in various cities including Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Barcelona.
- Post completing her modelling assignments, she returned to Toronto to study acting. Simultaneously, she signed with her first theatrical agency and was on a roll with several national commercials. She even appeared in the Canadian teen drama series ‘Degrassi: The Next Generation’ in the episode ‘Up Where We Belong.’
- In December 2009, Mitchell got the biggest break of her career as yet. She was signed by the ABC Family (currently Freeform) for the television adaptation of the book series ‘Pretty Little Liars’. Though initially Mitchell auditioned for the role of Spencer Hastings, she finally portrayed the character of Emily Fields, the ‘jock girl’ of the group.
- Premiering to 2.47 million viewers, the series became a major hit. Shay Mitchell received critical acclaim for her acting talent. Such has been the everlasting fame of the series that it has since been renewed to a seventh season, which is currently airing.
- Following the stupendous success of ‘Petty Little Liars’, she was offered guest roles in many popular television series, starting with an appearance in a four-episode arc on the Disney XD series ‘Aaron Stone’ as cheerleader Irina Webber in 2010. Next, she guest starred in the Global series ‘Rookie Blue’ and appeared in the music video for ‘Hold My Hand’ by Jamaican rapper Sean Paul.
- In 2012, Shay Mitchell starred as herself in the reality television series ‘Punk’d’ for the episode ‘Heather Morris.’ She served as the judge on ‘Fashion Week: Who’s In and Who’s Out’ for ‘Project Runway’ in 2015.
- In 2016, she made her debut in the big screen in the American comedy-drama ‘Dreamland’ as Nicole. The film opened to positive reviews and was praised by the critics as well. The same year, she starred in another film, a romantic comedy ‘Mother’s Day’ wherein she plays the role of Tina, who marries the ex-husband of Sandy, played by Jennifer Aniston. As for television, Shay Mitchell was seen as the guest co-host in ‘Live! With Kelly and Michael'.
- Her upcoming projects include ‘Cadaver’ in which she portrays the role of Megan Reed. It is a horror thriller directed by Diederik Van Rooijen and written by Brian Sieve. It is expected to release on August 25, 2017.
- Acting apart, she has tried her hand at writing as well. She co-authored the young adult novel ‘Bliss’ with Michaela Blaney. It was released in 2015. She also hosts her own YouTube lifestyle channel.
- The highlight of Shay Mitchell’s career came in December 2009 when she signed a contract for the television adaptation of the book series ‘Pretty Little Liars.’ Running in its seventh season as of January 2017, the series has been a major hit and has been praised by the critics and the audience alike for its unique story and some superlative performances.
- The series centers on four friends up against an anonymous foe who threatens to reveal all their secrets whilst unravelling the mystery of the murder of their best friend. In it, Mitchell plays the role of Emily Fields, the ‘jock girl’ of the group. She has received much critical acclaim for her work.
- Shay Mitchell has been nominated for various awards in different categories every year for her role in ‘Pretty Little Liars.’ She won the Young Hollywood Awards for Cast to Watch (shared with Troian Bellisario, Lucy Hale and Ashley Benson) in 2011.
- She is a religious supporter of charitable events and organizations. She completely supported Somaly Mam Foundation, a non-profit organization that fought sex trafficking until it ended operations in 2014.
- Along with the cast of ‘Pretty Little Liars’, she worked with The Trevor Project and the NOH8 Campaign.
- Additionally, she works with the WE Charity, which helps communities develop educational resources. She partnered with Represent Clothing to promote tees where half of the proceeds went to GLAAD.
- Much unlike her character on ‘Pretty Little Liars’ that is fascinated with the fairer sex, in reality, Shay Mitchell loves to date boys. She was in a serious committed relationship with Ryan Silverstein before breaking up with him after a year, much to the surprise of her fans.
Shay Mitchell Movies
1. Mother's Day (2016)
2. Cadaver (2018)
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