The NCIS Episode You Forgot Troian Bellisario Starred In

"Pretty Little Liars" made stars out of its young cast, from Lucy Hale to Ashley Benson, many of whom are now household names. For Troian Bellisario, who played Spencer, the years since the hit show wrapped have been peppered with interesting roles in indie productions. Bellisario has also become a powerful advocate, opening up about her struggles with an eating disorder (via Interview magazine) and her mental health issues, per Lenny Letter

The specter of "PLL" looms large, but as Bellisario told Variety in 2019, although it was "so much fun" to "be in that world and explore female friendships," now that she's older and a mother, "I'm more excited to focus on more adult storylines." The actor acknowledged that playing Spencer was incredibly challenging, but it turned out to be "such a wild role" that Bellisario is, understandably, "looking for something now that's a little bit more subtle."

Although the hit teen show was a major moment for all involved, Bellisario actually demonstrated her impressive skills a few years prior, during a take-notice stint on "NCIS." 

Troian Bellisario's father created NCIS

As Insider notes, Troian Bellisario kept it in the family when she appeared on "NCIS" because the actor's father, Donald Bellisario, actually created the hit show. He's also responsible for the likes of "JAG" and "Last Rites," on which Bellisario also starred when she was first starting out. The "Pretty Little Liars" breakout featured in two episodes of "NCIS" as Sarah McGee, the sister of Agent McGee, played by Sean Murray, who funnily enough is actually Bellisario's half-brother in real life.

Naturally, since her dad is a major producer and mom, Deborah Platt, is a well-known actor, it made sense Bellisario ended up working in Hollywood. As she told Interview magazine, "That was a world that I knew and that I saw both my mother and father so deeply in love with and engaged with." Bellisario added, "Growing up on a set, I felt like that was a microcosm that I would always be in." However, she didn't necessarily envision herself performing, reasoning that working behind the scenes would've suited her just fine. 

Of course, Bellisario gradually realized acting was where her heart lay, recalling, "With these different jobs, I had connected with a story about them. I wanted to inhabit not just one world, but lots of different worlds." Thankfully, her father provided the perfect entry point into the world Bellisario had long admired, and she hasn't looked back since.