Ashley Victoria Benson (born December 18, 1989) is an American actress, known for her role as Hanna Marin in the teen mystery-drama television series Pretty Little Liars (2010–2017). She began her career portraying the role of Abigail Deveraux in NBC’s soap opera Days of Our Lives (2004–2007). She starred in the films Bring It On: In It to Win It (2007), Christmas Cupid (2010), Spring Breakers (2013), Ratter (2015) and Chronically Metropolitan (2016).
In December 2009, Benson was cast as Hanna Marin in the ABC Family mystery-thriller teen drama series Pretty Little Liars, based on the novel series by Sara Shepard. Marin is the “diva” and “It girl” of the group, having taken Alison’s place as the most popular girl at Rosewood High in Alison’s absence. The series premiered to 2.47 million viewers with Benson’s performance being praised by critics. She also received a number of awards and nominations.
In 2010, Benson starred in the television film Christmas Cupid alongside Christina Milian and Chad Michael Murray, which also aired on ABC Family. In January 2012, Benson was cast in the film Spring Breakers, after Emma Roberts dropped out due to creative reasons. The film centers on four college students who are arrested and bailed out by a drug and arms dealer, who sends them out to do some dirty work on spring break. The film co-starred Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, and James Franco. Filming took place in March and April 2012, and the film was released in March 2013.
She has appeared in the music videos for NLT’s “That Girl”, One Call’s “BlackLight”, and Hot Chelle Rae’s “Honestly”. In the January 21, 2013, episode of the CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, Benson appeared as Carly Whittaker, Barney Stinson’s half-sister who dated Ted Mosby. She starred in the 2015 independent horror thriller film Ratter, playing Emma Taylor, a girl who is stalked through her technological devices. That same year, she also appeared in Pixels as Lady Lisa, a fictional game character brought to life. In 2016, Benson appeared in the biographical comedy-drama film Elvis & Nixon as Margaret.