Who Is Zaria Simone? 5 Things to Know About Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Actress

By Klein Felt Posted:
Zaria Simone in Pretty Little Liars Summer School

After spending years as a child star, Zaria Simone (more commonly known as Zaria) is getting audience attention after appearing in Max's Pretty Little Liars: Summer School

Set in the universe of the uber-successful Pretty Little Liars series, Zaria stars as Faran Bryant in the streaming spin-off, a high-school-age ballerina who faces racism in her everyday life. 

The young actress arrives in the series after acting for several years and appearing in major titles across networks and streamers. 

5 Things To Know About Pretty Little Liars: Summer School Actress Zaria Simone

Zaria Has Been Acting For Years

Despite being only 28 (born April 25, 1996), Zaria has built up quite a resume. 

She has been acting all her life but has only done it professionally since 2019. 

The actress previously appeared in mega-hits like ABC's Black-ish and Freevee's Bosch: Legacy. 

In a conversation with Voyage LA, the Pretty Little Liars: Summer School star revealed she started acting "in 5th grade and fell in love with it." From there, she began participating in acting competitions, graduating early from college before getting her big break on the children's show The Super Pops:

"I began acting in 5th grade and fell in love with it ever since. In High School, I wrote a lot of poetry to work through all the teenage angst. I also participated in Acting competitions nearly every week. In these Speech competitions I won state Dramatic interpretation and Duo interpretation. Nationally, I placed top 7 for my poetry interpretation. In college, I preformed 30 minute and 15-minute sets at libraries and cafes. Graduating early from college, I got a PA job and landed my first series regular role as Power Pop on 'The Super Pops.'"

Zara Has a Love for LA

Being a born and bred Californian, Zaria has a deep-rooted love for Los Angeles. 

The 5'3" actress is outspoken about how much she loves her hometown. In several interviews, she has expressed this love in various ways. 

In the same August 2020 profile of the TV star with Voyage LA, Zaria revealed she loves everything about LA but the traffic:

"I love that it feels like home. I was born here but I moved around a bit. So, I never take for granted the beautiful sunshine. I love how many creators live here. I love that work is in LA, because it’s in LA, and because I love my work. I hate the traffic… typical."

Zaria Is also a Poet

Outside of being a star of stage and screen, Zaria has a successful career in the world of poetry. 

The Summer School actress writes poetry constantly and has even released a book of some of her works. 

We Got A Lot To Be Mad About was released by Zaria in August 2020, described as "Poetry for the fiery souls fighting for the civil rights movement of 2020" (via the book's official synopsis):

"Poetry for the fiery souls fighting for the civil rights movement of 2020. 'We Got A Lot to Be Mad About' is an ode to the civil unrest and an expression of gratitude for the lack of complacency while civilians are murdered by their police in the streets of America. A young black woman explains what it feels like to be a young black woman in America watching and participating as the year of 2020 unfolds in front of her eyes and beneath her fingertips."

On the release of her book (as well as a merchandise line coinciding with it), she called her work a "labor of love," remaking that she "get[s] butterflies just thinking about someone wearing [her] poetry" (via Voyage LA):

"Though, I have left that role, I am endeavoring to write a 120-page poetry book. I am so thrilled and excited to be able to publish a labor of love during this civil rights movement. Because I have used writing as a therapeutic resource, I am excited to say that my book, 'We Got A Lot To Be Mad About,' is on sale now through my website. Along with the book, I am creating merchandise to wear, sip from, and carry. I get butterflies just thinking about someone wearing my poetry."

Zaria's Proudest Role

While Zaria has appeared in several TV and film projects, there is one role the actress remains adamant she is proudest of. 

Despite it being years later, Zaria says she is proud of her work on The Super Pops, where she played the crime-fighting pop star PowerPop. 

She told Voyage in 2020 that it "means a lot to be someone that children" can look up to:

"But, one of my proudest accomplishments is the support I have of the fans of my character PowerPop. It means a lot to be someone that children, especially little black girls, can look up to. I remember how much I LOVED Raven Symone. How much it meant to me to feel represented."

Zaria's Female Struggles

Zaria has also been passionate in talking about her struggles as a woman working in Hollywood. 

The actress has spoken about her experience with sexual harassment during her acting career and "pay discrimination based on my skin color:"

"Being a woman in the industry is a feat alone. I have experienced my own bouts of sexual harassment in the workplace. I have experienced pay discrimination based on my skin color. Sadly, that is more common than not."

How To Follow Zaria Simone Online

Fans looking to keep up with Zaria online can do so on Instagram and YouTube.

Pretty Little Liars: Summer School is now streaming on Max. 

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- In This Article: Pretty Little Liars: Summer School
Release Date
May 09, 2024
Bailee Madison
Chandler Kinney
Malia Pyles
- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.