Disney girl turned blockbuster actress. Bella Thorne talks The Duff, downtime and her rise to stardom.
Red and blue striped sleelveless cropped pullover and red full midi skirt both by DKNY and white DKNY X I STILL LOVE YOU NYC choker all by DKNY. Make up Sandy Ganzer at Jed Root using CLE DE PEAU, hair Terri Walker at Jed Root using ORIBE
Taken from the Summer 2015 issue of Wonderland.
Trying to get hold of LA’s Bella Thorne is like ridding off last night’s glittery hangover face – nigh-on impossible. Two connecting calls and one US area code later though, and we’re ready to chat, well, Mean Girls.
Landing in the limelight upon her first recurring role in Dirty, Sexy Money at the tender age of nine, she won a starring role with Disney in sitcom Shake It Up and now at 17, plays Madison Morgan, 2015’s Regina George, in teen blockbuster The Duff. In a rare break between filming and penning anecdotes to fill her book series (featuring a familiar fiery haired protagonist), we caught up with Thorne to talk bagging bad-ass roles and taking on the bullies IRL.
Bella – it’s been a speedy climb to success, hasn’t it? When did you realise you wanted to become an actress?
I did it because everybody told me I wouldn’t be able to! I started acting when I was nine. I was on quite a few projects, I did Big Love, I did My Own Worst Enemy and Shake It Up was my first Disney role.
What attracted you to your part as mean girl Madison in The Duff?
I honestly wanted to play Bianca, the main character. The director Ari Sandel, was like, “No, you’ll be better as Madison!” I said okay, because I just really wanted to work on that film. I love the comedy! I was laughing out loud in my bedroom at two o’clock in the morning reading the script. I loved the message behind it, it’s really important and people need to know that in life you’ll be labelled, but it’s our job to climb out of that box and show people who we are.
So, you’re not playing the character that you wanted to – but do you see any similarities between yourself and Madison? Is there anything you can relate to?
No! Madison is really mean, she’s very evil, she’s conniving, she’s very blunt. That’s the only thing I like about Madison, she is very straightforward.
Have you ever encountered a Madison type in life?
Yes. I don’t know why she was mean to me, I honestly have no idea why. I haven’t said anything to this girl, I’ve barely even met her!
How horrible! How do you think people should deal with mean girls?
Well honestly, I’ve never confronted my mean girl. A lot of people give you the advice to just not worry about it and try and forget about it. No! That is so hard to do when you are the person being bullied. I was bullied and that’s messed up! Be very vocal, you should tell everybody.
People are comparing The Duff to Mean Girls. Thoughts?
People are going to keep comparing it to Mean Girls and people have been comparing us to all the John Hughes movies. Hopefully, we can live up to that. If not, we made a great movie anyway.
Is this the type of film you have always wanted to be in? Is there a certain kind of role you look out for?
I feel like I look out for more bad-ass roles and tomboys are the roles I like to play. Just because the way I speak and the way I act and the way I treat people is like that, but I’m so down to play anything.
Filming must sponge up a lot of your free time. What do you like to do for recreation?
I love to watch Netflix, in bed, I love my room, honestly, I’m not gonna lie, I do. I love having people come over and us just chilling upstairs. Let’s not put on heels, let’s not put on a bunch of make up, let’s just stay here.
Going back to your Disney days, is that a part of your life you want to embrace or something you’re trying to move away from?
Disney has done so much for me, and I can only thank them for that. It’s hard to get work after you’ve been on the Disney Channel. You have to work extra hard to get somebody to believe you’re a real actor, and that is difficult. All of the Disney kids that I know, my goodness, they work hard! They’re such good actors and they work day and night, but they’re still kicking it, they’re still chilling. They’re amazing people, I can only give props to them. But I’m trying to move away from it, I want to do films now, not just comedy. My background is in drama, so I want to get back to that.
What are your plans for the near future, what’s coming up in Bella Thorne’s world? Can we expect another excerpt from your Autumn book series any time soon?
I have so much coming up. I have a movie called Underdog coming out this year with Ariana Grande, Nicholas Hoult, so many people – Katie Holmes! I have my second book coming out this year, called Autumn’s Kiss, and I have two other films I can’t tell you about…
Black and white sleeveless print dress with front cut out and black and white DKNY X I STILL LOVE YOU NYC choker both by DKNY
Photographer: Charlotte Hadden
Fashion Editor: Ashley Furnival
Words: Lily Walker