Bella Thorne is known for being a bubbly, fashionable and talented young Disney queen, but not often you find that to be true in real life. Not only was the 13-year-old Shake It Up! star super friendly and surprisingly eloquent throughout our talk, but I quickly realized that she’s someone using her fame for good. Bella has appeared on television for years now, with stints on shows like The O.C., Wizards of Waverly Place and Big Love, as well as roles in films like Stuck on You. Bella gave me tons of deets on the upcoming Shake It Up! movie (yes, it’s really happening!), her friend Ryan Beatty and why the fight against bullying is so close to her heart. Read on!
Shake It Up! airs Sunday nights at 8:30 p.m. on the Disney Channel.
Hi Bella! You have been acting for a long time now! How did you start out?
Well, when I was really young my brother did a commercial and it ended up being a pilot. And I was there, watching his live taping, and seeing how much fun he had and I knew from there I wanted to do it.
How did you get Shake it Up!?
I got the audition and I was like, “Okay, I’ll try out.” So I went to the audition, then through two weeks of callbacks, ten mix and matches, and two screen tests. Then two to four weeks later, we found out I got the role.
Did you have any dance experience prior to being cast?
Oh yeah, I’ve never danced before in my life. I’ve always wanted to, but never got the chance. So with Shake it Up! I was like, “Oh this would be perfect!” But I was never a dancer before.
Now tell me about CeCe. How are you guys alike and different in real life?
I would say CeCe and I are alike in just about every way except for the fact that CeCe has a little brother and I have an older brother. And CeCe’s mom is a cop and mine isn’t. But I would say just about every other way. We are both not the brightest bulbs always, but we are pretty street smart. But I am also really smart in school, which people don’t realize sometimes because of my dyslexia. We both love love love fashion, and we both have a heart for dance.
So are you still in school or are you home-schooled?
I am home-schooled. It is a great way to get ahead of yourself ’cause you can work at your own pace and the teacher helps us every day. We have a tutor, too. It’s just a great way to get ahead.
What would you say is your favorite thing about each of your costars?
Of course, I have to pick Zendaya first. She is caring and really loving. She is really sweet and I love her to death. I can’t imagine doing a week without her ’cause I see her everyday. Rashon — I was just having lunch with him — he is so funny. He works so hard. He has been doing this since he is really young and there’s nothing he hasn’t done in the acting industry actually. Davis is so funny and he has the best comedic timing I have ever seen. And, you know, he’s my little brother and I think of him like family, of course. Caroline is the sweetest person I’ve ever met. Kenton is so funny and we both work really hard for dancing. We both weren’t dancers before the show and Caroline and Zendaya have been dancing since they were really little. We were the only ones who came on with no dance experience, so we’ve always work together really hard and when everybody isn’t practicing we still go over the moves. So I appreciate him working so hard on everything.
When I asked Kenton his favorite thing about you, he said it was that you are super nice to everyone you meet and really bubbly, which I now see is definitely true.
I would say I am bubbly! I would go to set at seven in the morning, and I wake up at five everyday. And everyone is like, “Blah” and I am like, “Guys let’s dance! I am so excited. This is going to be a great dance! Oh my gosh. I am so excited!” And everyone is like, “Whaaat did you have?” And I didn’t have anything, just healthy cereal, and they’re like, “No, what did you have this morning?” It’s so funny (laughs).
So you’re never tired? It never gets to you?
I would say when I am in the car, I can fall asleep. Or when I am at my house and there are no friends around, then I can relax.
Oh, I see. So… I also interviewed your friend Ryan Beatty…
Oh, I love Ryan!
Yeah, he’s the nicest kid. And he’s about to blow up!
He’s fantastic! He’s so talented, and I would love to do a song with him. That kid is going to blow up because he works so hard and, wow, his voice is beautiful without having anything in it.
Agreed. Has he stopped by the set before?
Oh yeah, he’s been to the set many times.
Awesome. So do you have any celebrity crushes?
I have a few. One I am willing to admit is probably Ian Somerhalder. He’s on Vampire Diaries — oh wow. I have a few more. A good friend of mine, Gregg Sulkin, he is so adorable but he’s like a big brother to me.
Good answer! (laughs) So you watch Vampire Diaries, huh?
Yeah, I love, love Vampire Diaries.
Me too! Any other shows you’re always watching?
Well, on the Disney Channel I really like the show — obviously, Shake it Up! — but I really like the show, My Babysitter’s a Vampire. It’s really good.
Oh, I’ve never seen that one. So you like vampires?
Maybe a little. Maybe I have a few posters…
What about music?
I mostly listen to hip-hop. Actually, that’s all I listen to. I guess ’cause of dance that’s what we get into. My favorite rapper is Lil Wayne. I think he is so talented and works hard.
You don’t rock out to any Disney soundtracks?
I may rock out to a few Disney soundtracks. Maybe a few Shake it Up! soundtracks (laughs). I like a new song we have coming. It’s a great song. I want to record it. We have a few songs that are really great. I like the “Bling Bling” dance is what we call it. That was a great episode. Oh gosh, that was a funny episode!
So you guys are filming Season 2 right now?
Yeah, we’re filming Season 2, we’re on our eighth episode right now and I am so excited. Then, we are doing our movie which I think will be incredible.
Wait, so that is definitely happening?
Yeah, it’s definitely happening.
Awesome! Do we know when?
I am not sure, but I think at the end of this year though.
So tell me, are there are pranksters on set? Any crazy stories?
I pranked everybody during the pilot. It was a funny story I will always remember. Adam [Irigoyen] and I were messing around; we were both getting hot chocolate on the set ’cause it was really cold and I bumped into him, and he spilled it all over the floor and all over my legs. I was like, “Oh wow!” and he was like, “That’s your fault!” and so I had to clean it up. I was sitting there and Zendaya was standing over me and she like, “Adam, help her!” So I started crying — ’cause I can cry on cue from all my drama — so I am crying and sniffling, “No one is trying to help me,” and I am cleaning it up, and he was like, “Um, uh, um, well, I can help.” And I was like, “No it’s all done!” and I threw everything in the trash can and ran away and everybody chased me, of course. I ran into my dressing room… and I said, “Mommy, if they come here and ask ‘Where’s Bella’ just say ‘What did you guys to her?’” and my mom was like, “OK.” So they came back and said, “Did you see Bella?” and she was like, “What did you guys do to her?” and they were like, “Oh nooo!” And then I came out running and was like, “See ya!” And everybody was laughing and it was great. So funny.
And that was before everybody knew each other? You said it was the first episode?
Yeah that was the pilot, before we knew if it was a success or not, but I’ve always known Kenton. I’ve known him since I’ve moved out here. He and I are really close. And Adam and I are also really close. They are like my brothers.
Aw, that’s great. So our web site is all about passions and and we call them “ologies.” What are your top ologies?
Fashion, definitely. I need my family. They have always been there to support me. They have been through everything with me and I could never imagine being without them. Another thing is probably animals. I have lots of cats. I love them all to death and I pretend they are my daughters sometimes. Don’t tell anybody. And my wolf, he’s really crazy. And what I really like now, well something I am focusing on now, is bullying. I was always really bullied through school a lot, and now I get bullied online and all that kind of stuff, and it really hurts. It hurts everybody. It doesn’t just hurt me. It hurts my family. It hurts my mom and this is physical damage you can do to a person with just words. I wish people would just think before they speak because it really hurts and I don’t think they think they realize how much damage they could do to a person. Demi [Lovato], you know, she’s been hurting and I look up to her so much. She’s been going through it and she’s been out about everything she does, and that is such a great thing that she is doing. I love her for that.
Wow. That is super important. And it seems Demi is doing a lot better now too. But wait, you have to tell me about your cats. How many do you have?
Six! And I’m sorry, did you say you had a wolf?
I did say that. I do have a wolf. His name is Voodoo and he’s adorable. He is the nicest creature. He thinks he is so small yet he is really big. He thinks he can jump on my couch but I’m like, “Oh you’re not a dog!” But he thinks he’s really tiny, it’s really funny.
That’s crazy! (laughs) In terms of fashion, who are some of your idols?
Natalie Portman and Emma Watson. I look up to Natalie, period. I love that she went to college and I want to go to USC. But I think they both have great fashion. They are young and very appropriate yet still funky. It’s great.
If you do go to college, what would you want to study? Do you know?
I am not sure yet. Since I am doing acting, I wouldn’t want to do acting. I would say art or something like that. I am big on painting. I love sketching and I love painting.
Cool! Now, obviously, a lot of times Disney stars get caught up in the craziness in Hollywood. How do you avoid all that drama?
Just with my family, my mom is always like, “Don’t pay attention to it, Bella.” They always keep me really grounded and they’ve been through everything with me. They always help me and that’s why I could never be without them. When I am not with my mom, which is never — my mom is with me everywhere and I make sure of it — I don’t know what to do and it gets a little overwhelming.
Definitely. So is there anything you can tell us?!? Any spoilers for anything coming up on the show?
Well, I do get to dance on an airplane. We have a few other story lines that you will have to watch for. We have amazing guest stars.
Who has been your favorite guest star so far?
We just finished an episode with really big actor, I don’t know if I can say who, but you just have to see. He is so funny and I thought this was the best guest star we’ve ever had. We had a great time on the episode.
I’m sure the fans can’t wait! Thank so much for talking with me, Bella.
Thank you for talking with me!
Bella Thorne has joined the fight against bullying, in the begining of the year you saw that she infact tweeted a “stopcbullying” twitter account a thank you, for defending her when a “hate” account started bothering her.
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