It’s Saturday morning and Bella Thorne has just awoken for our 8 AM phone interview—the fact that she agreed to one on a Saturday morning speaks for itself. If you don’t know her, join her army of six million Instagram followers and take note. The soon-to-be 18-year-old actress (the photo shoot herein our best effort at how her celebration might go down) first garnered attention when she starred opposite Zendaya in the Disney original series Shake it Up, and has continued to make waves on the silver screen and in cyber space.
With a cult social media following and budding career, Thorne is a far cry from the average girl her age who is finishing up high school and experiencing her first existential breakdown. Thorne has her cards in order, both romantically and professionally. Last April she started dating fellow Disney heartthrob Gregg Sulkin (you can follow their well-documented young love on Instagram, obvi) and landed that month’s Teen Vogue, all the while actively pursuing her thespian passions—primarily horror films at the moment (she has two under her belt and two coming out next year). She counts the first, Amityville Horror: The Reawakening, in which she stars opposite Jennifer Jason Leigh, as her most exciting project to date and the one in which she grew the most professionally.
“Her energy is amazing,” says Thorne of Jason Leigh, animated yet soft-spoken. “Franck [Khalfoun], the director, would say, ‘Jennifer, I want you to be more angry with Bella in this scene,’ and Jennifer would say, ‘Well Bella isn’t doing anything to make me mad.’ So Franck would tell me to talk shit to her and figure out how to make her mad. Jennifer took acting to such a realistic level.”
The other film, Home Invasion, in which Thorne plays the daughter in a family being hunted by a killer, has been her most emotionally trying project so far.
“I just couldn’t get out of character,” she explains of the shooting process, “I would go home crying every day. My mom would be driving me home, and I would be bawling. She doesn’t act, so she had no idea what to do. She would try to put on music to distract me but nothing worked.” With a small cast, crew, and a gaggle of temperamental go-pro cameras that often stalled production, Bella had tons of free time on set which she spent getting into character by watching horror films in the house’s master bedroom. Watching horror films while shooting a horror film—pretty ride or die.
Amidst the psychological self-affliction, what is the one thing Thorne can always count on for comfort?
“Cup Noodles, with Sriracha. That’s the only thing I need to be happy on set and everyone knows it.” A simple request, but simplicity is still something Thorne values—even when it comes to her 18th birthday.
“My mom told me I had to have a big party since I’m turning 18—she was like ‘Bella, you have to do something big.’ But I just want to spend it with close friends and family, I want to set up a movie projector in my back yard in Los Angeles and watch my favorite horror movies. Gregg will be so scared he’ll be hiding behind me the whole time. He hates horror films.”
As for the cake of choice?
“A vanilla-on-vanilla Chanel cake. I am completely obsessed with the Chanel logo.” Finally, spoken like a true 18-year-old.
Photographer: Max Montgomery at maxmontgomeryphoto.com.
Stylist: Zoe Costello for Art-dept.com. Hair: Eric Gabriel for therexagency.com using Oribe.
Makeup: Sabrina Bedrani for Traceymattingly.com using Dior Beauty.
Manicure: Denise Bourne for Therexagency.com.
Bella’s friends: Andrew Grey, Dani Thorne, Garrison, Jonathan Tuil, Julia Friedman, Kaili Thorne, Khalil Underwood, Luke Davis, Madison, Ross Butler, and Steven Lunsford.
Models: Alec Saint Martin and Natalie Ogg for Next management.com, Los Angeles, Colin Owens and Daniel Hamouie for Visionlosangeles.com, Los Angeles, and Slater for wrennmgmt.com, Los Angeles.
Videographer: Phillip Lopez for dlmla.com.
Styling Assistants: Kacey Lynch and Ali Miller.
Hair Assistants: Marina Migliaccio and Melissa Tolentino.
Makeup Assistant: Keely Maroney.
Special Thanks: Lupita’s Bakery at mylupitasbakery.com.
Bella Thorne was featured in 2016 in Flaunt: A Few Favorites from a Fabulous Year