In the world of entertainment, 22-year-old Bella Thorne is a master of all trades. Dominating the big screen in a myriad of feature-length films and highly acclaimed television shows, showcasing her genre-defying, musical prowess across her wide range of vocal craftsmanship, and illustrating her own life story in an introspective book of her emotionally charged poems, the omni-talented starlet’s creativity knows no bounds; however, even with her extensive body of soul-defining work, Thorne still admits that she feels misunderstood by the world.
As Thorne knows, growing up in the spotlight is an incredibly difficult feat. After rising to fame at 13 years old with a lead role on Disney’s Shake It Up, the Florida native promptly became a household name, a phenomenon which situated her entire adolescent development in the public eye and subjected her to the world’s scrutiny. Taking on an adult workload in her early teenage years, Thorne matured at a highly accelerated rate, one so nimble that fans were quick to criticize her for allegedly growing up too fast. “People forget that child actors are working with full adults on set for however many hours a day,” she says. “Of course they grow up so fast. They’ve been an adult since they were what, eight years old?”
Naturally, the young star left her picture-perfect Disney image behind in an effort to share her evolved identity with fans; however, that process was much easier said than done. “People always hate on the Disney stars because they’re like, ‘Oh, you have this clean image and you’re so young and now you want to be sexy,’” she says. “They don’t understand that at an age where they think [Disney stars] are a little too young to be doing that, these actors already feel like they’re in their mid-twenties because that’s how long it feels like they’ve been working and pushing so many hours in their day.” It’s that forgotten philosophy that’s responsible for Thorne’s rapid evolution, and therein lies the disconnection between the well-rounded entertainer’s personal character and the world’s wild-child impression of her.
“I am the definition of a misunderstood bitch in this industry,” she says. “People think of me as this young party girl who’s like, I’m just going to do this and do that because I want to and I don’t give a fuck. And I’m always like, I’m sorry guys. When did I say I don’t give a fuck? I literally do give a fuck. It would be ridiculous to say that anybody doesn’t give a fuck because of course we do. We’re all insecure human beings that care what people think about us. Let’s not be ridiculous.”
Frustrated with the public’s perception of her identity, Thorne works tirelessly to create content that resonates with her true personality. Having gone through the majority of life signing contracts and chasing paychecks, Thorne recognizes that she needs a break, but while abiding by stay-at-home orders amid the COVID-19 pandemic seems like the perfect time for that mental reset, the multi-talented artist admits that she doesn’t know how to stop working. “Everybody tells me, ‘Bella, come on, take a break,’ or ‘Calm down, Bella. You don’t have to do that much work,’” she says. “And I’m like, you don’t understand that for my brain, it’s a negative thing for me to take a break. It feels like a very negative thing to do because from such a young age, it’s been instilled in me to have a job and to be working.” Although Thorne might be ill-equipped for a vacation, staying productive is her strong suit, and she’s certainly forging ahead across realms of music, film, and creative writing in an effort to showcase the most raw form of her character to-date.
On the musical front, Thorne boasts an unmatched, vocal versatility. After expertly executing a multitude of emotional ballads, like the film-inspired “Walk With Me,” and pumping a plethora of pop-oriented hits, including the legendary anthem “Bitch I’m Bella Thorne,” the sound-defining artist now sets out to conquer a new genre: rap-infused punk rock. “I’m definitely always working against the grain when it comes to my music,” she explains. “Rock and rap are the two biggest influences in my sound. I have a song coming out featuring Hayley Cramer, one of the world’s top drummers, and I have a song with Three Days Grace coming too.”
Full Interview: vmagazine.com