EXCLUSIVE: Bella Thorne Talks Blended
By: Lynn Barker
You might have been a fan of the Disney Channel series “Shake It Up” starring Zendaya Coleman and Bella Thorne as teen dancers on a local TV show. Even if not, you’ve probably heard of 16-year-old red-head Bella. Her star just keeps rising. She sings, dances and is writing her own book series!
Coming up, one right after another, are several films that Bella has made since her TV series was cancelled last year. First up? Blended, a fun, hilarious family comedy film in which she co-stars with Drew Barrymore and Adam Sandler. Their two families end up on the same African vacation and, of course, the parents fall in love. We got on the cell with Bella for an exclusive chat about her blooming career, new film, pet peeve about boys and much more!
Kidzworld: Did your TV series “Shake It Up” end like you wanted it to or did you feel there were loose ends needing tying up?
- Bella: I definitely felt like there were loose ends. I don’t think they ended it in the best way. It would have been great had we had an hour and been able to say goodbye to these characters. Many teenagers lived with our characters. We said goodbye in a way that wasn’t necessarily amazing.
Kidzworld: Now you are on to new challenges. Drew (Barrymore’s) character in Blended seems to really help your character Hilary come out of her shell and look a little hotter. Working with her, did she seem more like a big sis or a mom to you?
- Bella: I love Drew. She’s between a big sister and a mom. She’s just amazing in every way possible. I absolutely adore and love her. I see her all the time and she’s like “Pickles!”, she screams across the room. I don’t know where that came from. She doesn’t remember either but she stuck with it.
Kidzworld: You did get to dance a little bit in the film. Did you choreograph that or was it put in because you have a lot of dance experience?
- Bella: It was put in because Adam (Sandler’s) daughter loved the dancing (on “Shake It Up”) but my character (in Blended) isn’t a great dancer. She’s awkward and funny so it was kind of more fun and ad-libbing, just going with it. There was a little bit that was choreographed because even if you’re just free-styling you want to choreograph some of it so it still looks clean. The rest was more like just whatever.
Kidzworld: Did you actually shoot on location in Africa? What was that like?
- Bella: We shot there. We didn’t really have a lot of time to do things off set but there were cool things we got to do during the scenes because it’s a family vacation in the movie so we are doing all the stuff you would do in Africa; the safaris. We have scenes like that.
Kidzworld: What was your major impression of Africa?
- Bella: Just the culture and that they speak like ten different languages! People are so smart speaking all these different languages. It was crazy.
Kidzworld: Among the kids and teens in the film, did anybody goof off or play pranks on set?
- Bella: No, we weren’t really pulling pranks. We were pretty professional. Some of the kids were new to the job so they were really on their best behavior all the time. I’d say if this were our second movie with Adam and Drew, we’d be joking around more but we didn’t really. Adam is so funny no matter what. He is just hilarious.
Kidzworld: How are you like your character Hilary a little bit and how are you unlike her?
- Bella: I’m like Hilary in that I’m a tomboy. I’m very awkward and dorky like she is. I just do that in general. But she’s trying to act like a girl and that’s so “me”. She’ll see a cute boy and say “I need to be classy” and a girl but I just end up knocking over things. So does she. But, I’m not shy and I’m always jumping out of my skin which she never is.
Kidzworld: What do you think is great about blended families and what might be tough?
- Bella: I think what’s hard is learning each other’s differences and accepting them. That’s a thing many families go through; divorce or kids are adopted, whatever it is. It’s very interesting to get to know a person from the inside out because you are with them every single day. You have to wake up to them and share the bathroom and the shavers and you’re like “ugh! I really don’t want these people in my life”. But, you learn to love them for who they are which is really amazing.
Kidzworld: What was your cover girl shoot for “Seventeen” magazine like?
- Bella: It was definitely fun but when you’re being shot in a bathing suit you just hope you look good. There are sure unflattering angles with me like with everybody so it’s just like “Oh, that is NOT a cute angle”. I didn’t get approval so I just have to hope (they picked) one of the good ones.
Kidzworld: You have your first music album coming out. How would you classify your sound?
- Bella: It’s very different. There are a lot of genres on the album and I’d say it represents me and what I listen to; a lot of different stuff. There is a lot of ‘80’s music then I have indie, more Coachella music and my hip-hop that I listen to a lot. Not sure when it will come out yet.
Kidzworld: And you have also been writing? You have a book series coming out called “Autumn Falls”?
- Bella: Yeah. I do have a book series coming out November 11th called “Autumn Falls”. You can pre-order it now. It’s about this girl named Autumn Falls and she moves to Miami when her dad passes away and he leaves her a journal to write in. She’s like “Thanks, dad. Die on me but leave me a journal? Okay.” When she writes in the journal, things come to life. He gave it to her to help her through high school but since she’s dyslexic, they come to life a little wonky, backfiring on her throughout the book.
Kidzworld: That sounds really good! Could you tell me a bit about all the movies you have coming out? You are in a ton of stuff!
- Bella: Yeah, Alexander (and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day) is coming out after Blended. That should be fun. The previews just came out and you can go look at it. It’s kind of funny. I play Dylan Minnette’s girlfriend. Then Big Sky will come out after that which is a really good film about a character who is agoraphobic (afraid of open spaces).
- Then Home Invasion which is a pretty realistic story about a home invasion that happens to this family then Amityville Horror. I just wrapped it. I’m here talking to my director right now. You see the famous house and know what happens in there but it isn’t a re-make. It’s a very different story.
Kidzworld: What is your pet peeve on a date?
- Bella: I really don’t like douchey guys, not my thing. I don’t like people that are overly confident and trying to impress you. I think what is really impressive is if people are able to be themselves; be dorky and funny. When they can let go and just be them, that impresses me.
Kidzworld: What music artist or band are you really stoked about right now?
- Bella: I like the Arctic Monkeys. An actor I really love is Dane DeHaan (from the Sci-Fi movie Chronicle and Dane plays Harry Osbourne in the new Spider-Man film). He’s married but I can still look.
Kidzworld: You bet! Have you had a chance to read any good books lately?
- Bella: One of my favorite all-time books is “Stolen” (by Lucy Christopher). You should look at it. It’s really good. It’s kind of a twisted, sad love story.
Kidzworld: If you ever get to college, what would you want to study?
- Bella: I definitely want to study directing and writing.
Kidzworld: What is a typical day like for you when you aren’t working? Almost every young actor/actress I talk to says “sleeping”. (we laugh).
- Bella: Definitely. When I’m not working I’m sitting in my bed eating Top Ramen and watching “Bones” on TV. It’s my favorite show. I love it when they say phalanges (bones in the toes and fingers).
Kidzworld: What do you want your fans to know about Blended and why will they enjoy seeing it?
- Bella: I just hope that like it just as much as I loved filming it. I hope they laugh and cry and have a good time and that one of the characters reminds them of themselves.
Kidzworld: One last general message to your fans?
- Bella: I really just want them to look at everything I do and learn from each character. I’m working all the time and playing different people. I really found myself as a person doing that. I honestly believe that and I hope they can experience these characters’ lives as I am doing.
See Blended in theaters May 23rd!