Bella Thorne knows what it’s like to be famous before you are old enough to drive. The 19-year-old Florida native was only 6 when she appeared in her first movie, and by the time she was 13 she had one of the top shows on the Disney Channel in “Shake It Up!”
How to handle fame is a big part of her character in the new Freeform series, “Famous in Love.” Paige (Thorne) is an ordinary college student who gets cast in a Hollywood blockbuster. In the series, based on the novel by Rebecca Serle, Paige instantly must deal with the new life as a star while trying to keep her life in order.
Even with the personal advantage, the TV series role is pushing Thorne because there are major differences between reality and fiction.
“It’s more of a challenge than some other roles I’ve played because I have to be a little bit more naive to everything. It’s really hard when you’re kind of jaded, which is what we will see Paige become,” Thorne says. “Jaded in the fact that she gets screwed over so many times in the series that she becomes a little bit more guarded.
“She’s never had this experience before.”
One big challenge Paige will face is the struggle between who she is and who everybody wants her to be. Thorne has faced that problem in her own career where she had no clue who she was, and it was not an enjoyable experience.
The series will take Paige through times when she finds herself, but then some form of Hollywood pressure will come rushing into her life. That will lead to some very low moments.
If the actress could give the character some advice, it would be to remain true to herself.
“Everybody will try and change you in this business, make you different with social media. People will try and tear you down and make you look like something you’re not, so you have to really remain and be kind of matter of fact of who you are and what you want to do and who you want to remain,” Thorne says.
Thorne’s career started along with the social media explosion. She prefers Snapchat because she’s convinced it’s the only social media site where people get to see exactly who she is.
One of her favorite things is when people tell her they watch her Snapchat posts.
“That makes me so happy because I really feel like they do know me. Because that is not me doing anything for anyone else. It’s me just randomly snapping whatever I think is chill throughout the day,” Thorne says.
Her series character will have a more difficult time on social media because she falls in love with three, maybe four, different people. Those kinds of multiple romances will get negative attention online.
All of those elements will come from the pen of series creator I. Marlene King, who was also the force behind Freeform’s big hit, “Pretty Little Liars.” King was convinced writing for “Famous In Love” would be easier because it would not have the complicated mythology of her other series.
That wasn’t the case.
“It’s actually quite more difficult. It’s harder because it really is just as twisty and curvy as ‘Pretty Little Liars,’ but the twists are all dramatic and just really more soapy twists and turns that come along the way,” King says. “It was really a different beast to try to tame.”
If you want to see more than just one episode of the twists, the entire first season of “Famous In Love” will be available to binge-watch immediately after the cable launch on the Freeform app, Freeform.com, On Demand and Hulu.
Famous In Love
- 9 p.m. Tuesday, April 18, Freeform