bella thorne is our generation’s regina george
Hollywood’s mean girl has moved on from the fake compliments and pink Wednesdays of a decade ago, and Bella Thorne nails it in new film The DUFF.
We've seen Selena Gomez turn into a Spring-Breaking star, Miley Cyrus into worlds most controversial feminist pop idol, and the latest to join the line of Disney starlets turned legit artist is 17-year-old Bella Thorne. You might remember her co-starring as Cece Jones in Shake It Up, or even as little Taylor Townsend in The OC, but Bella is almost unrecognisable now as the confident, flame-haired vixen in the latest high school chick flick, The DUFF, directed by Ari Sandel. No, it's not the beer Homer drinks in The Simpsons, it's actually based on the novel of the same name, and stands for "Designated Ugly Fat Friend," and apparently every friendship group has one. Bella is not that one. Playing mean girl Madison alongside the brilliant Mae Whitman as Bianca - the "DUFF" - Bella Thorne brings a new kind of biatch to our screens, one who's own inner insecurities match Bianca's outer ones.
How did you get involved with the film?
I read for the role of Bianca because that was the character that I liked, but then Ari [Sandel] told me I wasn't going to be Bianca, that he wanted me to look at another role, so I looked at Madison. Madison was not my favourite character, but I really wanted to be a part of the film and I really wanted a chance to work on it, so I said yeah.
What attracted you to the script?
Definitely the comedy, and I love the message behind it. It's really interesting, you know; putting everybody in a box; that you'll always be labelled your whole life, and it's kind of your job to climb out of that box and prove to people that you can be more than that.
Your character's not in the book, how did you prepare for the role?
I watched Jawbreaker, I felt my character was going to be most like Rose McGowan in Jawbreaker than any other mean girl you've seen before, at least any that I could think of, because a lot of mean girls are blonde with big boobs, and ditzy, and my character's not that at all. Even in the film, we made sure that was very downplayed, because when I agreed to do that role I had already played a mean girl, and that girl was like a valley girl, kinda dumb. I was like, I can't play another character who's the same as one I've already done. So we made sure that she was the opposite. In the movie I'm not in skirts and played out with lots of make-up, I'm literally wearing black jeans and a tank top with a leather jacket the whole movie. And my attitude's not all in your face and then mean behind your back… I'm just mean the whole time!
How did you decide what you wore?
Ari actually came to set when I was on Amityville Horror, so I had blood all over my face, and because my character's a goth in Amityville, I had black lipstick on and deep, black eye make-up and my hair was all stuck to my face from all the blood and he was like, "I actually think this works for this character, besides all the blood, I see her like this."
Do you like horror films?
I love horror films, I've watched so many! I remember when I was working on Amityville and Jason Blum was there, and I'm such a big fan, Blumhouse has done a crazy amount of horror that I love. And he comes to set and I'd had five shots of espresso because I'm so tired, and I was like "what about this and this and this?" and couldn't stop talking! Halfway through he was just like, "this is amazing, I have to go…" and my whole world was crushed, I just blew it. But then my agent called and was like "she's one of the best actresses that's ever walked on my film sets," and I was so happy!
Did you draw on any of your own experiences for The DUFF?
I'm still in high school. And I haven't been to high school; I've been home-schooled since third grade, so I couldn't really give you an answer to that.
Do you have a favourite high school movie?
Jawbreaker is one of my favourites. I don't know how you couldn't love Heathers. I love Mean Girls, She's All That, but mostly just Jawbreaker.
What advice would you give to girls feeling insecure?
Imperfections are what make you beautiful, I know that sounds cheesy, but it's true. People say that wearing glasses is not a good thing but I love glasses. People say braces aren't a good thing, and I'm obsessed with coloured braces. Freckles, I die! I want freckles so bad and I can't get any. Sometimes I draw fake freckles on. People literally tell me, "you're lucky you're pretty, because you're laugh is so horrendous." I embrace it all the time and just laugh in people's faces, and it's like, "everything's good until you open your mouth!" Those are just the things you have to embrace, and if you are being truly you, and not trying to impress anybody, you will find people who like you for that. Like my best friend, Bella, is also a weirdo (she dated my brother, that's how I know her, my name's Bella, yes I know it's weird), but she loves all the quirky things I like too. Those are the people you'll find in life.
You're a musician and an author too, where do you get your ambition from?
I guess I just grew up hungry. I was not raised as a rich kid or anything like that, when my father died we were living off coupons that we'd pick up off the street and we didn't really have a home to live in. It was me, my mum - a single parent raising four kids - and I suppose I get my hunger from her, from watching her struggle.
You mentioned before that you're a Marvel fan, is that a dream role of yours?
Oh my gosh yeah! I'm a feminist, so I believe in women being badass. One of my favourite animations is Brave, because she does not need no guy. I love all female superheroes, because they don't need a man in their life.
What other actors and actresses do you like?
I love Christian Bale, Julianne Moore, Emma Stone, Tom Hardy, and I love Catherine Heigl's speech, when she came out in Knocked Up and she was like, "everyone thinks I'm this girl who just popped up? I've literally been working for this amount of crazy years and just got noticed." Those are the people you look at and you just know that they're meant to be somebody.