Bella Thorne talks directing and starring in controversial new video with adult film star: 'My perfect idea for a woman'

Editor's note: The above video contains sexual content and profanity.

Bella Thorne, who was once best known for her work on the Disney Channel, has lately been in the headlines for her new video, Shake It.

Just after it was released on Feb. 22, the video, which features Thorne and adult film star Abella Danger dancing and rolling around on a bed together, was temporarily censored by YouTube because of "explicit content." It's since been returned to the site and has already garnered an impressive 1.9 million views.

Thorne directed the video, as well as starred in it, and she explains that Danger was an obvious choice for the role of her co-star.

"I wanted to use her for the video, because she's my… kind of my perfect idea for a woman," Thorne, who identifies as pansexual, tells Monét X Change in a new episode of The X Change Rate. "Every trait that she possesses, I'm like, yeah, I could date that girl. If they don't like her, don’t watch my music video and don't listen to my song and don't stream my s***, if you're gonna go talk s*** about this girl."

As Thorne saw it, she needed to keep good vibes on set.

"If we don't have fun while filming it, you will see that," Thorne says. "So it was so important that we had a loose set and that it was more just about me and Abella connecting and being like, 'Camera: roll, roll, roll, roll,' because we're already in a moment."

Throne's 23, so it's very different than the work she was doing just a few years ago on Disney's similarly named show Shake It Up, in which she co-starred with Zendaya. And Thorne acknowledges that breaking away from her Disney image was "very, very hard." She says people thought she was being sexy just to stir things up.

Bella Thorne appears on the Oct. 9, 2011 episode of
Bella Thorne appears on the Oct. 9, 2011 episode of Shake It Up. (Photo: Bruce Birmelin/© Disney Channel / Courtesy: Everett Collection) (©Disney Channel/courtesy Everett / Everett Collection)

Thorne also remembers that, while she once worried constantly about shattering the good girl image the world demands of female teen idols, especially those who work for Disney, she eventually just stopped worrying about it.

"When I turned 18, I was with my boyfriend Greg at the time and we had kissed in a Starbucks coffee shop, and someone got a photo of me doing it, and I… like, my heart, the anxiety, the pumping. I take her phone, I’m like, ‘I’ll take a photo with you. I just have to delete this photo. I’m so sorry. Like, if this gets out…,’ Thorne says, recalling that she quickly had a change of heart. "I remember looking at this photo, and I was like, ‘Have it. It’s fine. I’m fucking 18. I can do whatever the fuck I want now.’"

Five years later, what Thorne wants to do is make more music, and she has "so much more" of that in the works.

She's also set to star in another movie akin to her 2020 thriller Girl, for which she earned glowing reviews as the central character.

"I've been working my whole fucking life. It's time I get to do what I want creatively," she says. "Girl, people were really noticing, 'Wow. Bella Thorne's a good-a** actress. That girl can actually act.' And I'm like, 'Thank you!' So I know I just have to do more movies like this, that I love, and that are creatively for me."

— Video produced by Stacy Jackman

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