‘Famous in Love’: I. Marlene King Previews Her New Hollywood Cinderella Story

Dario Torres as bodyguard, Bella Thorne as Paige, and Christopher Allen as bodyguard (Eric McCandless/ABC)

An aspiring actress lands the role of a lifetime and becomes an instant celebrity — Pretty Little Liars showrunner I. Marlene King saw that happen before her very eyes with the stars of that show.

So, she’s seen firsthand the experiences of the main character in her new Freeform drama, Famous in Love, which premieres Tuesday. Bella Thorne stars as college student Paige Townsend, who is thrust into the spotlight when she lands the coveted lead role in a major movie.

“I wanted to do a sort of female-driven Entourage,” King tells Yahoo TV. “I loved that show and I loved those stories, and I thought it’d be great to see a girl’s point of view of that journey. Also, seeing our Pretty Little Liars cast grow up and become famous and big giant starlets gave me a lot of fuel for that type of show.”

King wanted to do something different after PLL, which ends its seven-year run this spring. So, no mysteries, no villainous “A,” no deaths (for now). And yet, “The themes are very similar,” she acknowledges. “It’s friendship, betrayal, relationships, love, loss.”

Georgie Flores as Cassandra, Bella Thorne as Paige, and Charlie Depew as Jake (Eric McCandless/ABC)

As Paige navigates the wild, tumultuous Hollywood scene, her identity is tested and her friendships are tested.

Hollywood is “a lonely place to be, because you’re in it by yourself and you have to learn who you can trust and who you can’t,” King notes. “It’s a wild, wild ride.”

A big part of that wild ride is romance — Paige may want to take a geometry refresher, because “Of course, there’s a love triangle … It’s really a love square.”

First, there’s Paige’s best friend, Jake (Charlie DePew). “They’ve been pining for each other for a long time, but neither one of them wants to mess up their friendship,” King says.

But just as it looks like they’re finally about to get together, here comes Rainer Devon (Carter Jenkins), Paige’s co-star.

Bella Thorne as Paige and Carter Jenkins as Rainer (Eric McCandless/ABC)

“She has these very romantic scenes with the character of Rainer, who’s a big, giant movie star. She wants to keep their relationship professional, but then they have these great, sexy time scenes they have to do in the movie,” King explains, then laughs, “The struggle is real.”

Then, there’s bad boy Jordan Wilder (Keith Powers), who has a history with Rainer. “All of these characters have secrets,” she teases.

Keith Powers as Jordan and Carter Jenkins as Rainer (Eric McCandless/ABC)

And as Paige deals with her newfound fame, she just may run across some familiar faces.

“I hope I can get some of the Pretty Little Liars to come on the show and play themselves, which would be really, really fun,” King says. “I was talking to Ashley Benson about that recently. We thought that would be a blast.”

Famous in Love premieres Tuesday, April 18 at 9 p.m. on Freeform.

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