Bella Thorne is a force. While her co-stars and the creator of her new show, Famous in Love, sauntered into a screening at the Roxy Hotel in NYC earlier this week, Thorne entered the room with an incredible amount of energy, bounding in like a terrier. Dressed in a pink metallic miniskirt, a black rocker tee, combat boots, fishnet tights, a long-sleeve fishnet top, and a black beanie (if it sounds like a lot, you’re not wrong—keep on scrollin’), Thorne looked every bit the part of millennial It-girl and major Instagram queen. You couldn’t miss her if you tried.
In typical Thorne fashion, there was no topic off the table for the famously loquacious star. Exhibit A: Thorne’s hoping for more romance on the small screen with a female co-star. “I’ve been waiting for [series creator and producer] Marlene [King] to write a scene with me and [co-star] Niki [Koss],” Thorne dished when I asked if she was hoping for a romantic plot line similar to that of the surprise kiss between two of her female co-stars in the first episode.
“Just throw me something, just throw me a ball,” she added, her eyes sparkling with mischief. She also admitted that she had a great time kissing her other co-star, Georgie Flores, in the pilot (though it was what I’d term a platonic kiss—you’ll have to watch to find out what I mean). “When I got to kiss Georgie, it was quite fun,” Thorne said. “She just has pillowy lips that are just so beautiful and perfect.”
Photo: Freeform/Lorenzo Bevilaqua
Thorne, a child star who grew up in the public eye, also reflected on what it means to play a character who goes from zero to 100 in a blink of an eye. (Thorne’s character, Paige, is rocketed to stardom when she goes to an open call audition for a major role—and lands the part.) “As with anybody working in the industry, it definitely takes a lot for Paige to get there,” Thorne said. “She starts out very sensitive and naive, but she definitely grows.”
In certain moments in the series, “We were playing on is this whole glitzy glam, these photos that you see every day online, and you think, ‘Wow, their life must be perfect,” Thorne said, shaking her head. The series plays on the archetype of sad starlet getting fame but still feeling empty. At one point, it depicts Paige “getting in the car and looking at a photo of herself on the magazine, and she’s just not happy with it,” Thorne said. “She’s just not happy with her life somehow. Which I think is one of the really cool parts that we are going to play on Paige.”
The cast of “Famous in Love.” Photo: Freeform/Lorenzo Bevilaqua
Thorne actually played a huge part in getting the series from book (written by Rebecca Serle) to TV show. “I read the book by Rebecca when I was just getting off of Shake It Up when I was like 14 or 15,” she said. “I remember actually being in hair and makeup” reading it, she added. “It was so interesting and so very on point with actors and what I was going through at that time. It was the start of Shake It Up, so I really identified so much with what Paige was going through.”
Fast forward to more recently. “My manager and I were like, ‘OK, well, let’s do a TV show,’ and I was like, ‘This book,’ and he introduced me to Marlene King and he was like no, Marlene is going to literally serve this up on silver platter, you don’t understand. … And Marlene, she whipped it together.”
She really did. Though we’ve only watched the first episode thus far, we’re psyched to watch more of the show, which is full of drama and feels a lot like a modern, updated Gossip Girl. You can binge the entire series, which dropped last night, on Freeform and Hulu. And you should.