Posted: 11/20/2008


Introducing Bella Thorne

by Laura Tucker

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Sometimes it can be hard to lead interviews and come up with interesting things to talk about, and when talking recently with Bella Thorne, a young up-and-coming star of TV and film, I wasn’t sure I would have enough to discuss with this 11-year-old girl. I was dead wrong, as she turned out to be one of my more favorite interviews. Once I got her to open up, I found a delightful young woman inside.

Bella is promoting Dirty Sexy Money, in its second season on ABC. She plays the daughter of Billy Baldwin and granddaughter of Donald Sutherland and Jill Clayburgh. She’s not a regular, but appears on the show sporadically, so I wondered if that was hard for her to only resume that character occasionally. She responded “definitely not,” as she loves working with the actors and “everybody is so nice.”

Dirty Sexy Money wasn’t Bella’s only television role, though, as she is also appearing as Christian Slater’s daughter on My Own Worst Enemy. Tragically, this show has been cancelled, which is a shame, as I thought it was one of the best new shows on this season. I asked Bella if the cancellation of this show would allow her to do more episodes of Dirty Sexy Money. She was hoping it would and also mentioned she just signed to do a new movie, Raspberry Magic, that starts filming in December, so she’ll be able to devote more time to that as well.

Looking at Bella’s picture, she just looks so familiar to me, and running down her resume, I see why. Not only has she had many guest starring roles on TV, she’s also been in a lot of print work and commercials, having started her career modeling. She started making the switch to acting, as every time she watched others acting, “it looked so fun!” I asked which she preferred, modeling or acting, and she seemed to like them both the same. She likes being different people, and with each separate role, whether it’s on TV, in film, or in a commercial, she gets to be someone else, just for a little while.

Another upcoming role for Bella will be starring in the thriller Forget Me Not with Cody Linley and Carly Schroeder. Of course these days we all know Cody better for his appearance on Dancing With the Stars. Did Bella watch him dance? Of course! She thought he was great and loved him in his interviews. She admits she’d like to someday be on Dancing With the Stars herself. She’s never taken any dancing classes, other than walking in, then walking right out, of a dancing studio, yet she still dances about eight hours a day. I told her I attributed that to her being such a free spirit.

Forget Me Not seems like such a scary movie, and I asked how Bella handles being in that environment, wondering if it took some of the scariness away to work so closely in the film itself. In the first place, she told me, she loves being scared and loves scary movies. Yet, she also admits that seeing the way a horror film is made completely takes any scare away. Between the cutting of scenes, etc., it just isn’t scary.

It was with my next question where I got to really feel I understand Bella and was getting to know her much better. I asked what her dream role would be, and she replied any and all of them with much exuberance, then admitted that sometimes things are difficult for her because she’s dyslexic. She said she didn’t want to hide it and wanted to put it out there.

I completely understood and shared with Bella that my own daughter, just one year older than her, also had a learning disability. I shared that I knew how difficult it could be to come home from school knowing that you just worked twice as hard as anyone else for the same amount of work. She was glad to hear someone else finally understood how she felt, and said sometimes she wants to just collapse when she gets done with her schoolwork.

Bella received help for her dyslexia through classes at Sylvan and now says she loves to read. She likes to read things that really happened and that happened a long time ago, because it’s cool to get it all figured out. I told her that means she’s more of a non-fiction person and somewhat of a history buff. Bella is now home-schooled, after some of her teachers didn’t understand her learning style very well. She explained that one teacher told her, “Bella, even though you’re pretty still have to do your classwork.” She felt the teacher picked on her forcing her to read out loud, even though she knew she struggled with it. I think it’s absolutely terrible for this teacher to not understand her struggle.

I’ve had my own frustrations, though different, with my daughter’s education, so I definitely understand, and it also made me feel like I understood Bella. I understand her struggles, and I think I understand what gives her joy. I think like many young girls she just likes to have fun. I also found such warmth from this young girl, which was at first surprising, but not after I compared her to my own daughter. I think Bella Thorne’s career is one I’m going to enjoy following.

Laura Tucker  is the webmaster of Reality Shack and its accompanying Reality Shack Blog, provides reviews at Viewpoints, and provides entertainment news pieces at Gather. She is also an Associate Instructor and 2nd dan black belt in tae kwon do with South Elgin Martial Arts. Laura can be reached at

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