Photo: REX USA/Picture Perfect.
For the record, it's not a good idea to tell Bella Thorne what to do. The former Disney actress, who shares the screen with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore in the upcoming Blended, is self-aware enough to ignore the naysayers. And, considering Thorne's all of 17 years old, this point of view is pretty impressive — and very refreshing. She's using her position to spread the love to her legions of fans, and to let everyone know that even movie stars aren't immune to bullies.
"I was bullied a lot in school when I was younger for not knowing how to read," she admits. "I'm dyslexic. I still struggle with it, especially when I get scripts."
Her character in Blended finds herself on the business end of a whole lot of mockery, as well. As the daughter of a single dad (Sandler), she takes the tomboy lifestyle to a whole new level (think super short hair and a wardrobe that consists entirely of tracksuits). It's a far cry from the feminine look Thorne's known for, and the transformation process — as well as the ridicule the character received — proved eye-opening for the starlet. "There are a lot of bullies out there who want to tell girls how to look; her eyes are too far apart, or her lips are too thin," she says. "That really bugs me. Girls should stick together and see all imperfections as perfections. That's what makes us beautiful. As cheesy as it sounds, I really believe that."
So, what's the secret to this enviable self-confidence? There really isn't one — Thorne practices total detachment. "I'm pressured all the time to look a certain way and I just don't care," she explains. "I just think that people should look how they want, because I'm gonna look like this." It might be easier said than done, but Thorne walked the talk during her recent cover shoot for Seventeen.
Photo: Courtesy of Warner Brothers.
Thorne appeared in the July issue of the magazine, which meant a cover-shoot wardrobe of swimsuits and not much more. "I definitely had reservations about being photographed in a bathing suit," she says with a grimace. "It's a little nerve-wracking…there are a lot of angles that aren't cute. You just have to be confident and hope that they pick a good photo…I think it turned out really nice."
It's clear from her bold outlook that she's handling the delicate transition from Disney to the big screen just fine. Thorne credits the influence of positive role models like Emma Stone and Emma Watson, as well as her complete disinterest in indulging in the more wild side of Hollywood. (She'd rather stay in bed watching Bones and eating ramen, thankyouverymuch.) But, there is one thing she hasn't gotten used to: the paparazzi.
"There are some paparazzi who are very nice — I'll stop and give them the picture, and they'll say thank you and walk away," the actress explains. "But, there are others who never leave you alone. They'll follow you way too long and even get on the top of your car if they have to. I don't think that's necessary — get your photo and leave me alone."
Thorne is so self-assured for a teenager — or, really, for any age — that spending time with her leaves you wondering what does trip her up. The answer? Playing basketball with Adam Sandler (a scene from Blended required them to play a rough-and-tumble game of two-on-two). "I had to learn how to play basketball for that scene, and it was so awful," she says with a laugh. "Adam is so freaking good, you don't want to play against him even if you do know what you're doing."