You may have been first introduced to Bella Thorne as one of the stars of the Disney Channel hit series Shake It Up!. For many kids, being a Disney Channel star is the ultimate dream (or at least it was when I was growing up). On a recent episode of the MTV podcast Happy Sad Confused, Thorne admitted the exact opposite.
"I didn't want to audition for Shake It Up!" she shared. "I literally said in my audition, 'I don't sing. I don't dance. I'm basically tone deaf, and I'm not funny. So I don't know why I'm here.' And everybody just started laughing. They all thought it was a joke." Before landing the role with Disney, Thorne had a reoccurring role on the HBO show Big Love; however, it wasn't making ends meet.
The actress and social media star then opened up about what motivated her decision to audition for a role she never wanted.
"We were about to live physically on the street if I didn't have that role," she said to podcast host Josh Horowitz. "We were living off Stouffer's coupons, and that's all we had to eat every day. That may not sound like a big deal to everybody, but when you're a single mom raising four kids with debt and you have nothing to your name, it's fucking shitty."
After Shake It Up! wrapped filming in 2013, Thorne found herself in the midst of a reality that many former Disney Channel stars have experienced. In her pursuit to help her family avoid homelessness, she had been professionally typecast. "It was really hard to get a job after the show. People didn't want to read me. They didn't want to see me because they were like, 'She's a Disney actress.'" Fighting to get past the stereotypes, she found herself effectively at square one. "It was like starting back at the bottom and working my way up all the way again," Thorne explained.
In the years since her stint with Disney concluded, the actress has been rebranding herself outside of the Disney franchise and has made a name for herself in Hollywood, recently landing prominent roles in films like Assassination Nation and The Death and Life of John F. Donovan. Also, she is starring in the new Freeform series Famous in Love.
Outside of her onscreen work, Bella Thorne is making a name for herself on social media taking joy in sharing her "crazy" self with her fans. She admitted on the podcast that it is her main source of income currently, having bought a house this past year funded solely on social media work. "My social media to me is how I pay my bills."