For the past seven years, Troian Bellisario has been telling the drama-filled story of Spencer Hastings on Pretty Little Liars. But with the series ending approaching fast — the final season premiered on Tuesday — Bellisario has got her eye on telling a different story to young women, one that's extremely personal to her In fact, the star wrote it herself.
Bellisario wrote, produced, and stars in an upcoming movie based on her own battle with anorexia. The 31-year-old penned the script for Feed eight years ago, before Pretty Little Liars started. Bellisario opened up about the journey in a new interview with Rotten Tomatoes. "I sat down and I wrote a version of my own story. It’s not the exact events, but what I wanted to do with the film was get the audience to understand what it sounds like and what it feels like to be struggling with that illness," Bellisario said. "I struggled with anorexia for many years and one of the most difficult things about that was it was very tough for me to explain to my family and friends why it was so hard for me to disengage with that."
The actress continued, explaining that part of what drove her to make the film, co-starring Tom Felton, was a desire to have others understand the illness that afflicts her and so many. "It’s not a disease you can see, you just hear something in your head that tells you not to eat — for many, many different reasons for different people," she explained. "And I realized that I wouldn’t be able to fully heal until I could get people that I loved to empathize with that, to understand where I was coming from." She added, "I’m really, really proud of it. I’m very excited to share it with people."
This isn't the first time Bellisario has spoken candidly about her eating disorder. Right before the election in November 2016 the Clinton supporter released a PSA produced by ATTN about her experience with anorexia and the importance of health care in addressing mental health issues. (Click ahead to watch it.)