Bella Thorne is a big star (Big Love, Shake It Up, The Duff, etc) who wishes she had not stopped going to a school in third grade and been home schooled since because, she says, she did not really learn anything. And now, she says she finds her role on Freeform’s new Famous In Love particularly challenging because her character Paige is an ordinary college student who gets her big break after auditioning for the starring role in a Hollywood blockbuster, which, Thorne says is “hard when you’re jaded” like she is. On the bright side, “It’s really fun to play someone who is not very much like me at all.”
Last April, Freeform gave a series order to Famous In Love, its drama pilot based on Rebecca Serle’s romantic novel. The pickup came a year after the project was bought for fast-track development by Freeform (then ABC Family). It was ordered to pilot in October 2015.
Written by Serle and I. Marlene King, executive producer/co-showrunner of Freeform’s flagship drama series Pretty Little Liars, Famous In Love follows Paige as she navigates her new star-studded life and undeniable chemistry with her two co-leads, while discovering the highs and lows that come with being the new It Girl in town.
“Paige will struggle a lot with who she is and who everybody wants her to be, and I’ve been there….It’s not a fun road to go down to look in the mirror and have absolutely no idea who you are,” Thorne said dramatically.
“Everybody will try to change you and with social media people will try to tear you down and make you something you are not,” Thorne said, as it sometimes became unclear whether she was talking about her character or herself.
Things will get tough “for Paige especially, because she does fall in love with three characters, maybe four, who knows?” Thorne continued, becoming more clear.
“The media in the show will make her seem like she’s this or that, but she’s not. She’s just a young girl… Just because she’s photographed with somebody they’re not dating,” Thorne said, noting she was photographed with one of the new series’ actors on a trip and people speculated they are dating, which they are not, she said.
King told TV critics today that the book skewed too young for Freeform, so they’ve “really edged it up and made it more dramatic and sexy than the book.” To that end, King promised “occasional side boob, side butt, and amazing clothes, great hair and beautiful cast, as well as a menage a quatre” – if that’s a word – as Thorne hinted.