Exclusive: Disney star Bella Thorne talks about being the new Teenie on Big Love
Big Love fans may have noticed the absence of Barb and Bill Henrickson's third daughter, Tancy, "Teenie" toward the end of last season and the beginning of this season. As of the last episode of Big Love, Teenie is back; her disappearance on the show was explained as her being away at camp. You may have noticed something seemed different about Teenie. The character of Teenie has been replaced by actress, model, and dancer Bella Thorne. Teenie has reportedly been recast because the actress originally playing her (Jolean Wejebe) became too mature-looking for the role. Bella has several years' experience in the entertainment business and been seen on the Disney channel, over 40 commercials, and as a model for Guess.
You've been in the entertainment business as a model and actress. You won a Young Artist's Award for your portrayal of Ruth Spivey in My Own Worst Enemy and were nominated for a Young Actor's Award as a guest star on The OC. How do you prepare yourself to act in such diverse roles?
Bella: For Ruth Spivey, I could just be me. She was a bit nosy and loved her family so much; that's how I am in real life, so it was really easy. Christian Slater helped me on set, and we would run our lines together before shooting. He was so great that it gave me a lot to work with. The OC was fun because I watched that show and I knew I was preparing for a younger version of one of the characters [Taylor Townsend]. I knew that character well because she was my favorite person to watch on the show. I just had to play the role as more of a outcast. I could relate to feeling like an outcast because I suffered from dyslexia and had a hard time reading at school. The character of Taylor Townsend didn't have reading problems, but she was not popular and made was fun of, so I just used what I experienced and applied it to this character.
The OC was a huge show that made an indelible mark on pop culture. What else do remember from the set of The OC?
Bella: I just remember being so amazed on the set and excited to meet the cast because I was a fan on the show. I also remember how genuine and nice everyone was.
Teenie's storyline this season involves her own religious beliefs and her desire to make friends. You're a model and a successful actress: how do you relate to the very awkward and confused Teenie?
Bella: Well, when I met with producers on the role, they told me to just make the character my own and not to try and match the other actress. Taking on this role was challenging because my family is obsessed with this show and love all the characters--as much as any other TV viewer and maybe more! I was really nervous about taking the role over from Jolean [original actress playing Teenie] because she is amazing and my family has watched her grow up on this show. I originally thought I was going to play a different character, so when I found out I was going to be the new Teenie, it was awkward and confusing yet very exciting. The hair and makeup team at Big Love is so talented and they gave me a completely different look, which was different from the way I am used to seeing myself and that gave me a little something else to work with. I was able to see myself differently and work with that. So with the awkwardness of taking over a beloved role and my new look, I was able to relate to Teenie in a different way. As for the religious aspect, I go to church almost every Sunday. My beliefs may not be the same as other people in my church or even in my family, which is exactly what Teenie is going through. I also moved from another state and had to start over, which helps me relate to Teenie and her transformation.
Big Love is known for its intrigue and secrets. How much do the actors know in advance about the developing plots? What can we look forward to on Big Love?
Bella: We get the scripts weekly and there are always changes, so we pretty much only know the episode that we are shooting. Plus, Big Love producers keep a very close eye on those scripts! This season is shorter than the rest, so there is a lot of ground to cover. The wives are changing and deciding where they stand on Bill's political campaign. Everyone is growing in different ways this season, including Teenie!
Cara Lynn is an awesome character and will have her own struggles. The bond that she has with Nikki will be shown in a great way. Obviously, there is the kissing issue to deal with between Ben and Margene.* Sarah has her own beliefs about the family, and they will be further explored. Amanda [Seyfried] is one of the most amazing and kind actresses that I have ever known. She really acted like the bigger sister to me on that set and helped make filming easier. As for Teenie, she will really start to grow into the story this season in a bigger way; I just hope that the fans enjoy the ride with me! I've been completely blessed and am so thankful to have the opportunity to work with the actors, writers, director, and producers of Big Love. They are beyond talented and gracious.
I'm sure they're very happy to have you! As an artist, what can we expect from you next?
Bella: Well, I had fun filming a guest episode of Wizards of Waverly Place. I have a couple of films that are in pre-production, and I'm starting on a new pilot for Disney that has big dance routines called Dance Dance Chicago! I am a dancer, so it should be fun. After that, I am just waiting for Big Love to return!
Catch Bella Thorne as Tancy "Teen" Henrickson on Big Love, HBO Sundays at 8 pm.
'Lost': Cynthia Watros, Harold Perrineau will return
The cast and producers of "Lost" were very careful not to reveal anything about season 6 in their press tour session on Tuesday (Jan. 12). At least, not until the end.
At the end of their time, executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse announced that two more former cast members -- Harold Perrineau and Cynthia Watros -- will join the likes of Dominic Monaghan and Ian Somerhalder on the show's final season. Cuse said after the session that both Michael (Perrineau) and Libby (Watros) will return in the latter half of the season.
"All your Libby questions will be answered," Cuse said. Responded Lindelof: "No, they will not."
OK, but at least can we figure out who put her in the path of both Hurley (Jorge Garcia) and Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick)?
More tidbits from the "Lost" session and the post-panel press gaggle:
- I asked if the cast had had any "what the ..." moments in the making of season 6. "The premiere," Garcia said. "It was definitely like, 'What? Wait -- let me read that part again.'"
"I think I had to read it about three times before it actually made sense," Emilie de Ravin (Claire) added. As the room started to laugh, Lindelof shot back, "You're not helping. ... Get ready to scratch your heads, America."
- Cuse and Lindelof both said that while every single tiny question might not get answered by the end of the series, all the big ones will. "I think there are people who have certainly figured out significant pieces [of how the show will end], but they don't have enough information yet," Lindelof said. "We withheld key evidence. So if you're trying to figure out who killed Professor Plum, but we haven't shown you the candlestick is even a potential murder weapon yet, you can't get it. Starting with the season premiere this year, the remaining clues necessary to figure out where we're going to end the show are going to begin to fall into place."
- Lindelof on Elizabeth Mitchell: "She has been amazing with executing our vision of the show. That was something we presented to her when we told her, Hey, you're falling into a hole and sustaining some rather significant injuries, and we have some plans for you in the next season that will allow you to go and do another show, but we hope you will continue and stay with us for a little bit. And she was awesome."
- What about Walt? "Malcolm [David Kelley] is very tricky because of the age situation, it makes it very hard for him. We'd like to have him back, but he's aged and looks much older than his character. So that's the problem with him. We're still seeing if there's a way to work that out."
- Lindelof, Cuse and ABC Entertainment president Steve McPherson all reiterated that the end of the show will be the end. "It's a decision that I'm incredibly proud of, because it's made for the creative and for the viewers and not for financial reasons. To bastardize that would be kind of crazy. I think it can live online and platform. I hope they're not all at conventions, but I do think there's going to be a life for it off the show."
Amyrh Harris has a brand new video coming out soon for his latest song called "The Fishy Dance". Make sure to keep a look out for that song and the video. For now here's the preview left on his youtube page.
Earlier today actor Josh Duhamel organizes a Youth Run 4 Haiti. Several Star-kidz kids attended. Sterling Beaumon, Madeline Carroll (along with Spy Next Door Castmate Will Shadley), and Sammi Hanratty.
Bella Thorne stops by the Illia booth during the HBO Luxury Lounge held at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills on Saturday afternoon (January 16).
The 13-year-old Big Love actress also shopped around the Block Headwear, Rich Soil Clothing Company and Sportsclub/LA Gof Academy boothes during the gifting suite.
Bella tweeted about upcoming Disney show, Dance Dance Chicago, which has been rumored to take over the slot left by Hannah Montana when it goes off the air. She shared what it’s all about, "The show is about BFFs trying 2 make it on to a dance show. It’s rly [sic] funny and has lots of dance." Credit goes to Just Jared Jr
Who: Aidan and Andrew Gonzales Age: 4 Role: ex-Joey Jr, Big Love Info: Aidan and Andrew have quite an impressive resume having appeared in recurring roles on Big Love, ER, Y&R and The Unit. They have shot numerous guest spots, commercials for companies such as Wal-Mart and have completed jobs in the film and print industries. Happy 4th Birthday Aidan and Andrew! We hope you have a great day!
Posted on Jan 15 2010 by Lisa
Last week All My Children celebrated its 40th anniversary, and with that episode we got many of our kids past and present as well as episode stills featuring Lucy Merriam, Rory and Declan McTigue, Alex Ben and Caleb Eckstein, and Luc and Cole Amante. These stills can now be found in our gallery.
Posted on Jan 15 2010 by Lisa
Kwesi in I Can Do Bad All By Myself
This past Tuesday I Can Do Bad All By Myself was released on DVD. Star-Kidz own Kwesi Boayke portraying Manny one of the three main children in the movie. Caps have been added to the gallery. Make sure you pick up a copy for yourself. Kwesi and his fellow cast mates did a great job in this touching movie.
Extended Q&A with Will Scheffer, co-creator of BIG LOVE
Check out this extended Q&A with co-creator and executive producer Will Scheffer as he dishes on the HBO extended-family drama’s new season, including casting Sissy Spacek, why Teenie was replaced, and who’s primed to have the best season ever.
How does Cara Lynn (Cassi Thomson) fit specifically into Nicki’s story? There’s conflict between them, in terms of someone coming from the compound into the suburbs, and Nicki’s allegiances to the compound versus the suburbs. But more so than anything else, it’s about the two of them forging trust after a big traumatic abandonment and dealing with the legacy of the compound and plural marriage, and what it forces young girls into. Nicki is ferociously involved in mothering Cara Lynn so that the same mistakes that she has made and have been foisted on her by the compound are not repeated again. She’s really kind of folded into Nicki’s story. I think next year Cara Lynn will come into her own, and become a fully fledged character and have her own story lines, and I think next year the teen franchise of the show will be majorly reinvented with Teenie and Cara Lynn and Ben. (hmmmmm.)
Can you talk about the decision to recast Teenie, now played by Bella Thorne? Because our show is structured so tightly, we usually don’t have year-breaks between seasons in show time. We never have time for our characters to age with our actors, which is OK generally. Luckily Wayne, God bless him, hasn’t had a growth spurt yet, knock on wood. He just gets older and older and stays Wayne, you know? But unfortunately our Teenie [Jolean Wejbe] — our cute little pixie — just shot up. By the time she was 13 playing 11, she started to become tall and looked like she was turning into a 15-year-old. So what we decided to do was recast. And I think we’ve handled this in a way that is very flawless, so that when Teenie comes home from camp…it’s almost like you don’t even realize that there’s been a change. You kind of get a sense of how Teenie’s changed over the course of her time at camp, and how she’s gone from being this confused girl showing pornography to the neighborhood boys, and comes back as this more controlled, LDS kind of girl. You almost think well, that’s the same actress: Her character’s changed because she’s been away at an LDS camp. It was a very difficult decision to make, and we were afraid that it would bug people. But I feel now that it was the right decision, and it just gives us so many opportunities now to play more of Teenie, and have that character much more active in the life of the series.
What about Rhonda? She’s gone. There’s a storyline that got dropped. You know, we have so many characters. I have to say -- just for the sake of storytelling I’m happy that a couple got killed off last year. This is the most ensemble season that we’ve ever had…. Alby comes forward as a fully dimensionalized, understandable, sympathetic, mad person this year. Matt Ross has an Emmy-worthy season. (yesssss go matt) […] Lois and Frank become accessible to us, Wanda becomes accessible to us, like oh! That’s why she’s poisoning people. And I’m really excited about that, because these are not crazy people. Even though some of them are challenged with madness, you know? You really get to see why they are the way they are, and they become immediately sympathetic.
Why only nine episodes? HBO [was] really pushing us to get the show airing in January again, after last year’s January debut. So that was difficult for us — the way the show works, the kind of hands-on quality that [co-creator] Mark [V. Olsen] and I have on every single aspect of it. And the only way that they could make post-production ready to have an airable episode for [Sunday] was if we shortened the order to nine. So that’s the only reason. And so hopefully next year we’ll do 11 or 12, to get back to a fuller place.
Even with everything that you’re putting into these episodes, it’s still sort of like, wait: only nine episodes? I know. It was, well, OK, we’ll do it, because we wanted to get the show to the people sooner.… If circumstances could have been different, we could have just gone on in March. And hopefully we’ll go on in March next year, instead of January. And that’ll give us the time we need to do a couple more episodes, and also have a little bit less of a hectic season.
Yesterday was the premiere for the new Jackie Chan movie "The Spy Next Door." Not only do two of our Star-Kidz STAR in the film, but quite a few other Star-Kidz attended the premiere yesterday! This is nowhere NEAR all of the photos but it's a start. First off, we have our two stars of the film, Madeline Carroll (Farren) and Alina Foley (Nora). We are so proud of you two girls!
And now for the other kidz who attended, Harley Graham, Kwesi Boakye, Bella Thorne & Emily Rae & Savannah Rae.
Posted on Jan 11 2010 by Susan
Big Love Season 4
Is everyone ready for tonight's Season premiere of Big Love. Check your local listings and don't miss Big Love. With it's returning children Keegan Holst (Wayne), Spencer & Garrett Grey (Raymond), Hayden & Christian Nelson (Aaron), Ethan & Gavin Gallardo-Kent (Lester) and it's brand new faces Bella Thorne (Tancy), Chris & Zach Randazzo (Joey Jr), Ailish & Julia O'Connor (Nell).
When child actors Rory and Declan McTigue of Chester celebrated their sixth birthday on Oct. 3, they decided to do something more meaningful this year than simply have a birthday party with friends and family.
The twin brothers, who have appeared on "Law & Order" and "The Martha Stewart Show" and play actor David Canary's grandson on "All My Children," chose to forgo any birthday presents and instead asked their friends and family to make donations to Blythedale Children's Hospital in Valhalla.
On Dec. 17, Rory and Declan visited Blythedale to present nearly $2,000 they received in donations made to the hospital in honor of their recent birthday.
"We are delighted to receive this very special donation" said Betsy Bowman, chief development officer for Blythedale Children's Hospital. "The generosity of those who donated on behalf of Rory and Declan is deeply appreciated by everyone at Blythedale. We are especially grateful to Rory and Declan for making this all happen," While visiting Blythedale, Rory and Declan, along with their parents, toured the hospital and met with some of the children in the Early Intervention program.
"What a wonderful experience this was for our sons to see firsthand the tremendous work done by Blythedale's staff to help brighten the lives of children," said Sylvia McTigue, the mother of Rory and Declan.
The identical twins will appear in the upcoming HBO series "Boardwalk Empire," which is in production and being directed by Martin Scorsese.
The donation will go toward Blythedale's Journeys of Hope Campaign in support of a new sibling playroom at the Hospital. Blythedale Children's Hospital is constructing a new 55,760-square-foot inpatient building that will feature an expanded infant and toddler unit as well as dedicated units for specialized care and treatment of traumatic brain injuries and adolescent patients. The new building is scheduled to be completed in fall 2011.
Founded more than 100 years ago, Blythedale Children's Hospital has been a leader in developing innovative, multidisciplinary inpatient and ambulatory programs, as well as a community resource for children with a variety of medical concerns and their families. Through its inpatient and day hospital programs, Blythedale Children's Hospital treats more than 300 children daily, making it one of the largest providers of children's services in New York state. In addition, the hospital provides diagnosis and treatment for hundreds of outpatients with a wide range of medical difficulties. For more information about Blythedale Children's Hospital, visit www.blythedale.org.
Screencaps from Alexa Gerasimovich's World Trade Centre movie are now in the gallery.
Posted on Jan 05 2010 by Lisa
December 2009 Screencaps
December 2009 screencaps for All My Children are now up in the gallery
Posted on Jan 05 2010 by Lisa
Happy Birthday Carmen
Who: Carmen LoPorto Age: 13 Role: Jack Manning, OLTL Info: Carmen joined OLTL in the role of Jack Manning, son of Todd and Blair. Carmen started seeing a lot of screen time in 2009 as Jack developed his own stance in Llanview, never shy to voice his own say in his family's problems and relationships.
Happy 13th Birthday Carmen! We hope you have a great day!
Posted on Jan 04 2010 by Lisa
New Years Resolutions
ABC Soaps In Depth asked the stars what their New Years Resolutions are for themselves and what their character's should be. Both Kimberly McCullough (Robin, GH) and Jason Thompson (Patrick, GH) have Emma's safety in mind when coming up with their answers:
Kimberly- "Never put my baby in a tree again. Never, ever, ever again."
Jason- "Not let Robin take Emma out walking in a forest"
Posted on Jan 04 2010 by Lisa
THAT Morning Show
Aaron and Griffin Kunitz were featured in a segment of THAT Morning Show about a cause close to their family, the Los Angeles Diaper Drive. Screencaps are now in the gallery.
Posted on Jan 03 2010 by Lisa
December 2009 Screencaps
December screencaps are now in the gallery for General Hospital
Posted on Jan 03 2010 by Lisa
Wyatt on Make It or Break It
Here are Wyatt Smith's last two episodes of Make It Or Break It. Season 2 get's started tomorrow night. Make sure to tune it.
OLTL screencaps for December are now up in the gallery
Posted on Jan 02 2010 by Lisa
Days Update - First Update of the New Year!!
Week of Dec. 21st-25th and Dec.28th-30th. I think it should be noted that every child was seen in the past week and a half. :) I also think it should be noted that in the Christmas episode this year, Eric Martsolf's twin boys appeared in the hospital scenes (blue & green pajamas), along with Crystal Chappell's two boys and Lindsay Hartley's daughter (though we are unsure of which kids they are).
NBC Recaps and other photos from this past week have also been added to the gallery: