Get used to seeing Bella Thorne. She's pretty much everywhere already and she's really just getting started. Thorne, a 12-year-old who hails from Florida, has a resume that would make many veteran actors jealous, and it's a credits sheet she's built on talent and charm, tenacity and good looks. So far, she's been Christian Slater's daughter on My Own Worst Enemy, Billy Baldwin's child on Dirty Sexy Money, and Cheryl Hines' kid on In the Motherhood, and she's currently playing Teenie Henrikson, offspring of Bill Paxton's character, on Big Love. She's also acted on television in Entourage, October Road, and Mental, in the indie films Blind Ambition (2008) and Forget Me Not (2009), and has modeled for Mudd Jeans, Gap, and Ralph Lauren.
On the way are several more independent features, and a major guest spot on an upcoming episode of Wizards Of Waverly Place entitled "Max's Secret Girlfriend." TVStar recently caught up with Thorne -- who lives in L.A. with her mom, three siblings, four cats, and two dogs -- for an exclusive interview in which she talked about her projects old and new, why she got into acting, and how she's not let dyslexia stop her from achieving her goals.Let's start with Wizards of Waverly Place, even though your episode won't air until the summer. Considering some of the very serious shows you've acted on, how on your radar was Wizards before you came on to guest star?
Well, I watch Disney Channel and I love the show, but I never knew that I'd be on it one day. I was really happy when I got the call that I booked the role. It was the first time I was actually on a show my friends could watch.Your episode is entitled "Max's Secret Girlfriend" and you're playing a character named Nancy. Can we assume that Nancy is Max's secret girlfriend?
I think you could assume that!Give us a little more of a feeling for the episode, for your character.
The episode is very funny. It involves hilarious magic tricks and multiple story lines going on at once with my character.You've actually been doing regular and recurring roles the past couple of years, so what was your experience like, stepping back on to a set for a one-off, for a guest shot?
It was different for me because on most shows, I get to develop a relationship and get a feeling of the acting style and pace of the show, but when it is a onetime guest episode you kind of just go with the flow and make it up on the spot. The cast of Wizards are really close and they have a good thing going. They understand each other and know where they are going with each line.How welcoming was the cast and crew?
Well, the first person to come up to me was Selena Gomez and she said, "Hi, I'm Selena, welcome to the show!" They were all very welcoming and helpful. David Henrie cracked jokes every chance he got and he is funny. He keeps everyone laughing the whole time. Jake T. Austin was fantastic. He is actually a very serious actor, but a real joker, too. Maria Canals-Barrera is Cuban and from Miami and I'm part Cuban and from Miami, so needless to say she became a quick friend.Were you involved much with the fantasy elements of Wizards? Green screen? Visual effects, etc.? If so, how did dealing with those elements affect the performance you had to deliver?
I do have a scene that involved a green screen and it was the first time I worked with it. It wasn't too difficult because the director and cast were so supportive that I really felt like I was in the moment. I think green screens challenge an actor to really see and feel things differently than he or she normally would.What are the chances that you might return to the show next season?
I'm not sure, but I would love to be on another (episode) with that cast. I would also love the chance to work on Hannah Montana before the end of the season. Hello...Disney!Let's talk about Big Love. For you, what were the biggest developments this past season, in general and in terms of Teenie?
For me the biggest development was my dad, played by Bill Paxton, running for office and winning. I think it's fair to say that my character, Teenie, wasn't too happy with the decision. It was an interesting experience getting the opportunity to play Teenie. It was an amazing opportunity and also very challenging. I had to replace a great girl that fans loved for three seasons and the character was going in another direction. I had to try and find a place on such a big and talented cast while my character was feeling like an outsider. She had to be self-righteous and a bit too perfect of a Mormon, or at least the idea of what one would be like. I was very lucky that (creators/producers) Mark V. Olsen and Will Scheffer had such an open dialogue with me and that I was able to get direction from them. They are just so passionate about the show and actors. It was such a pleasant experience on set because the cast was very welcoming and I wasn't sure that they would be because I was not the original Teenie and I knew how much they loved and missed her.Did you watch Jolean Wejbe's work to stay in line with the character or did you avoid earlier episodes in order to make the character your own?
We were big fans of the show. I knew the character. I was told not to go in the same direction because Teenie was going to be different. There's a whole new back story, in a sense, that hasn't come out yet and she is different on every level due to the changes. She is not the same girl and she is becoming a teenager.Big Love is renewed for another season. What would you like to see for your character next year?
I was so happy when I found out. That cast and crew really deserve such wonderful things and a renewal is just the beginning. I would like to see Teenie deal with some very real teen issues. I'd like her to still have a twisted side, but really be able to connect to her family even if she doesn't agree with them. I think that Teenie really needs some of her dad's attention. I think that there may be issues that need to be resolved and that as busy of a family as her family is, there will be issues for her as a teenager. All of the kids need some parenting.Your whole real-life family seems to be in the acting game. Was acting what you wanted to pursue, or did you take that path because it was pretty much the family business?
Truthfully, my brother was the first one to become an actor. I loved fashion and modeling and that was what I did. When I saw him perform in front of a live audience I realized that I would really like to give acting a try. I was a bit nervous because I'm dyslexic and was not a confident reader. Once I overcame that fear, I really started to enjoy the process. Acting is my true passion now.You've already done an impressive amount of work. Which roles are you proudest of? Which experiences did you learn the most from so far?
I'm most proud of my time at Big Love and My Own Worst Enemy. My Own Worst Enemey was my first series-regular role. It was the first time someone said, "I really believe in you as an actor, I'm giving you a real shot." I learned so much from our exec producer David Semel and from Christian Slater. For Big Love, I'm just so proud that I had the chance to work on such a highly rated show. The cast is beyond the best and I got to work with them.You mentioned that you are dyslexic. What challenges has that presented for you in terms of your acting, reading scripts, etc., and, the reverse of that, too: in what way do you think it's perhaps helped you?
It was challenging because I was not a strong reader and so many times you have cold reads at auditions, plus I had to struggle to get through a script. On the positive side, my love for acting pushed me to become a better reader, to practice every night and day.According to IMDb, you have the films One Wish (2010) and Raspberry Magic (2010) wrapped. What's the basic set-up of each film? What kind of characters do you play? What was most memorable about the shoots? And what's happening with each of the projects?
One Wish is on DVD and Raspberry Magic is making its way through the festivals and gaining fans of critics and viewers. I play a messenger of God (an angel) in One Wish. I am able to grant one wish to someone that has always put their needs behind the needs of others. It is a funny and warm family film. In Raspberry Magic, I play a girl that has a troubled home life yet fights for her friend to help save her friend's family. It's a story about friendship and family. The most memorable part of Raspberry Magic is the friends I made and how cold it was in Oakland in December.IMDb also has a bunch of projects listed as being in pre-production, including Corpse, Taxidermist, Buttermilk Sky, and Under the Influence. How accurate is that list, and how close are those to happening?
Under the Influence is scheduled to start next month in New York. The schedule had been pushed due to the death of Brittany Murphy, because she was in the film. After that, the lead actors had scheduling conflicts, so it has been tough. I, for one, was not available during much of January or February. When I spoke with the creative team behind Corpse, they were very confident about the project starting this year. The director and creator had a huge project that ran late and we missed the opportunity to shoot in the conditions that were needed. Buttermilk Sky and Taxidermist are produced by the same company and they have had some great work. Independent films have had a tough time with financing in the market. I'm hopeful that both of these films will begin (shooting) soon.If you could map out your life and career from here, how would you like things to play out?
I would love to have a hit show on Disney, make some fantastic films, work with J.J. Abrams, Quentin Tarantino, Adam Shankman, Kenny Ortega, and Michael Bay. (I'd also like to) go to USC, start my own charity for less fortunate kids that are looking to follow their dreams, and get more cats.
Credit goes to Popstar