Actress, singer, model, author… it’s fair to say that Bella Thorne has got the whole multi-tasking thing down. And if you haven’t heard of her yet, then get yourself on Google, stat. Because Bella Thorne is something of a big deal – the 17-year-old former Disney Channel star is also properly Insta-famous, with four million followers. Basically, people are obsessed with her (at the Q&A I attend, one of her fans is actually in tears because she loves her so much), and when we meet, I can tell straight away that it’s going to be fun. It’s so fun, in fact, I emerge a fully-fledged Bella Thorne fan.
But what’s she doing in the UK? Well, she’s promoting her latest film, The DUFF (which stands for ‘designated ugly fat friend’), a film about Bianca, a high school student, who discovers that she’s the ‘DUFF’ of her friendship group. Bella plays Madison Carter, the most popular girl in the school, who’s also the most horrible. Think of it like a modern-day Mean Girls, but with extra extra meanness now that social media is all up in your face.
I had a chat with Bella to find out all the crucial stuff about her, like her favourite emoji and what her spirit animal is… because that’s what matters, right?
The Debrief: Hey Bella! We saw your new film, The DUFF, last night and thought it was really funny!
Bella Thorne: Aw, you did? Thank you!
DB: Yeah, we really enjoyed it! How was it making the film?
BT: It was awesome filming, I’m not gonna lie. Everyone was so sweet and nice, Robbie [Amell, who plays Wesley] and May [Whitman, who plays Bianca] are honestly hilarious, but I didn’t even realise how funny they could be until I did the press tour with them. We just can’t do interviews together – it’s too much, we just laugh.
DB: That sounds so fun. So the school in the film is what everyone thinks of when they think about an American high school, and it seems different so British schools...
BT: Yeah, it’s so interesting, like, you guys aren’t mean here! Everybody keeps telling me that and asking, ‘Did you guys over-act this?’ I’m like, ‘Are you kidding?!’ Being called fat and ugly is not the worst thing you can be called in an American high school.
DB: So, that’s what high school is like in America?
BT: Oh, it’s definitely accurate. People tell me how mean it [the film] is, but, NEWS FLASH: high school is mean! Kids are committing suicide after being bullied in high school – that’s how terrible the bullying has gotten now. So, if we dumbed it down for the big screen, honestly, everyone would be calling us out. There’s a lot worse things that can happen than what we portray.
DB: People are definitely mean at schools in the UK, but it’s less obvious! If you were in high school, which group do you think you’d be in?
BT: I would be labelled the weird one or the funny one, because I’m really weird.
DB: Like good weird?
BT: No, really weird.
DB: That’s a good clique to be in! What if you had to choose between Mean Girls and Clueless?
BT: Oh, that’s a tough one! That’s really mean! That’s like asking me to pick my favourite child, it’s really awful, but… Mean Girls. I love Clueless, don’t get me wrong, but I know every single line to Mean Girls, so technically I probably love Mean Girls more.
DB: Us too. I try and get Mean Girl quotes into everyday conversation...
BT: Yeah, definitely! It fits into everything.
DB: Do you have a favourite app?
BT: Hype Machine and Snapchat. Snapchat is my life. People think that I’m obsessed with Instagram, but oh no, Snapchat is a different level of obsession. I watch people’s stories, but I take my stories very seriously. And Hype Machine is a music app that my close friend is developing. It’s kind of like a Soundcloud, where you can get any remix at anytime.
DB: Snapchat is great. What’s your most used emoji?
BT: I have three! The emoji that has the smiley, pink face and the tongue sticking out to the side. I really like that one because it’s a cross between, ‘I’m flirting with you, but I’m not trying too hard.’ I use that angry face a lot, the red one that just goes ‘grrr’. And the gun I use with other emojis, like, ‘Shoot me, this is terrible.’
DB: We can totally relate. What would your spirit animal be?
BT: It would be a sugar glider, because I’m very emotional and I don’t like to be lonely.
DB: We don’t think we know what that is?!
BT: Oh my God, please go have a look. It’s literally, a cross between a bat and a rat, and it’s the cutest thing. And they fly. They glide and, basically, if you leave them alone, they’ll actually die of depression. Not that I’d do that! But I do like company.
DB [Looking at pic.] Oh wow, SO cute. What’s your most overused word?
BT: ‘Dude’ and ‘legit’. And ‘legit butt-hurt’. If I say like, ‘I’m legit butt-hurt,’ people know not to go near Bella ’cause she is legit butt hurt. I can’t even tell you the amount of times that I’ve said ‘legit’ or ‘butt-hurt’.
DB: Butt-hurt! We love that! Does it mean annoyed?
BT: So, in my group we tease each other, and if you’re teasing someone and they don’t find it funny, its like, ‘Oh my God, you’re so butt-hurt right now!’ But now we use it so much it’s taken on a different meaning, like if someone is messing me around I’ll be like, ‘I am getting legit butt-hurt right now.’
DB: We’re definitely going to start using it. What’s your favourite country you’ve visited?
BT: Erm, my bedroom. I really love my bedroom. It’s got Netflix and my kitchen is right there, so I just have to step outside my bedroom make a Top Ramen and sit in my bed, there’s my TV, boom.
DB: Sounds ideal! Final question before we wrap up: what three things could you not live without?
BT: My phone, cats and my mom.
DB: Solid choices. Thank you, Bella, you’ve been so much fun!
BT: Thank you! Stay butt-hurt!
Like this? Then you might also be interested in:
Follow Chemmie on Twitter @chemsquier
This article originally appeared on The Debrief.