Photography by Alan Gelati
Styling by Mikiel Benyamin
These days, it seems the speed of career success has a direct relationship to one's social media platform. If that's true, then with 21.5 million Instagram followers, Bella Thorne seems destined to continue her rise and stay in the spotlight for a long time coming.
The actress, whose 22nd birthday is today, October 8, first achieved international fame thanks to a successful run on Disney Channel, where she starred alongside Zendaya on Shake It Up. She established her presence on film in projects like The DUFF, The Babysitter, and Midnight Sun with Patrick Schwarzenegger, and is currently filming for her starring role in Southland alongside the likes of Jake Manley (The Order) and Amber Riley (Glee). Written and directed by Joshua Caldwell; the plot follows a couple on the hunt for notoriety, posting criminal activity on social media. Obsessed with the growth of followers, they become the protagonists in a path that leads to robberies, police chases, and even murder.
Thorne and I meet on the set of her new film, somewhere in the middle of Oklahoma. The actress, singer, and author says that today she finds writing to be her best creative outlet. "I can write music, books, television, and movies," she says of her interest in this practice. "This makes me happy because there are so many mediums I can draw upon."
This musing perfectly coincides with her new book, The Life of a Wannabe Mogul: Mental Disarray, which came out this past July. The autobiographical project, which follows Thorne's Autumn Falls YA trilogy from 2014-2016, marks a bold new direction with its collection of thoughts and poems on the challenges, abuses, harassment, and the difficulty of self-acceptance that the star has experienced over the years. Altogether, the book paints a portrait of her candid nature. When I asked her which piece of clothing is her travel essential, the talent came back almost seriously with, "Boxers?"
A comment like that is just the tip of the iceberg, as Thorne proves to grapple with a host of dilemmas over the course of her writings. She explores the nature of her pansexuality, explaining it as "something that turns on, independently of everything, between human beings," but is just as open about her mental health, admitting the difficulties of getting stuck on her own thoughts. As many do, she sometimes has disagreements with her mom but values her relationship with her family. She also would love to win an Oscar one day, but perhaps the highlight of that feat would be protecting herself from the judgment of others. Ultimately, the book unveils the complex humanity behind a star who's spent her life in the spotlight, having gotten her start modeling as a child and only become busier when she got into acting and, eventually, an award-winning debut directing a porn film, Her & Him. With so many different projects on her plate, Thorne is a true modern icon and certainly remains one to watch.
Find the complete interview in the new issue of L'Officiel Italia.