By Brittany Geragotelis
Name: Bella Thorne
Best Known For: Her role as Teeny on HBO’s hit show “Big Love.”
AC: You and your siblings have such interesting names. How did you get the name Bella?
Bella: I was named after Belle from Beauty and the Beast.
AC: You’re only 12, yet you’re starring in an Emmy-nominated show! How did you get your start in entertainment?
Bella: I started with modeling and commercials. My brother started acting, and after watching him, I thought it was something I wanted to try.
AC: You’re currently playing Bill Paxton’s daughter on the HBO hit “Big Love.” How did you get involved in this and what drew you to the role?
Bella: My family’s a huge fan of “Big Love,” so it was something I really wanted to be on. I auditioned for a different role than the one I got, but it all turned out well, and my role is actually bigger than the one I thought I was going to get. I was drawn to the role because I hadn’t played a part like it before and it was challenging.
AC: Who have you enjoyed working with the most on set?
Bella: Amanda Seyfried, Bill Paxton and Jeanne Tripplehorn.
AC: What’s it like working with such a star-studded cast?
Bella: I’m so lucky to have the chance to work with a cast like the one on “Big Love,” and I thank them every day in my prayers!
AC: So far, you’ve played the daughter on several TV shows, including “My Own Worst Enemy,” “Dirty Sexy Money” and “In the Motherhood.” Who’s been your favorite TV dad so far?
Bella: Other than Bill—Christian Slater.
AC: You have three siblings (two sisters and a brother) who act, as well. Do you ever audition for the same roles? Have you found it helpful that your family’s in the entertainment field, too?
Bella: I’m the youngest, so we don’t go against each other too often. They understand the ups and downs of the business and how many times you get no before yes.
AC: What’s the best thing about being an actress?
Bella: The ability to be creative and be a different person.
AC: You have a whopping six projects in the works right now, all set for 2010 and 2011! How do you juggle your personal life, school and work?
Bella: I usually have sleepovers on Friday nights after dance class; go to the movies and dinners or bowling with at least 15 friends on Saturdays; and get to see some of my friends at church on Sundays, so I stay pretty busy. I have tons of schoolwork and get the chance to work with great teachers one-on-one on set, which helps a lot.
AC: Your character, Teeny, just made a triumphant and dramatic return on “Big Love.” Will Teeny have a bigger role in next season’s storyline?
Bella: Teeny is supposed to have a bigger storyline next season as she’s become a teen and is feeling out where she belongs in the family. She also may have some resentments towards her new step-sister, played by Cassi Thomson (who’s an incredibly gifted actress). Cassi and I really get along, so it’s funny. I’m hoping that I’m able to dig deeper into the character and explore some possible reasons why Teeny is troubled.
AC: Any dish you can spill?
Bella: I wish! They keep everything so top secret. Our scripts even have codes on them!
AC: What was it like working with cutie Cody Linley in the psychological thriller, “Forget Me Not?”
Bella: Cody Linley is so cute and nice. He’s really dedicated as an actor, too. I really liked working with him.
AC: Working in Hollywood, you probably get to meet a lot of celebs. Who have you been starstruck over meeting?
Bella: JJ Abrams, Quentin Tarantino and Adam Shankman. I could barely speak when I met a couple of the choreographers from “So You Think You Can Dance.” I nearly passed out!
AC: Besides acting, what else are you passionate about?
Bella: Animals, dancing and painting.
AC: Can you give us any fun facts about yourself that people may not know about you?
Bella: I’m obsessed with cheerleading! My friends are cheerleaders and I wish I was one, too! I practice their cheers with them, but I’m not as good as they are. Wow, they have some real talent.
AC: You’ve mentioned that you’re dyslexic. How did you overcome this disability, and what advice do you have for others who have similar learning disabilities?
Bella: For me, I read every day. I read everything—books, directions, scripts, cereal boxes and ingredients. Never let anyone make you think that you aren’t as good as someone else because you have a disability. Never let it stop you.
AC: How did you get involved with The Nomad Organization (a non-profit charity that provides aid to children in Africa), and why is it important to you?
Bella: I got involved through my agent, Lindsay Stewart. Her compassion and drive motivated me. I also knew I wanted to help others follow their dreams just like I have.
AC: Why and how can other teens get involved in this cause?
Bella: I think teens can find many causes to get involved in. I went through my agent, but there are others that need help and are easy to access like the Humane Society, Red Cross and Kids Helping Kids.