It's easy to forget that Bella Thorne is only 17 years old. Poised, comfortable in her own skin, and wise enough to pause and think before answering a question, the star of high school film The DUFF seems older than her years.
After being a Disney breakout star, she's already accomplished a lot in her short life. She's now working alongside the likes of Drew Barrymore and Steve Carell. So where does Bella's ambition come from? "I guess I grew up with it. I grew up hungry. I was not raised as a rich kid or anything like that," she tells HELLO! Online.
Bella grew up the youngest of four children with a single mom — her father passed away when she was a child. "So it was me, my mom," she explains. "A single parent raising four kids and I think I probably got my hunger from her, from watching her struggle."
Bella shares her everyday life from road trips and dinner with friends, to her new romance with Pamela Anderson's son Brandon with her nearly six million Twitter followers and four million Instagram fans. How does she stay secure and confident when she opens her life up to so much scrutiny? "Look, imperfections are what makes you beautiful. I know that sounds cheesy but honestly, it’s so true," she says. "People literally tell me, 'you're lucky you’re pretty' because my laugh is so horrendous and I embrace it all the time, I laugh in people’s faces!"
The actress adds: "But those are things you have to embrace. You will find people in your life who, if you are truly you, and not trying to impress anybody, not trying to be anybody else, you will find people who like you for that. My best friend, Bella, is also a weirdo... and she loves that about me, she loves all the quirky things and I do too, and those are the people that you’ll find in life."
The DUFF, however, follows Mae Whitman's Bianca, a high school senior who decides to change the social pecking order at her school after discovering that she is a D.U.F.F, the abbreviation for "designated ugly fat friend."
Bella stars as Madison, a cold-hearted and aloof mean girl. "My attitude is very much... not mean behind your back, I'm just mean the whole time," she says. "I love the message behind [the film]. It’s very interesting, putting everybody in a box and you’ll always be labeled your whole life, and it’s kind of your job to play around with that box and prove to people that you can be more than that."
The star is proving that herself as well. In Blended, she showcased her comedic skills, while the upcoming Amityville: The Awakening was a dream come true for the horror fan. "I love horror films, I watch so many," she shares. Good news then, since she will also take on a role in the new TV series based on the Scream franchise.
Along with Drew and Steve, Bella has been working with Emmy winner Allison Janney and Ioan Gruffud. But, she's quick to point out that that while she admires their careers she doesn't want them. "I want my own career.I want to be the first to do something. That’s what I look forward to," she admits.
A multi-hyphenate, actor, author, and musician, Bella is also something of a perfectionist. When asked about her long-awaited debut album, she admits that she refuses to put out "bad music".
"I signed this contract with Hollywood Records and I told them I would not put this album out until my voice was good and I had worked on it because there was no way I was putting out auto tuned bad music," she says. "My father always told me, 'if you’re going to do something, you better not do it half-assed, you have to be the best at what you do'."