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Thorne also doesn’t care if peo­ple take is­sue with some of the parts she has taken on this year, in­clud­ing play­ing a mean girl in The DUFF and a heroin-ad­dicted dancer in Per­fect High (slated for re­lease in June). “Hon­estly, I know some peo­ple are go­ing to trash me,” she says. “But I’m try­ing to show ev­ery­one what is hap­pen­ing in the world. If you close your eyes and think that bul­ly­ing and drug abuse are not is­sues for your kids or your best friend—you’re wrong. I want to show that good peo­ple do bad things too. I know I’m go­ing to get a bunch of hate, but let them hate. I’m not a bad per­son for choos­ing a role that shows peo­ple how life is.”

Thorne has of­ten spo­ken of her own ex­pe­ri­ence with be­ing bul­lied when she was a young girl, so it’s rather ironic that she was cast to play the char­ac­ter who tor­ments the DUFF (a.k.a. Des­ig­nated Ugly Fat Friend) in the film. “I stopped go­ing to regular school in third grade and have been home-schooled ever since,” she re­calls. “My first lan­guage is Span­ish, but I had to drop it to learn English. Peo­ple just called me ‘the pretty dumb girl,’ and I would lit­er­ally walk home cry­ing ev­ery day. When I was of­fered the role in The DUFF, I ac­tu­ally wasn’t go­ing to take it be­cause I didn’t want to be type­cast as ‘the mean girl.’ But The DUFF is such a great story, and I love the mes­sage be­hind it.”

The sub­ject mat­ter in Per­fect High, which was filmed on lo­ca­tion in Vic­to­ria, B.C., also res­onated deeply with Thorne. “You’re not a bad per­son be­cause you get locked into some­thing stupid,” she says. “My char­ac­ter gets caught up in this world be­cause of some­thing she loves [danc­ing] more than any­thing.” She says she was ner­vous about tak­ing on the role be­cause she didn’t know any­thing about drugs and was wor­ried the film wouldn’t be au­then­tic. “Play­ing some­one who is ad­dicted and be­ing in those scenes was sur­real. It made me feel like I was hun­gry for... some­thing,” she says and then pauses. “That is scary.”

She cred­its the direc­tor, Vanessa Parise, with help­ing her un­der­stand the emo­tions her char­ac­ter feels. She en­cour­aged Thorne to ex­plore some of the pain she was hid­ing deep down. “Some di­rec­tors say ‘Pre­tend like some­one just gave you a great sports car!’ And you’re like, ‘Has any­one ever given you a great sports car? Be­cause I’m not re­ally sure what that feels like,’” she says. “We talked to a lot of heroin users; I even Skyped with a few. In the end, it was ac­tu­ally nice to feel that pain and what th­ese char­ac­ters are caught up in.”

Thorne un­doubt­edly drew upon her own ex­pe­ri­ence with loss—her fa­ther was killed in a car ac­ci­dent when she was 10. She is clearly still grap­pling with this pro­found grief, a sub­ject she ex­plores in her three-part book se­ries for Ran­dom House. (The first, Au­tumn Falls, was re­leased late last year.) The story cen­tres around Au­tumn, a teenage red­head who is deal­ing with the death of her fa­ther. Au­tumn suf­fers from dys­lexia, as does Thorne. Seven­teen mag­a­zine de­scribes Au­tumn as a “lov­able klutz,” but Thorne takes a dif­fer­ent view. “Ac­tu­ally, peo­ple ask me why I made Au­tumn so un­like­able in some parts,” she says. “But if you’ve never felt that kind of pain, you don’t know what it’s like. Like I said, there is dark­ness and light in ev­ery­one; if you don’t like Au­tumn, you don’t like your­self. Be­cause one day you’ll get to that dark place, and it’s not easy.”

Au­tumn does find hap­pi­ness again—with the help of a magic jour­nal that grants any wish she writes in it. It’s a touch of whim­si­cal re­al­ism that cap­tures Thorne’s own op­ti­mistic out­look. “Life is mag­i­cal and spe­cial,” she ex­claims. “You may not be­lieve that a book can grant you wishes, but I be­lieve that if you want some­thing strong enough, it can hap­pen.”

Vis­cose dress (Bal­main at Saks Fifth Av­enue Bev­erly Hills), di­a­mond and white­gold star ring (Stella Nas­cente), di­a­mond and 18-karat-gold-wire “Tif­fany T” bracelet (Tif­fany & Co.), di­a­mond and 18-karat-yel­low-gold “Love” bracelet (Cartier) and leather shoes (Diesel Black Gold). Other bracelets and rings, Bella’s own. For de­tails, see Shop­ping Guide. Stylist, Ju­liana Schiavinatto (P1M.ca); hair, John D (star­work­sartists.com); makeup, Me­lanie Inglessis (For­ward Artists/ Neu­tro­gena); man­i­cure, Tom Bachik (L’Oréal Paris); art di­rec­tion, Brit­tany Ec­cles

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