A girl named troian /159

Schon! - - Contents - Words / Evan Ross Katz

Troian Bel­lis­ario isn’t your typ­i­cal South­ern Cal­i­for­nia girl. Yes, she grew up across the street from Mary-Kate and Ash­ley Olsen and sure, her dad is the cre­ator of Mag­num P.I. and the NCIS fran­chise, and right you’d be that she made her film de­but at the age of three, but… well, fine, Troian (pro­nounced troy-in) is seem­ingly your pro­to­typ­i­cal Cali girl. That’s un­de­ni­able. But as for daisy dukes and biki­nis on top... ? “My style is a lit­tle more punk rock,” she ex­plains bluntly.

That’s the thing about Troian: like her name (which trans­lates to “Woman of Troy”), she is filled with deeper mean­ing and has, at only 28, a ca­reer that al­ready spans four decades. But back to M-K and Ash­ley Olsen, be­cause we’re surely not go­ing to dis­miss that to a mere men­tion. Not only did the trio grow up as neigh­bours, they co-starred to­gether in Bill­board Dad in 1998. When asked the last time she saw the film, Bel­lis­ario chuck­les, re­veal­ing, “I’ve made a point not to see it very re­cently.”

Though act­ing re­mained Bel­lis­ario’s pas­sion dur­ing her teens, her par­ents stressed the im­por­tance of fin­ish­ing her ed­u­ca­tion. Nat­u­rally, she found a caveat in their plan. “I told my par­ents ‘you never told me I had to go to col­lege for any­thing in par­tic­u­lar, so I’m go­ing to study act­ing,’ and they were, like, ‘fine, as long as you grad­u­ate.’ For me the very clear point was get­ting into theatre school and get­ting to de­vote all my time and en­ergy to fo­cus on my craft.”

And then came the tour de force that is Pretty Lit­tle Liars. The ABC Fam­ily orig­i­nal se­ries cast Bel­lis­ario as over­achiever Spencer Hast­ings, along­side rel­a­tive new­com­ers – by now house­hold names – in­clud­ing Lucy Hale, Ash­ley Ben­son and Shay Mitchell. Pretty Lit­tle Liars is cur­rently in pro­duc­tion on its sixth sea­son. “As the show is go­ing to round up to a close in a few years, I want to be very care­ful not to project my de­sired in­put onto Spencer,” ex­plains Bel­lis­ario. “I want to be care­ful not to ex­press, ‘I think Spencer should end up mov­ing to New York and be­com­ing a rock star,’ – that’s my dream. It’s hard not to want to do it though, be­cause as an ac­tor you want to in­ject your truth into who you’re play­ing.” Ob­servers of Spencer’s style on the show are quick to note the evo­lu­tion from Ralph Lau­ren-es­que prep to a bit more punk. “Spencer from the very be­gin­ning was very clas­sic, very straight-laced prep which is some­thing that I didn’t re­ally wear. My great­est style icon of all time is Patti Smith – she’s my go-to for in­spi­ra­tion. Over the years, I’ve worked with our cos­tume designer Mandi Line to evolve Spencer to be­come a bit more ca­sual and rock ‘n’ roll, while still main­tain­ing an ode to prep.”

Asked about her so­cial me­dia pres­ence (she’s amassed a whop­ping 3.5 mil­lion Instagram fol­low­ers and an ad­di­tional 1.74 mil­lion on Twit­ter) and whether or not one can un­der­stand the power it wields in shar­ing words and images with a sea of anony­mous peo­ple, Bel­lis­ario is thought­ful. “It’s kind of like driv­ing a car and when you tap into the fact that every­body’s in gi­ant, very fast mov­ing, metal death traps and you are in one too… you can’t re­ally tap into that. I am def­i­nitely very aware. I try not to put out things that are of­fen­sive. I have a lot of young peo­ple fol­low­ing me, which at times can feel a lit­tle re­stric­tive. How­ever it helps me keep in mind that I have to main­tain the sta­tus of a role model.”

Bel­lis­ario also doesn’t hold back when it comes to cast­ing a crit­i­cal eye to­wards her celebrity peers’ ex­is­tence in the so­cial sphere. “I am not a fan of peo­ple who just post pic­tures of them­selves,” she states. “What are [they] con­tribut­ing and why would I want that in my space? Isn’t Instagram a re­ally cool way that we get to oc­cupy each other’s mind space for a lit­tle bit and see the way this per­son sees the world or what an amaz­ing trip this per­son’s on or what a funny thing that per­son saw, rather than ‘this is what my face looks like,’ which you al­ready know?”

No ar­gu­ments here.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.