Posted on 27 June 2012.
‘Shake It Up’ Star Bella Thorne On Being Cuban: ‘A Lot Of People Think I’m Lying’ (EXCLUSIVE)
Her name is Bella Thorne and she’s the gorgeous 14-year-old star of the hit Disney Channel series, “Shake It Up.” And though many people may not know it, Bella is also a proud Latina!
Here, the “Next Selena Gomez” talks exclusively to The Huffington Post about her Latin roots, speaking Spanish and why people don’t believe her when she tells them she’s Cuban. Bella also gives us scoop on upcoming episodes of “Shake It Up,” and tells us how she balances the demands of her busy career and still finds time to be a normal teenager.
Tell us about your Latin roots!
I’m Cuban and Italian and a little bit Irish!
Awesome! Are people surprised when they find out you’re Latina?
Yeah, people are! Everybody thinks I’m just Irish, it’s ridiculous! I’m like, ‘No, I’m Cuban, and Italian and a little bit Irish’ and a lot of people think I’m lying! They’re like, ‘stop lying, Bella.’ My dad was the ONLY one born in the U.S., out of six kids, all Cuban Laughs.
Last June, you told Latina Magazine that you were thinking of having aquinceanera this year in honor of your father. Is that something you’re still thinking of doing?
You know, I really wanted to do a quinceanera, but the problem is that we were traveling to Europe and to all of these places in Dubai and we never had the time to plan it. You really have to plan that like a year in advance, so we were going to start, but then we had to leave everywhere, so we didn’t have time to do it.
Are you still learning Spanish?
I definitely want to and I’m taking it this year, so I’ll be learning it!
Let’s talk about your hit Disney show, “Shake It Up!” We hear you have a big three-part episode coming up in August. Can you tell us about it?
It’s called “Made In Japan” and it’s nothing like Disney has ever done before. It’s 90 minutes, so it’s kind of like a mini-movie! And basically, it’s about our characters winning this dance competition and they’re able to go to Japan to make a video game of us dancing. On the way there, we get some bumpy stops because Rocky (Zendaya) and I want two different things, and we end up butting heads a lot in the episodes. There’s lots and lots of singing and performing, which is really different for “Shake It Up,’ because we don’t usually sing on the show. These were really cool episodes that Zendaya and I got to do.
The episodes weren’t actually shot in Japan though, right? They were shot in the U.S.
Yeah, it was shot in a studio.
You also have a really cool episode of ‘Shake It Up” airing in July, right?
Yeah, it’s the 50s episode! Our characters…this woman comes and dances on our show and does a 50s dance, and she tells us her story and what she did, and then in flashbacks it shows you what it was like with us. And so my character has a New York accent, and it’s really funny, and the dances are crazy.
“Shake It Up” recently got picked up for a third season. Congratulations!
I’m super excited, because we got our third season pick-up! And, as you know, I was so happy and we’re so humbled by our fans and the fact that they’re still laughing with us and loving us. We’re just having fun. And when we got the pick up it showed that the fans are still watching!
Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, and many other former Disney stars have gone on to record music. Is that something you’re thinking of doing?
Yeah! I’m going to and I’m starting to. I’ve done a few songs so far and I’m going to start performing them and it’s going to be amazing. I love performing and the fact that I get to see my fans and travel and tour wherever I go, it’s really cool.
You’re 14 years old now and we know you’ve been acting for a long time. Is it difficult to juggle your work and still have time to be a teenager and have fun?
When I get home, my mom keeps me with my friends so that I’m not always worrying about what my lines are – you know that can drive you crazy! Every time I get home, I do lots of homework and when I’m done with that, I get on video chat with my friends. And you know, I like to think of myself as pretty normal. I like to go to baseball games and hang out and go to the movies…
What are your summer plans?
We start the show, so definitely lots of the show and lots of singing and performing. And I’ll be going to the beach with my friends, of course!