Bella Thorne has just announced her engagement to Benjamin Mascolo. The talented actress who became famous worldwide for co-starring in Disney Channel’s Shake it up, invited us to her Hollywood home for the first time after announcing she will marry the Italian singer.
She began working as a model at the very early age of six weeks old. After what has been an incredibly extensive professional life, Bella continues with her internationally successful career as an actress, singer and writer. Always well documented by the media, her life is not without controversy although Bella seems to be now in the best place she has ever been. She agreed to this intimate interview for Hola! USA to tell us all about her great love, her ever present intense emotions and yes, her Cuban roots!
“My first language was Spanish ... I love doing this interview for HOLA!, because I feel that the Hispanic community doesn’t know that my roots are also Latin and this culture has been present in a large part of my life.” [Bella]
Bella commented, “My first language was Spanish, but when I went into third grade I was diagnosed with dyslexia. I could not read in one language, let alone two… Then I went to a learning center. Their recommendation was that I stop speaking Spanish and concentrate in English because I could not read at all. It was very difficult and I could not learn how to read, write and spell until I was around 8 years old, when I was able to write a full page… It took me a really long time of struggling. I was also bullied a lot in school, surprisingly; even though I was in Miami, I was bullied at school for speaking Spanish. I still can’t come to understand it… I’m still so confused about that.”
I was always modeling. I was out of school so much, and I could not read… Not being able to speak Spanish makes me really sad, because when I go to places like Mexico I start to pick up the language after a few days and it stirs deep emotions in me. It makes me feel emotional. My father passed away when I was seven years old. He was Cuban so connecting to the Spanish language brings back sad memories. I struggle so hard wanting to be good at it. It is at the core of my heritage and Spanish would be such a great place to start, but it is so hard when I try to speak it… It brings so many emotions; I want to get over that.
More than anyone can imagine. The worst part is that it will always affect my life. Getting engaged is a huge deal and knowing that he cannot walk me down the aisle totally sucks. So, for obvious reasons, it affected me greatly when I was younger… and it will never stop affecting me; when I have a baby… it makes me crazy to think that he will not be here to meet him.
It is something that only someone who has lost a parent can understand. There are those moments when you are sitting at a coffee shop and someone says something so funny that it reminds you of that person and you really think, wow, they would have laughed so hard and you are not even thinking and, all of a sudden, you are overcome with sadness. That feeling will always be with you. Death is like this big pile of rocks sitting on you and there is this crane on top of you. As time goes by, some rocks start moving away a tiny bit, allowing you to breath, literally…a little bit, -Bella says with tears welling up in her eyes- But there will always be times when there are still rocks and it’s still hard to breath, even though time is this crazy creature that helps… It never goes away, it’s always there, you are always covered by, you know, this heavy rock… And…Yeah, no matter how old I get, I will always be very upset to not have my father. It is so hard to lose anybody close to you. I have lost so many members of my family, I can count with a few fingers who are alive, but when it is one of your parents or a sibling it definitely is a whole new level of pain.
I have two sisters and a brother and we are very close to each other. I think they are so proud of what I have accomplished. It is just so crazy being these kids that started with nothing, our parents did not have much, they started from scratch, always having financial problems. Really, really a struggle and it is so crazy that we are here or alive or happy for the most part. There are always going to be problems but we are all happy and we do not have big issues with each other. I’m just so grateful for that.
There’s been so much advice she has given through the years, but I think the one thing she’s emotionally left with me and that I’m so thankful for is that she always had faith in me. Quite a few things, but this one got me where I am today. Here it is, this little girl who has this love for something and doesn’t know how to do it, she cannot read, cannot write, want to act, and get to all these things… -remembers laughing.- You, as a mother, have to decide so many times, how do I make the right decisions for my daughter because she wants to start that, and I want to make her happy and I want help her to succeed… It is just so hard in the industry. My mother has this mentality: “Hey, you do not need to actually know it to get started, you can get started and learn it then you can really study and be good no matter what.” She has always had this belief in me that I really needed, it encouraged me. I would not be able to do all these things, constantly working, constantly creating, wanting this, wanting that, I can really credit my mom for that.
That’s the greatest thing about my Mom’s spirit. She is of the philosophy that you can have nothing and then have everything, you can have a hit… She has this belief in any scenario. It’s crazy, she says “hey Bella, you can go book this dance show even though you have two left feet and have no idea how to dance. Let’s do the audition; you can do this.”I remember I had to go to an audition for a horror movie, ten pages of a convulsion scene when I had to be possessed and you watch me go through periods of possession while I’m tied up to a chair. The scene was not even in the movie. The director only wanted me to do this because he wanted to see if the actress could give it all.
The night before, I was like “Mom I am suffering, I cannot do this tomorrow, did you read the scene?” I was fifteen at that time. “How am I supposed to do this? I love horror movies. I’ve seen them all, you mention one, and I know it, ok? “You can totally do that,” she said, “like you do it every time… What are the two things you are best at? Screaming and crying, acting like you are about to die. Do those and now add the possession!!” I did so and the director gave me the role in the room. My mom gave me that belief –“you can do it, every time.”
Oh my gosh, she is over the moon. She is also engaged, she had not dated anyone since my father died, and now she is engaged after so long… I have a new father, and it is just so crazy. Now she is engaged, I’m engaged; we are doing a joined engagement party. As I’ve gotten older, I look so much more like my mother. I used to be really, really skinny naturally, it’s taken me so long to fill out physically and my face used to be so skinny before. I used to be so much more like my father, with these very Latin high cheekbones and a very big forehead. I always felt like I looked like my father more, but now that I filled out, my face is more round and has more fat to it, so I really look like my mom. She is a redhead, like one of my sisters, I’m naturally a blonde. Now when we are together, people say we are twins.
I think if your kid really wants to do something, it is really not right for you to hold him/her back. It takes so much out of your life though. Acting steals very important moments away from you. You are always working. You are always trying, you are never just living life as a child, hanging around with your friends, having play dates, going to birthday parties. You just don’t do that if you are in the industry.
If whatever your kids like to do, acting, sports, and it is going to steal away all those moments that are so important, it better be something that they are really passionate about, throwing a fit about it… If you see dedication, go for it. But how do you choose between really knowing as a parent that this is the time to push and this is not the time to push, and if you don’t want it anymore let me take you out and find something else that inspires you? So tough for every parent, no matter how old the kid is. I have no idea, I cannot answer it… It is so hard.
That’s a loaded question… I’m the most afraid... –takes a deep breath- I’m most afraid of spending my life working, my whole life working, doing what I love, mentally being in a million places always, and never soaking in that time and then, at the end of my life, going… Was that even worth it? All those moments that you missed… This is what I am most afraid of, that’s why I think that family is the most important thing, creating a family, having kids. When I do, I just want to be emotionally and financially stable to build whatever the heck my kids want, I can give them everything I never had when I was growing up.
No. I do not regret anything at all. Knowing my past and how much I gave up around my childhood to be where I am at. I would say to my kid: I do not want that for you… But if you want it so bad I will help you… But, damn, we need to cut it out sometime and be like, “no! turn down that thing, your are not guest-starring in that show, you are going to your friend’s birthday party because he is going to be your friend for a long time and I do not want you to get mad at me later and say I missed that birthday when you look back, because you missed four birthdays in a row because you were always working.” This, I do not like.
I will probably have three.
I might be a little bit too much of a worried parent. I never want to hold my kid back; the worst thing a parent can do is to keep the kids so locked up because you are so afraid that any time they cross the door, you think the worst can happen to them. How do you even let your kid leave the house? I heard from many parents that all that goes away with the second child. I do not know… I really need Ben to hold me down and say, everything will be ok.
I have no idea. It’s so crazy and everyone is asking me. I go, “babe, how do you want your wedding?” He says: “I don’t know, what do you want?”, I say “I don’t know.” Everything is going to be dripped in flowers; everything is going to have flowers, that’s for sure.
Oh my, for so many reasons… Every day he shows me he is the one. I could not even make a list, not kidding, it would be so long, literally, and there are so many reasons… We’ve been dating for two years and I think at this point you kind of know and you ask yourself: “Are we going to move beyond this point?” Because I do not want to miss my time either, I do not want to date someone that I cannot see myself growing old with. I want someone who I can build a family with, a business with, a life with, everything with! I’m so in love and just feel so lucky everyday, thinking, every time when he does something, I just know. I think: you are so much better than what I actually ever thought that I’d deserved and than someone would give me… You are so much better. You give me so much more than I ever knew I really needed in the most-cheesiest way of saying that… It’s crazy.
I think there have been a lot of those moments… You think you love someone so much and then something happens, you experience something in your relationship, and then you say “oh no, you don’t understand… I love you so much more, like I’m so much more in love with you now that I’ve ever been in all our whole relationship.” It’s actually crazy. I cannot even describe it. That’s also a reason why I knew he was the one. I have been in quite a few long-term relationships before and I know the feeling of decline… This never happened with Benjamin, it is always more and more. We are obsessed with each other. It’s insane.
Knowing that the feeling is temporary, however long temporary may last, could be months, weeks or years, knowing that there is a better outcome, it is just not at your fingertips right now, but you will feel better. The biggest thing that has helped me in going through these phases of depression is to think that it is temporary.
We all go through such low points, mentally, physically, like you are not good enough for anything, should I just quit and die? I feel terrible! And you always have to keep a hold of knowing “it will feel better, this is temporary.”
Anything can bring up sadness. It could be a mix of everything… The state of the world, for example; even when you are not thinking about it, posts and news feeds are always terrible… It’s mentally just crushing as it creates a tighter space, more claustrophobic in our minds, terrible things taking more and more space in our brains. Right now there is so much depression, something people are not even commenting on because there are so many other terrible things going on, you know? It doesn’t matter that I’m dying inside. It really is everything, what’s happening right now is just so hard, why am I so sad? There could be any reason now.
It would be very hard to decide. If I could only do one, I would say writing. But it would hurt me endlessly to let go of everything else.
This year, Bella Thorne dreams of reconnecting with her Latin roots through her music.
Photographer: Nunu @nunupictures
Stylist: Mikiel Benyamin
Hair and Makeup: Krischelle Blackwell