Is there a clause in Disney contracts that states its former stars must one day take career paths that are in complete contrast to a squeaky clean image? Shake It Up!’s Bella Thorne is the latest starlet to leave the House of Mouse in her rearview while entering into a life of heroin addiction. Or, at least a character she plays will be addicted to heroin.
Lifetime announced that Thorne joined their original movie Perfect High, which is currently in production. As you can imagine, that title isn’t the name of the school Thorne’s character is going to. She’ll play Amanda, a dancer in a suburban high school who is forced to take time off due to a knee injury. Amanda starts taking prescription painkillers, and apparently likes them so much that she starts hanging around with the “bad kids” at her school. The less virtuous set of pals will be played by Ross Butler (K.C. Undercover), Daniela Bobadilla (Anger Management and Israel Broussard (The Bling Ring).
Amanda is soon tricked into trying heroin in pill form, thinking it’s just another painkiller. Addiction then ensues, because that’s just how high school life goes these days. Those guys are the worst.
Here’s the first shot from the production, via The Wrap. Thankfully, no one has any needles hanging out of their arms.
Perfect High will be directed by Vanessa Parise, perhaps best known for her 2008 feature Jack and Jill vs. the World, and whose last project was last year’s TV movie PopFan. The script was written by Anne-Marie Hess, who has made a living editing reality series like Kitchen Nightmares and, most recently, Rich Kids of Beverly Hills.
Thorne’s career has taken off since Shake it Up! was cancelled in 2013, as she was seen on the big screen in Disney’s Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day and Blended, and on the small screen in guest spots on Red Band Society, CSI and Phineas and Ferb. As for future projects, she’s got Sean Carter’s thriller Home Invasion, Franck Khalfoun’s Amityville: The Awakening and the teen comedy The DUFF. She’ll also pop into MTV’s Scream series for an intriguing guest spot.
This isn’t the first time Lifetime has tried to put a Shake it Up! star at the head of one of its movies. They got Zendaya for their Whitney Houston biopic, but she ended up dropping out. However, this is one of the first projects that Lifetime has announced in recent months that isn’t an adaptation of something or a biopic. Their upcoming slate includes the Omen sequel Damien, a series version of Clan of the Cave Bear and a series about Lizzie Borden. A heroin-addicted teen should feel right at home.
Perfect High began production on February 1 and is expected to air later this year.