Bella Thorne stars as Arielle in the new film Infamous, which is now on VOD and in select drive-in theaters. In the movie, Arielle and her paramour Dean (Jake Manley) go on the run and begin robbing stores for cash. Arielle films their dangerous road trip, including the robbery, and becomes increasingly more famous on social media with each illegal act. Infamous ends with a bank robbery gone terribly wrong. Dean dies in a shootout, and Arielle is the only one of the group left alive. When she’s arrested and the police take her outside, hundreds of screaming and adoring fans are waiting for Arielle. They don’t care that she’s broken the law and killed people… they love her for it.
HollywoodLife talked EXCLUSIVELY with the 22-year-old actress who revealed she was “definitely surprised” by the ending of the movie. “I was also just in love with it. I was so happy that this is the way that it ended. Definitely reading it, I was like, that’s the best ending for Arielle. Because in her mind it’s exactly what Dean says: we both get what we wanted.”
She admitted that seeing Arielle’s fans at the end waiting for her kind of makes you “sick to your stomach. It also makes you go: she was right. I think that’s the powerful message right there… We need to calm it down. We need to take a step back from social media because she was right, and this could f**king happen. While it would be happening, fans would be loving people for it. The events that happened in the movie could very much play out. So I think that the ending was the best choice because we needed to send a few different messages, and it definitely did that. That ending served different messages.”
Throughout the film, Arielle makes a number of questionable decisions. She kills people and doesn’t show much remorse for her actions. For Bella, she didn’t want Arielle to come across as “stupid and making dumb decisions.” She wanted Arielle to be more layered than that. The thing is, Arielle doesn’t care if she makes a bad decision.
“I wanted her to be strong in her choice, to be definite,” Bella said. “To make a wrong choice and say, I don’t give a f**k because now I just made that choice, and now we have to keep going. I thought that was really strong because we don’t see a lot of main women on film like that. We don’t experience that from women a lot.”
Infamous is a sharp exploration of our society’s increasing dependence on social media and fame for validation. Bella, who has over 23 million Instagram followers, has encountered first-hand the good and bad sides of social media over the years. “I think that this obsession with fame it gives us like this really weird line to cross, and this line that we’re crossing is really, really thin. Every day we see more and more people cross it for likes,” she continued.”
Like we see in Infamous and in real-life, social media and fame come with a cost. Bella opened up about what she wants viewers to take away from the film. “I know that we know that social media is dangerous. Fame is dangerous, but we don’t know that as much,” she said. She brought up the Netflix docuseries Don’t F**k With Cats and murderer Luka Magnotta’s obsession with becoming famous. “He wanted to be famous so bad, he needed this thing so bad, that it didn’t matter what lengths he was going to have to go to get it,” she said. “We need to remind ourselves when pushing people over the edge on social media, bullying people on social media, doing these things on social media that we know are spreading hate or insecurities… You don’t know who’s having a bad day, you really don’t know who’s this close from crossing that line, and you very much just might be the person to push them over. And that’s a scary thing. We all need to be much more responsible for our words and for actions, and just because social media is on the internet, doesn’t mean that you can sit behind a computer screen and do the same sh*t. These are people’s lives. This is real f**king life. I hope really, really digest that from watching the movie and go, “Oh f**k, yeah, my words do matter…”