We’ve known Pretty Little Liars star Troian Bellisario as Spencer Hastings for the past seven seasons, so her new role in the film, Feed, is a huge departure from her life in Rosewood.
Based on Bellisario’s struggles with anorexia the movie, co-starring Tom Felton, was eight years in the making, according to Refinery 29.
Not only does the actress star in the film, the 31-year-old also penned and produced the script.
“I sat down and I wrote a version of my own story. It’s not the exact events, but what I wanted to do with the film was get the audience to understand what it sounds like and what it feels like to be struggling with that illness,” Bellisario told Rotten Tomatoes. “I struggled with anorexia for many years and one of the most difficult things about that was it was very tough for me to explain to my family and friends why it was so hard for me to disengage with that.
“It’s not a disease you can see, you just hear something in your head that tells you not to eat — for many, many different reasons for different people,” she explained. “And I realized that I wouldn’t be able to fully heal until I could get people that I loved to empathize with that, to understand where I was coming from. I’m really, really proud of it. I’m very excited to share it with people.”
Last year, the actress addressed the challenges of facing her eating disorder. She appeared in a PSA talking candidly about the turmoil.
“With anorexia, a lot of it is presenting a front of ‘everything is okay’ as you’re slowly killing yourself,” she said, before urging people to help those with the mental illness.