Bella Thorne Revealed the Sad Reason She and Zendaya Weren’t Friends During ‘Shake It Up’

Bella Thorne and Zendaya played best friends on the Disney Channel series Shake It Up, but Thorne revealed that in real life, they weren’t friends at all. The former Disney star recalled how it was difficult for the two co-stars because of the way they were “pitted against” each other.

Bella Thorne and Zendaya of Disney Channel's "Shake It Up" sign autographs in London
Zendaya and Bella Thorne | Angus Muir/Disney Channel via Getty Images

Bella Thorne said she and Zendaya weren’t friends

Thorne and Zendaya had to navigate the waters of being teens in the spotlight while on Shake It Up so it took them a while to become close friends.

In an interview with Us Weekly, Thorned explained what it was like for them at the time. “We had to deal with that so much on Shake It Up,” she explained. “It’s like we said [in] a couple interviews when we were younger, how we explained how in the first season we weren’t friends and it took us those other two seasons of becoming so close.”

She continued, “[It was hard] not having someone pitted against you [before] and then all of a sudden, now everyone is pitting you against each other. That fed into our heads. It made us not [be] friends in that first season.”

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Are Zendaya and Bella Thorne friends now?

Once the co-stars had a serious talk about the matter, Thorne and Zendaya could better find their way to becoming friends. Thorne shared that their “beautiful talk in the middle of a sound stage” happened while filming an episode of the Disney show Good Luck Charlie.

“We were really able to put our cards out on the table and understanding each other,” she said, sharing how they were “so young and so mature at such a young age.”

From that point forward, Zendaya and Thorne became close friends and sharing their previous rocky experience solidified their friendship.

“Zendaya’s amazing,” Thorne said. “I f*cking love her. She’s always been amazing and she’s always going to be amazing. I’m just happy that people see that.” 

“She’s getting the recognition she deserves. That just makes me so happy,” she continued. “I feel like when people put us against each other, it’s just like, … ‘Why are you doing this? Is it just because we’re women?’”

Thorne said you have to “block it out and just don’t even listen to the noise” rather than feed into it.

Bella Thorne and Zendaya support each other

In a 2020 interview with ET, Thorne touched on how she had to press through the negativity that was directed at her and Zendaya.

“When you’ve got women and you’re growing up in the same market, even just as well other Disney stars, even if they’re not on the same show, you still get pitted against each other,” she explained. “And people are more likely to be like, ‘Hey, what are you doing?’ I think people love putting women against each other. It’s always this and that.”

“It’s been happening to me and Zendaya since we started the damn show. It’s not a surprise,” she continued. “I’m just not gonna waste my time hearing their negativity because I have better things to fill my head with. With growth, real growth.”

“And I think that when people are just really negative, then it’s harder to grow,” she added.

Thorne also expressed her excitement about Zendaya’s nomination for an Emmy award for her role in Euphoria. She was thrilled and supportive of her former Disney Channel co-star. “My goodness. I just hope she f*cking wins,” she said at the time. “The show is amazing … I love her, so I’m gonna have my fingers crossed the whole entire time.”