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Famous in Love Will Be More "Sexy and Edgy" Than the Books

With a dead body even?

Malcolm Venable

A star is born... and then learns to be careful what you wish for on Famous in Love, Freeform's soapy new drama featuring Bella Thorne as a basic (but pretty!) college student who becomes a celebrity overnight.

On the series, from Pretty Little Liars executive producer I. Marlene King, Paige (Disney Channel star Thorne) lands the lead role in the Hollywood adaptation of books that are "the biggest thing since Harry Potter" -- a premise that's based on Rebecca Serle's YA romantic novels. But this ain't no totally sappy story: "We made it a lot more dramatic and sexy and edgy than the books," King said Tuesday at the Television Critics Association winter press tour.

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Paige goes -- within weeks -- from an ordinary university life to Maui, where she's on a movie set and caught in a love triangle between co-stars Rainer (Carter Jenkins) and Jordan (Keith Powers). We'll see how the star balances sudden fame, romance and a lack of privacy -- things Thorne knows well. "Paige will struggle with who she is and what everybody knows her to be," said Thorne, who's been famous since she was a tween and has documented her life out loud via Snapchat. "I've been there its not a fun road to look in the mirror and not know who you are."
Like many celebs, Paige will discover that, even if she's hanging with friends, she'll be papp'd and her goings-on will be made fodder for magazines. "The media will make it seem like she's a ho or whatever," said Thorne. "She becomes jaded. She gets screwed over so many times" that Paige slips into the Hollywood lifestyle without realizing it.

And since Famous in Love comes from soon-to-be-departed Pretty Little Liars producer I. Marlene King (and will follow PLL), you better believe there will be a little mystery too: early on Paige will be investigating what happened to a missing pop star. "It's as twisty and curvy as Pretty Little Liars but the twists are dramatic. If a dead body comes, I know what to do with it," King teased.

Famous in Love will premiere Tuesday, April 18 at 9/8c on Freeform.