Troian Bellisario Wrote the Original Script for 'Feed' in a Week

Troian Bellisario wrapped up her seven-season run on Pretty Little Liars in June, but she’s not slowing down. The actress just released her feature film Feed, which she wrote, produced and starred in. Although Troian has been working on the movie since before PLL began, she revealed during her Her Conference 2017 keynote that she actually wrote the original script in a week.

Troian’s father, who made his mark on the industry as a television producer, told her to always be creating her own work—even if she was talented enough and lucky enough to be successful as an actress. Thinking about all the things she wanted to do in her career, Troian used her status as a cinephile as inspiration. She wanted to make her own movie and write about something personal to her—something that could help others going through the same experience.

“So that was really where the impetus for Feed came from. It was really me imagining how I could sort of steer my own ship and tell my own story in a way and take control over my life,” she explained.

After coming up with the concept for the film, which is drawn from her own battle with an eating disorder, Troian wrote the original script for Feed in a week, and she said, “It was by no means good.” She just needed to get it all out on paper.

Troian had never written a script before, so she passed copies to her friends and family for feedback, and the film went through many drafts in the five-and-a-half years she spent rewriting it.

Troian found it hard to take anything out of the story since Feed was so personal to her. “Every single thing that I included in it was important to me, was painful or reminded me of somebody else that I met along the way. So to cut it out was heartbreaking.” Ultimately, working with director (and Troian’s college friend) Tommy Bertelsen—who viewed the script as a script rather than a “beating heart”—kept her narrative in check because, unlike Troian, he hadn’t been through the experience of having an eating disorder and wasn’t personally attached to the memories she’d included.

Troian questioned whether she would want to tackle subject matter that hit so close to home again after doing press for the film last week. “‘Would you really want to do this again?’” she asked herself. “As much as I’m like, ‘I wouldn’t want to take Feed back, and I’m so grateful for it.’ But would I rush headlong again into the experience of putting out something that’s so personal or speaking so openly and so vulnerably about something that I still continue to struggle with? I don’t know if I would.”

She’s never saying never, but for now, she’s focused on proving that she’s not a “one-trick pony” (she might’ve mentioned something about wanting to play a 50-year-old space-traveling cowboy). Hey, if she’s in it, I’m watching!