What to Watch With Troian Bellisario

Game of Thrones tops the list for the Pretty Little Liars vet and writer-star of Feed.

by | July 18, 2017 | Comments

(Photo by Freeform)

Troian Bellisario played a high-schooler for most of her 20s on Pretty Little Liars, but she hasn’t graduated from teenage roles quite yet. She wrote and stars in the feature film Feed, out now on demand, about a high school senior named Olivia who struggles with grief and mental illness — including a battle with anorexia — following the death of her twin brother, Matt (played by Tom Felton).

But she now finally has some spare time to catch up on TV — yes, she was also impatiently waiting for Game of Thrones to return — and cross some classic shows off her to-do list.

Here’s what’s on the actress’ current DVR and what’s up next in her Netflix queue, plus more on how she incorporated her own struggles with mental illness in her first feature film screenplay.


Game of Thrones 94%
(Photo by HBO)

Bellisario, too, was unhappy about the year-long wait for new episodes of HBO’s epic fantasy drama Game of Thrones, but is relieved that winter has finally come to Westeros.

Game of Thrones just came back on, so, obviously that!”


I'm Dying Up Here 51%
(Photo by Showtime)

I’m Dying Up Here. I think it’s really good,” she says of Showtime’s 1970-set drama about the stand-up comedy scene in Los Angeles, based on the bestselling book by William Knoedelseder and executive produced by Jim Carrey.


The Sopranos 95%
(Photo by HBO)

“I just started watching The Sopranos,” she says. “I’m in heaven. I’m loving it. Never seen it before, and I can see why it changed television.”

The Wire 97%
(Photo by HBO)

“After The Sopranos, I promised myself The Wire,” she says of her next binge. “It’s not OK that I’ve never seen either one of them!”

And yes, she’s aware that both HBO dramas are quite heavy.

“I don’t watch uplifting television,” she jokes.


(Photo by HBO)

“I’m really excited about — well, we did just wait a year for Game of Thrones, and that’s something my friends and I have a viewing party to watch every weekend,” she says.


Feed was based in part on Bellisario’s own struggles with anorexia in high school, something she’s been outspoken about in the past.

The 31-year-old actress, who wrote the film over an eight-year period, tells Rotten Tomatoes that although this is her last time playing a teen, her experience interacting with PLL fans is the reason why she never made the character older.

“I was just like, ‘I’m so done playing high school. Why am I doing this? Why not just age her up or something?’ But there was something about being on Pretty Little Liars and being in that high school frame of mind and also communicating with fans that are so young and were struggling with a lot of the things that I struggled with in high school that I was like, ‘Okay, this is really, really important.'”

The actress was particularly taken with the heightened importance everything has as a teenager.

“You’re just pushing the boundaries of what you want to do in your life. There’s so much pressure; there’s so many expectations; and you’re just getting to know yourself,” she explains. “I think that’s why there are so many films and books written about this time, because it is such a formative experience. It’s just sort of rife.

“When I was going through my own experience and when I was communicating it with other people, there were a lot of people who just didn’t understand,” she says. “They were like, ‘Oh, well it’s just, like, a skinny thing, right? It’s just a weight thing or a diet thing?’ And I was like, ‘Really, no.’ It’s not that at all. For me, it was largely about control and it was very, very complicated.”

While the story in the film might have plenty in common with her own upbringing, a wide variety of people are affected by mental illness and eating disorders in particular.

“The thing about eating disorders is they affect everybody of every different gender, race, and socioeconomic background,” Bellisario explains. “This one story examines a white young woman from a privileged background, but there is a whole other set of pressures and expectations on an African-American young man who could also be suffering from anorexia, but there’s maybe not as much of a conversation because people don’t think it affects men.”

The writing gene runs in Bellisario’s family — her father is mega-producer Donald Bellisario and her mother is writer-producer-actress Deborah Pratt — but Feed was her first attempt at a screenplay.

“I wrote a lot growing up, but it was a lot of poetry, a lot of prose and essays,” she says. “This was sort of my learning experience. With every single draft I think it became tighter and I understood what I wanted to say more and I understood dialogue and narrative structure. Making this film taught me so much about filmmaking.”

Now that Pretty Little Liars has ended and her labor of love, Feed, is out, the actress is focusing on her next projects: a part in the bestseller-turned-film Where’d You Go, Bernadette and thinking about what she’d like to write next: “I have a number of other ideas that I’m really excited about,” she says — she also plans to stay in front of the camera as well.

“I don’t think that’s going anywhere. I love acting way too much to give it up.”

Feed is now available on demand through cable providers and streaming on FandangoNOW, Amazon, and iTunes.

Tag Cloud

WGN Watching Series Sundance Now Interview Showtime Teen 45 Action BBC Sneak Peek BBC America 2015 Biopics discovery NYCC Spike finale Cartoon Network diversity Ovation 21st Century Fox E! dceu USA Network PaleyFest Freeform Trailer Set visit romance science fiction what to watch 2016 007 Holidays FOX TIFF historical drama OWN social media Bravo Universal Nominations MSNBC travel ESPN Paramount Network NBC Syfy History based on movie Superheroe docudrama Creative Arts Emmys Infographic sitcom Sundance X-Men TCA 2017 Britbox Thanksgiving Animation 20th Century Fox Lionsgate 2017 DC Universe Character Guide Country crime Fall TV cops Writers Guild of America adventure RT History Adult Swim E3 Music Lifetime APB Winners IFC Films The CW Mindy Kaling Best and Worst LGBTQ First Look Disney Channel Reality sports GLAAD Grammys SXSW HBO Tumblr Fox News Horror Trivia crime thriller TCM Red Carpet The Arrangement Hulu Musicals ABC Family binge vampires Kids & Family singing competition crime drama golden globes cults Shondaland Ghostbusters festivals YouTube Red Amazon hist National Geographic Musical Pirates Christmas Superheroes streaming Netflix Summer American Society of Cinematographers Reality Competition transformers Awards CW Seed USA Valentine's Day period drama Nickelodeon Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt boxoffice comiccon psycho FX Sony Pictures Year in Review Pixar Sci-Fi Warner Bros. Rocky serial killer CBS All Access politics Starz Acorn TV talk show GIFs Winter TV Certified Fresh ITV Western El Rey FXX Columbia Pictures A&E Super Bowl Comedy Central Tomatazos VH1 Video Games Mary Tyler Moore TruTV DirecTV Countdown medical drama SDCC biography Emmys CBS justice league Marvel zombies zombie Star Trek Masterpiece Apple Disney Fantasy political drama Marathons DC Comics Star Wars Walt Disney Pictures Lucasfilm Oscars Schedule PBS Photos YA supernatural unscripted Dark Horse Comics Ellie Kemper crossover Opinion Rock TLC IFC cinemax 24 frames TNT Food Network TBS cooking TCA ratings Drama aliens ABC Premiere Dates thriller SundanceTV Esquire CMT dramedy Polls and Games Paramount Mystery Comedy war TV Land Election TV Podcast Cosplay cats Toys Spring TV AMC Martial Arts VICE Nat Geo MTV dc See It Skip It Calendar robots police drama Pop CNN Rom-Com spy thriller harry potter composers Box Office technology Comic Book BET President GoT DC streaming service Extras Crackle Logo