#WomanCrushWednesday: Bel Powley

Rising star

#WomanCrushWednesday: Bel Powley
The Diary Of A Teenage Girl is finally showing in Singapore from this week onwards. We find out more about Bel Powley's process as the rising lead

1.     Bel Powley only read the book three months before she started shooting, and met the author in person

An adaptation of Phoebe Gloeckner's 2002 graphic novel, The Diary Of A Teenage Girl is a coming-of-age story like no other. Set in mid-'70s San Francisco, it stars Powley as 15-year-old Minnie alongside Bridesmaids' Kristin Wiig and Vampire Diaries' Alexander Skarsgård, who happens to play her mother's secret lover. It's her first American role — we last saw Powley as Princess Margaret in A Royal Night Out in 2015.

Bel Powley Diary of a Teenage Girl

2.     Powley herself kept a diary when she was a teenager

But only till she was 15. She once told an interviewer that her sister had found her diary, which was filled with details of her kissing her boyfriend when was 13. Powley chased her around the house till her sister jumped down the staircase and had to be put in a cast for weeks. It could be the same sister that has recently opened Burnt Restaurant, a popular brunch place in London which Powley frequently promotes on her Instagram.

Bel Powley

3.     An actor since her late teens, she grew up wanting to be a prime minster

Move over, David Cameron. While she was born into a showbiz family — her mother's a casting director while her father's an actor — she had wanted to study politics with ambitions of becoming a prime minister. Then she discovered acting, sealing herself in a role in a BBC children's series, M.I High. Kristin Wiig, who sheds her comedic ease for a dramatic role, plays her on-screen mother.

Bel Powley

4.     According to Powley, The Diary Of A Teenage Girl is the most honest portrayal of a teenage girl yet

The Londoner shares that the novel's the most honest depiction of a teenage girl she's ever read, from books and scripts to articles. For Powley, the teenage movies of her time depicted girls in a two-dimensional way: Either as the virgin, the high school slut or the asexual geek. Flipping through the pages of the script, she's shared that she kept thinking, "I felt like that, I felt like that". A lot of background work went into reflecting how she was like as a teenager as well, which wasn't very far off — Powley started work on the film when she was 22.

Bel Powley

5.  The movie marks her first onscreen kiss, and her first time going nude in a film

In a liaison that depicts a sexual relationship between a 15-year-old girl and a 35-year old man, Powley shared that the nude scenes were shown from a female perspective. In fact, the cast and crew started work on the movie by filming those exact scenes, diving into the intimate, deep end from the start. "When I first watched it, obviously I was nervous since I had never seen myself naked on the big screen before, and then it started and I honestly didn't really care," Powley said in an interview.

The Diary Of A Teenage Girl is showing at The Projector. Book tickets here. For last week's #WomanCrushWednesday, click here.

Text: Adibah Isa

  • Image:
    Getty Images,
    The Projector
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