Kian Lawley (left) in "Shovel Buddies." Photo courtesy of Awesomeness Films.
"Shovel Buddies" stars Bella Thorne, the former Disney star who is transitioning her way into movies.
"This girl is really broken. … Everything about the character is different (from what I've previously done)," she said. "Besides the fact that she is moody, I would say that the character is made out to be a slut in the film. But she's not slutty, she is really hurting and upset and confused. Sometimes that happens to girls, so they use their bodies."
Thorne said working with Awesomeness was a unique experience because they valued her opinions. She pointed out that they had sit down meetings with her to talk about the script and what she liked about it. Other places she has worked at haven't been so flexible.
"A lot of teenagers are misconstrued in films because you have a bunch of 50-year-olds writing about a teenager falling in love," she said. "That's a big gap of time (from when they were a teen). It's not the same as before. Awesomeness is great, because they know I am a teenager, and I know what my fans will respond to."
The movie will also tap into Awesomeness' staple of teen influencers, including Kian Lawley, who has more than 6 million followers on YouTube and Instagram. He took the role because though he does mostly comedic work on YouTube, he wanted to branch out into drama.
"As someone who started in the digital background, it's an easier, better, faster platform to bounce off of," Lawley said. "You already have so much momentum, and you already have the experience. You're already comfortable being in front of the camera."
He pointed out that his huge following helped him secure a leading role despite being a newer actor.
"Social media stars are kind of taking the traditional route, like movies," he said. "I just saw someone got announced as a series regular on Disney. I think it's becoming blurred (whether you're a digital or traditional actor)."