from Interview magazine you can see the complete article here:

“Everyone keeps asking me, ‘What’s next?'” says Troian Bellisario over the phone. She is talking to her longtime friend and occasional Pretty Little Liars director, Lesli Linka Glatter. “I truly feel like Pretty Little Liars was my first step in my career, my foundation. The same thing with [new film] Feed—it’s the first step not only in the world of filmmaking for me, but as a writer. Now I just want to feel like there’s forward momentum,” she continues. “I think it’s up to me to continue to create my own opportunities.”

Raised in Los Angeles, Bellisario grew up in the film and television industry: her father is the writer, director, and producer Donald P. Bellisarion (NCIS; Quantum Leap; Magnum, P.I.) and her mother is the director, producer, and former actor Deborah Pratt. Since graduating from USC in 2009, Bellisario has been working constantly. For the last seven years, she’s starred as Spencer in the television drama Pretty Little Liars, which is currently in its last season. Earlier this month she made her directorial debut on the show, and in July she will release Feed, the movie she wrote and stars in based on her personal experiences with an eating disorder.

BELLISARIO: I think it really stems from my parents telling me that if there is a story you feel compelled to share, then you are responsible for doing that. You can’t ask someone else to take on that story—or you can, but you have to deal with whatever the fallout is. If the story doesn’t end up being told the way you originally heard it or that you feel it needs to be expressed, that’s on you. Right before I got Pretty Little Liars, I graduated and I got a job at the Geffen [Playhouse in Los Angeles] to do a production of a play called Equivocation.

GLATTER: You were the lead in that play, right?

BELLISARIO: I was the only female in it—there were four other guys—and I was definitely the youngest. It was a really intense first job and I knew that I was going to be so nervous and that I couldn’t really go out and audition for other things. There was this emptiness in me that I wanted to, not fill, but engage. I felt like there was a story in me that hadn’t been told, and it was a very personal story and it came from a point in my life when I felt like I had experienced something and, still to this day, I couldn’t get anyone—even the people who loved me the most, even my boyfriend or my mother or my father—to understand what that experience was truly like for me. It was about my eating disorder, and I found there were so many people who thought that it was about losing weight or being skinny, and I couldn’t quite get them to understand that it was about control on a very, very literal level. So I thought, “If I can tell a story that puts the audience in a position to make a similar choice to the one that I made in my young life, maybe I could get them to empathize.”

GLATTER: So many people wait and don’t take the active measure to go create something; they’ll be more reactive. The fact that you have taken that step, as well as being an actor in other people’s work, I think that’s an incredible balance to strike in your storytelling career. Did people understand—did your family and boyfriend and the people around you? I remember reading the script and thinking, “This is really powerful and personal and very moving.”

BELLISARIO: Thank you. They were all very supportive. They were all very afraid, which I totally understand. They’d been through hell watching me and feeling powerless themselves. And here I was saying, “Hey guys, I know that I’ve gone through a lot of therapy and a lot of heartbreak to make myself strong enough to live without this thing, but I’m actually going to make a movie where I go back and engage with it fully.” It was not easy; it was like engaging with an addiction. One of the things I really wanted the film to explore was that once you have this relationship, once you have this mental illness or this disease, it never really goes away. Your synapses are wired in a way that you will always feel this compulsion, but as you grow older and create a healthier life and go through lots of therapy, you tend to feel more empowered when it comes to making these choices. My neural pathways were all still there and connected to the disease, so when I had to engage with the film, it was like poking a sleeping dragon. It was amazing for me to realize, “Oh god, this is still all just lying under the surface. I’ve just gotten really good at either ignoring it or choosing to not engage with it.” But it’s amazing that you can have this huge, life-threatening thing be a part of you and still live inside of you, and almost tame it in a weird way.

GLATTER: Right. And by doing that, empowering other men and women who have that same issue to be able to see it in another way.

BELLISARIO: That’s what I hope, and that’s why, for me, it had to be a film. It couldn’t be a documentary about my own experience, it couldn’t just be me telling the details of my story; it had to be a narrative that wasn’t about me.