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Bel Powley: Sexuality is taboo

Published 07/08/2015

Bel Powley
Bel Powley

Bel Powley thinks the hormonal awakening process of a teenager is “exhausting” in every way.

The 23-year-old British actress stars in new drama The Diary of a Teenage Girl, which centres on her 15-year-old character Minnie’s affair with her mother’s boyfriend.

But even though most people would consider a teenager having sex with a grown man immoral, Bel’s persona isn’t depicted as a bad young lady committing illicit acts.

“I think just in society in general, female sexuality amongst teenage girls is a taboo subject,” Bel explained to Variety. “We don’t want to acknowledge that teenage girls get horny and want to have sex, and in turn that’s very damning to young women, because it makes you feel very alone. Like Minnie says, ‘Am I a freak for having sexual feelings?’ It’s never shown in movies. Women are put in boxes: the virgin waiting for Prince Charming; or the high school slutty girl; or the asexual geeky girl. No one is really those things.”

Bel found portraying Minnie in the flick to be a draining experience.

Having to recall her teenage years for the part made her realise how hard it is to be alive during that period in life.

“I was 21 when we shot it. You know what? When I read the script, I knew the feelings. But when I went back and tried to recreate them, I realised it was difficult,” Bel explained. “When you’re a teenager, your essence is so specific to being a teenager, and everything becomes so extreme. Your emotions are on the surface and you oscillate between different things at one time. If someone touches your tit, you’re like, ‘I love you.’ And then if someone breaks up with you, you’re like, ‘I’m going to die.’ You’re like that all the time. It’s exhausting.”

The Diary of a Young Girl, which also stars Alexander Skarsgård and Kristen Wiig, debuts in American theatres Friday August 7.

© Cover Media

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