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Troian Bellisario on How Eating Disorder Inspired New Film Feed: 'It Was Like Poking a Sleeping Dragon'

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Pretty Little LiarsTroian Bellisario has often been open about her battle with an eating disorder. Now, she’s revisiting her darkest days with the disease in her new film Feed.

“It was not easy; it was like engaging with an addiction,” Bellisario told Interview Magazine of working on the film based on her personal experiences. “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.”

The indie drama follows close-knit teen twins Olivia (played by Bellisario) and Matthew Grey (Tom Felton), who experience a tragedy that alters their relationship, Deadline reports.

Bellisario said that the film is, in part, an effort to get viewers to understand that eating disorders are seldom about losing weight or being skinny, but often “about control on a very, very literal level.”

“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,” she said.

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Bellisario wrote the movie and said the process of bringing her vision to life 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,’ ” she told the magazine. “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.”

Feed is due out on digital platforms and Video on Demand on July 18, ET Online reports.