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Thread: Kristen Bell - 'Russell Brand is such a softie'

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    Default Kristen Bell - 'Russell Brand is such a softie'

    YOU exclusive: Kristen Bell - 'Russell Brand is such a softie'

    By Jane Mulkerrins
    UPDATED: 00:01, 24 June 2012


    Kristen Bell, star of hot new comedy-drama series House of Lies, has worked with some of the most outré male actors. But, as she tells Jane Mulkerrins, she can more than hold her own

    'Working with a bunch of guys on House of Lies, it is sink or swim. I can't help showing off to them'

    It would be difficult to imagine a starker contrast between the actress Kristen Bell and the surroundings I find her in. The glamorously seedy hotel in which we meet, in the heart of Hollywood, is a tribute to the city’s tendency towards rock ’n’ roll excess. Kristen, on the other hand, arrives glowing with dewy good health, make-up free and sporting a downright sensible cycling helmet. ‘I take the subway as well,’ the petite 31-year-old tells me proudly. ‘Quite often I am the only one on it.’ In fact, I’d wager that most locals in LA, where the car is undisputed king, probably aren’t even aware that there is a subway system.

    Such level-headedness is not what you might expect from your average starlet. But in spite of a decade in show business, with roles including that of the teenage television detective Veronica Mars, Elle Bishop in Heroes, the title character in the film Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and five years as the voice of Gossip Girl, Kristen seems refreshingly unaffected by the fame game.

    Her only real rock ’n’ roll attribute appears to be her self-confessed ‘potty mouth’, which she claims has become more pronounced on the set of her latest project, House of Lies, Sky Atlantic’s racy new comedy-drama about hard-living, loose-moralled management consultants, in which she plays Jeannie Van Der Hooven, whom she fondly describes as ‘a well of confusing, vacant, needy, narcissistic emotion’.

    As one of the few women in the cast, Kristen admits that ‘my mouth gets worse when I am hanging out with the guys [the show also stars Don Cheadle, comedian Ben Schwartz and Australian actor Josh Lawson]. It’s less because they are influencing me, and more because I am peacocking – I can’t help showing off to them.’ Frankly, it’s a relief to discover that this seemingly squeaky-clean, environmentally conscious vegan cyclist has at least one vice…

    I like making films, but I love doing television. In my opinion, 80 per cent of films out there are so-so or sh***y, whereas the majority of television these days is excellent. You have Mad Men, Breaking Bad, Damages – the list goes on and on. They are extremely well-crafted shows that great writers have created and great actors have gravitated towards.

    Doing movies is much more nomadic, and I like the consistency of television. I am very much a creature of habit; I am similar to a dog in almost every way. I like seeing the same people every day.

    I didn’t want to have the lead role in a television show again, because I wanted my real self to
    coexist with whatever character I was playing, and that just doesn’t happen when you are the lead. I loved playing Veronica Mars, but I did not sleep, or have any kind of social life. There were times when I would work 16 hours a day, every day. It was engulfing. I have much more balance now.

    If you ask my husband [actor and comedian Dax Shepard] and me, we’d say we are married; if you ask the State of California, they would say we are not. We have been engaged for two years, but we haven’t signed our papers yet.


    Kristen attends the "Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations" Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

    I didn’t want to end up an old lady who never developed secure emotional relationships because I was so addicted to being an actress. I act very normally in real life. I don’t walk around my house thinking how incredible I am.

    Russell Brand [with whom she starred in Forgetting Sarah Marshall] is such a softie. His public persona is just an act. I think that person exists in him, but I don’t think that person is him. I worked alongside him so closely, and he is such a kind, gentle, lovely guy.

    We had a lot of sex scenes to do together, and you’d think I would have come away with a ton of juicy stories, but I didn’t. He was one of the most respectful scene partners I have ever had. We’d be in the bed between takes and he’d make sure that the sheet was pulled up so that I wasn’t showing any flesh – he was like a big brother. I feel lucky to know that side of him and I wish more people did.

    One of my best friends, Jenny DeRita, was killed in a car accident when we were 17. Losing her at such an early age taught me how to be a better human being. I didn’t take things for granted any more. That was the start of my adulthood.

    I love to cook. I have a tiny Italian grandmother inside me. If someone walks in, I’m like, ‘Let me make you a sandwich!’ We all have a giving-love language and a receiving-love language. I show love by cooking.

    Two of my girlfriends and I were considering moving from New York [where Kristen studied drama at university] to LA after graduation. We each had a 30 per cent inclination to move there. Together that made almost 100 per cent, so we decided to do it together. Collectively, we had enough chutzpah to get here.

    I rarely wear clothes when I’m at home by myself. I love making breakfast naked. But you’ve got to make sure the gardener’s not coming that day.

    Growing up, I was a nerdy Catholic schoolgirl who sang in the choir. I was always too small to play sports, so I felt a part of something in the choir.

    My singing teacher gave me Stephen Sondheim’s ‘Green Finch and Linnet Bird’ as homework one day and it changed things for me. Before then, I’d been singing Italian arias. Suddenly I thought, ‘Wow, this is in English, I can connect to what this girl is going through.’ It made me want to get involved in theatre.

    The first few years trying to make it as an actress were tough from my perspective, but if I look at it from the perspective of what every other actor goes through, I was fed a silver spoon; I had it very easy. It is a roller coaster of emotions, of course, because you are putting yourself out there, asking people, ‘Yes? No? Am I good? Am I not good?’ But I was still only 24 when Veronica Mars came along.

    People don’t really recognise my voice. They are often surprised when they find out, and say: ‘You’re the voice of Gossip Girl – really? I had no idea.’ It makes me wonder if I really do that much of an affectation. I don’t throw my voice or anything – I just try to sound really bitchy and sassy.

    Gossip Girl is the antithesis of my experiences at Catholic school back in Detroit, Michigan. I was lucky if I washed my hair once a week, let alone know anything about fashion. I didn’t go to parties – I was very much a goody-goody. But I didn’t want for friends.

    New York is the theatre centre of the world, and I was desperate to study there. And when I arrived, I felt as though I had landed exactly where I was supposed to. I loved the culture, I loved how open and accepting it is.

    My parents [her mother is a nurse, her father a journalist] broke up when I was six months old, and both remarried, but both of them were very active in their parenting. I have seven step- and half-siblings, plus my dad is one of 12, so I have over 50 cousins on that side of the family. Family is a big deal to us.


    Kristen in House Of Lies

    With fiance Dax Shepard




    Oregon [in the Pacific Northwest of the US] is my Eden. There are rampant blueberry bushes
    growing on the side of the highway. It is the most fertile, verdant environment ever. There are bright
    blue hydrangeas the size of human heads growing everywhere. I am very stimulated by plants.

    I ride my bike everywhere and I hike a lot. I did a couple of elite military-style fitness training sessions recently too. I cried twice. It was awful. But you do feel so accomplished afterwards. This was no ‘tone this skinny little muscle to look like a lady’ regime. It’s more, ‘If you want to be a Navy Seal, do this!’

    I am lucky that I gravitate towards vegetables and healthy food, because I can get very lazy. I have been a vegetarian for a long time, and I recently went vegan. Ethical eating is important to me – I don’t want to do just what is healthy for me, but what is healthy and sustainable for the rest of the planet too.

    Working with a bunch of boys on House of Lies, it is sink or swim. Cat Deeley guest stars in the second episode, and she holds her own. She is very funny – how did I not know that? I thought, ‘OK, we hired this totally gorgeous woman, let’s see if she can act.’ And she was incredible.

    Comedy is my natural métier. When I moved to LA, I was hired as the girl who could cry. I was always the girl who had been raped or attacked; they were great jobs but depressing. I naturally gravitate towards comedy, though. It is a real high when you can make someone giggle.

    It’s about time that women found their identity in comedy. The current crop of girls – Tina Fey, Kristen Wiig, Zooey Deschanel – deserve every bit of attention they’re getting. Every one of them cracks me up. We’re finally catching up with the men.

    I believe in having a strategy, but that shouldn’t be the only way you make decisions. I follow my gut and try to live in the moment.



    Kristen craves:
    Currently reading The End of Overeating by Dr David Kessler. It’s about the scientific studies of our cravings, and how addicted we are to the combination of salt and fat and sugar.

    Watching on TV Downton Abbey — I love it. My husband can never remember the names of any of the characters, so always calls them Lord Pigglesworth and Lady Worship. We’re also watching box sets of Homeland and The Wire. I am a little nervous I may never leave the house again.

    Listening to Martin Sexton, Audra Mae, and Mika’s Life in Cartoon Motion, which is my summer anthem. On a nice sunny day, I can’t not play ‘Grace Kelly’.

    Fashion I really like Jenni Kayne, Rebecca Taylor, 3.1 Phillip Lim.

    Splurged on A nice pair of thick wooden-heeled Chloé summer sandals. I needed them to go with every outfit I have ever worn in my life. Totally justifiable.

    Favourite city New York or Hood River, Oregon.

    Most like to live Here in Los Angeles.

    Stuck in a lift with Can I say my husband? That is so lame. Can I say a sloth? I would like to be stuck in a lift with a sloth.

    House of Lies will be on Sky Atlantic in the Autumn
    "I don't know what I am to them, maybe a penguin XD" - Tiny Pixie

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    fgg
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    is this the first actual confirmation that they got married? i only remember speculation before.
    can't post pics because my computer's broken and i'm stupid

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fgg View Post
    is this the first actual confirmation that they got married? i only remember speculation before.
    I got the imprssion they were engaged, but think of themselves as married already.
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    I can't help it, I find her so endearing. Loved her on Veronica Mars and she's always a hoot on Craig Ferguson's show.

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    Quote Originally Posted by fgg View Post
    is this the first actual confirmation that they got married? i only remember speculation before.

    If you ask my husband [actor and comedian Dax Shepard] and me, we’d say we are married; if you ask the State of California, they would say we are not. We have been engaged for two years, but we haven’t signed our papers yet.


    I'd say not.
    "I don't know what I am to them, maybe a penguin XD" - Tiny Pixie

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    fgg
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    oops...reading comp fail. i read about half of the article and skimmed the rest.
    can't post pics because my computer's broken and i'm stupid

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    Elite Member SoCalMarie's Avatar
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    I like her - she seems down-to-earth, and in the interviews I've seen/read of hers, she seems real and truthful - like your sitting down with a friend and having a conversation. (as opposed to women like Megan Fox who just seems to say whatever will get her the most PR)

    Plus, I every time I think of that sloth vid - I crack up laughing about how great/cute her reaction is.







    Back to the topic: I think most all comics have this insecure/gentle/sensitive side to them, and use comedy to cover that sensitive side.
    SuriCruise and Jazzy64 like this.

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    Elite Member Mrs P's Avatar
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    That article was too long to read for a Sunday.

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    Even though I usually smell bullshit when celebs talk about how down-to-earth they are, I think it's probably actually true in her case that she's a homebody--she's spent very little time in the tabloids or trying to raise her profile by who she dates. Plus, she'll always get points from me for Veronica Mars.

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    She has such a cute personality. Watching a clip of her on Ellen that day really made me like her.

    [youtube]t5jw3T3Jy70[/youtube]
    “What are you looking at, sugar-tits?” - Mel Gibson

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    I like her and Dax. They seem like people you'd like to hang out with and maybe visit a sloth with.
    I am going to come and burn the fucking house down... but you will blow me first."

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    Love her, can't help it.
    If you reveal your secrets to the wind you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.

    - Kahlil Gibran

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    She's cute, I like her.
    "Cake is the language of love" - Dylan Moran

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    Anyone who loves sloths that much is all right with me.
    Santa is an elitist mother fucker -- giving expensive shit to rich kids and nothing to poor kids.

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    I like her too. I've liked her since before I knew she was a big time celeb... caught her on a show on Lifetime called "Gracie's Choice" and I really liked her right away.
    Kill him.
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