By now you’ve likely seen the video of Kristen Bell that went viral yesterday. If not, believe you me, I included it below — hilarious! It was extra funny for me because I just got to meet her about a week ago (and I have previously interviewed her fiance, a.k.a. the camera man in the video, Dax Shepard). In fact, I was waiting for the elevator on my way to interview her with other mom bloggers and when the door opened, there she was! It was instantly awkward… do I say something now? Does she know the group I’m with are the people about to interview her? Since I am not exactly the silent type (ahem), I said, “We’re the mom bloggers about to interview you.” And she responded, “Lots of estrogen in this elevator.” Read on to find out what went on when we did interview her about her role as a newscaster in Big Miracle opening February 3, her favorite all time role and more… and of course to watch THAT video.
Do you prefer doing movies and going on location? Or would your rather do TV and only have one place to go to?
Without question the latter. Without question. I wasn’t always that way, because traveling is very exciting, and you meet new people. And not many careers allow you to live in different cities comfortably throughout your career, because the truth is, when you go on location, you have someone who knows the city at your fingertips that you can ask questions. It’s organized for you, you know?
In the last sort of five years of my life, I think that I’ve planted roots a little bit and felt more like an adult. It devastates me to have to leave home. I’m such a home body. And the only thing I actually like to do is just close the doors and just cook and watch TV. I’d be fine without any interaction socially, other than my career. Sorry.
You should be a blogger.
I think so, right? Listen, it’s fine, you know?
The first time I became aware of your work was in Deadwood. I’m still devastated--.
–Sorry about that. I’m fine.
But, you’ve had such an amazing career since then. And one of my readers wrote in and wanted me to ask you, besides this of course, has there been a part that’s been your favorite to play?
Oh, wow. Well, Deadwood was definitely one of my favorites because it came out of nowhere. It was darker than anything I’d done, and I’d primarily done theater before that.
My parents did not watch Deadwood, by the way, specifically because of the brutality against my character. I told them what happened throughout my story line and my arc, and they said, “No, good. We don’t need to see you get murdered. I’m good. It’s fine. It’s something I don’t need to witness.”
I’m most grateful in my heart for Veronica Mars for a couple reasons. Number one, because I would’ve watched the show with or without my involvement. I loved everyone involved. I feel like I paid a lot of dues on that show.
I learned a lot about the business. It gave me sort of my first break into anything because I was lucky enough to have been chosen through an audition process by these really brilliant, funny writers that created just an awesome show. And I still love them with all my heart, and I’m so grateful for that opportunity.
It was hard while I was there, and I don’t think I was as grateful as I should’ve been while I was shooting it, because I was like, “I’m tired. We’ve shot 18 hours. I’m so exhausted.” But, I still look on that with such fond memories, and I was just lucky to be a part of that brilliant group.
What was it like to work with the robot whales in Big Miracle? The animatronic whales? Or did you think they were real? Did they cut you out when they had to do some of the shots?
[Deadpans] They were more real than some actors I know… Not in this movie. They were so well made from their scarring to their barnacles. From action to cut, you genuinely felt connected, as if they were animals. At least that’s how I felt.
So, it was comedic when they’d raise them up, and you’d realize there was some New Zealander with a joystick, but it was a really unique situation, because you were able to sort of disregard the fact that they weren’t real.
And Ken Kwapis, our director, who is such a lovely man, and it’s really important to him that everyone really experiences things. He’s very genuine. It was so important to him to have it be really animatronic and so lifelike that we got confused. Because in the age of CG where you could CG anything, oftentimes, as an actor, you’re opposite a tennis ball or a green dot or a green screen, and it’s much harder to manifest the sincerity of communicating with something, whether it’s an animal or a cartoon or what have you.
What do you think will be the take away for kids from Big Miracle?
Well, first and foremost, even above the media aspect, or aside from it, I guess, I hope that kids and everyone will realize how unreasonably powerful it is when human beings can come together for a common goal.
You’ll be a good mom.
I hope so.
And now for THAT video:
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