Kristen Bell finally gets to act her age
HOLLYWOOD: Kristen Bell may be the only woman in Hollywood actually trying to age herself.
At 29, she still looks like a teen. You'd definitely card her.
Most people first got to know her as a high-school detective in the title role of TV's "Veronica Mars," from 2004 to 2007. She was already in her 20s then.
In the recent comedy hit "Couples Retreat," opposite Vince Vaughn and Jason Bateman, the actress has gotten to mature a bit — playing a woman who after a number of years of marriage has problems because of her inability to conceive.
"It's exciting to start playing characters that are more my age," Bell says. "I know the facts of the situation are that I look a lot younger than I actually am."
But in the animated "Astro Boy," which opened last week, the Detroit native is back to voicing a teen as Cora, who helps the robot hero.
Still, Bell is making progress. In "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" she got to play Jason Segel's obsession as the title character.
You'll see her next in the comedy "Serious Moonlight," directed by Cheryl Hines, in which she plays the younger woman whom Timothy Hutton is leaving his wife (Meg Ryan) for.
Early next year, she stars in the Disney romantic comedy "When in Rome." In it, she plays an ambitious New Yorker disillusioned about love until she takes some coins from a magic fountain and finds herself pursued by an odd group of suitors, including Danny DeVito,
on Heder, Josh Duhamel, Will Arnett and current boyfriend Dax Shepard.
And a number of projects are lined up, including another Disney movie.
Right now, the actress is doing a lot of comedies, but eventually she'd like to see more diversity in her career.
"Before anyone cared who I was, I did more dramatic stuff. I did the first season of 'Deadwood,' which was pretty dramatic" she said.
"I found myself when I first came to L.A. being cast as the girl who got beaten up or the girl who got raped. And then I started doing all these comedies."
After graduating from high school, Bell moved to the Big Apple to attend New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. In 2001, she made her Broadway debut and later got a role Off-Broadway in the musical version of "Reefer Madness," the 1936 film warning of the perils of smoking marijuana.
The actress says she wasn't looking for a change.
"I love theater," Bell says. "I never thought that I would move to L.A. I was perfectly content doing theater for the rest of my life. I really love being on stage."
But then she met director Andy Fickman ("Race to Witch Mountain"), who persuaded her to move to Los Angeles and directed her in the 2005 Showtime version of "Reefer Madness" and recently in the Disney comedy "You Again," slated for release next summer.
And while she misses the theater, Bell says she's "sort of happy where I am ''
"It's sort of important to me to stay emotionally happy; so I don't know if I would go back to New York right now for an extended period of time just because I'd miss L.A. too much — my dogs, my friends."
She also gets to do her off-screen role as narrator of "Gossip Girl" in her pajamas: "It's fun and easy. I love the show."
Bell says people are always asking her to do their answering-machine messages.
"I think because it's a little different than my normal voice. It's a little bit lower and sassier. People don't realize it's me when I'm just talking to them."
The actress is keeping her hand in theater by shopping a musical version of the 1989 cult film "Heathers," although she's not committed to it. It's also been announced that she'll be Christina Aguilera's rival in a new musical feature, "Burlesque," which also stars Cher.
As far as her career is concerned, Bell knows that in a few years "I'll be singing a different tune" about looking so young.
"When I was young, I really looked at the character actors like Catherine O'Hara, Jennifer Coolidge, Kathy Bates. I really admired them, although with my appearance I think I fit a little bit more in the ingenue category. But ingenues tend to be boring."