Kristen Bell may be petite in person, but she packs a mighty wallop on screen, both as an acerbic comedic actress whose words can sweetly cut you, and as just a smart gal a lot of girls, and women, can look up to.
In The Lifeguard, premiering at this year’s Sundance Film Festival in the U.S. Dramatic Competition category, Bell takes a darker turn, playing a woman who quits her reporter job in New York and returns to where she grew up in Connecticut, taking a job as a lifeguard and falling into a dangerous relationship with a teenager. Check out this exclusive image of Bell, above, from the film. If her sullen expression is any indication, she’s settled into the doldrums, a purgatory stage of life with hints of The Graduate.
The star of TV’s Veronica Mars and now Showtime’s House of Lies chatted with EW about her great chemistry with The Lifeguard‘s first-time feature film director Liz W. Garcia, what it’s like filming House of Lies while pregnant (she’s due in the spring), and her reign as Gossip Girl‘s saucy narrator coming to an end with the conclusion of the six-season series. R.I.P!
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Describe your role in The Lifeguard and working with Liz Garcia. The premise seems to have certain similarities to The Graduate, in terms of someone trying to find themselves, albeit with darker consequences.
KRISTEN BELL: I had been looking for something that I felt spoke to me of someone going through a metamorphosis. I find change so interesting. I love Liz’s writing. She wrote this phenomenal script, One Percent More Human, that was set up numerous times, and she had plans for that to be her directorial debut with Kristen Stewart and Evan Rachel Wood, and then she got pregnant. She ended up pushing it, so The Lifeguard was her first movie. She doesn’t steer away from sexuality, which most female writers do. There’s a tenderness, which makes it clear she’s a female writer. The idea of what do you do when you get stuck somewhere in your life is what appealed to me. READ FULL STORY