Kristen Bell is happy she doesn’t have a job green-lighting stupid movies
IT IS hard making a movie that will make people in one room laugh. It is probably 10 times harder creating a comedy that a global audience will find, well, funny.
Speaking to the international press about their latest movie You Again, on-screen mother and daughter Jamie Lee Curtis and Kristen Bell were both at least confident that one of the best things about the movie is that it is relatable.
Not because of the cliched American high school theme per se, but the fact that this comedy touches on some common life issues – like insecurities, acceptance and, yes, betrayal.
“To me high school is about betrayal for the first time,” Curtis explained. “You go (whispering), ‘I like him’, and the next thing you know it’s written on the wall.
“That (the betrayal of trust) to me is the real high school trauma.”
Steering quickly back to Disney’s latest, which also stars Sigourney Weaver and Betty White, the 51-year-old actress added: “It’s not the funniest movie ever made, but it’s funny, light and fun … cute.” And that says a lot coming from a former Scream Queen and star of the cult runaway hit A Fish Called Wanda.
Bell, who plays the once-traumatised-teenager Marni, is equally comfortable flitting between genres. Her roots are in musical theatre, but one would have to credit her TV roles in Veronica Mars and Heroes, and, more recently, her stint at the movies with comedies like Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Couples Retreat and When In Rome for her rising popularity.
And while she, too, admitted that stereotypes in this, her latest rom-com, are a little severe, the story is something people will “get”.
She said: “Everybody has a ‘mean girl’ … because we as human beings are innately insecure and I think it (the comedy) speaks to that.”
Commenting on why she decided to make this film, the 30-year-old said, “It’s hard. There are scripts you love that speak to you and may not speak to anybody else but you. It’s a constant process of trying to figure out what other people will like, which is a losing battle in my opinion.”
“Sometimes, when you’re an executive and you’re green-lighting movies, you may green-light the stupidest movie ever and it may make $150 million,” she continued. “I mean, you never know, and that’s why I would never want to be an executive.”
How very true.
Was it difficult to relate to a character like Marni?
Kristen Bell: No, because that girl lives inside me even today. I’m sure that girl lives in all of us. Everybody feels ugly at points. And when you get your hair and make-up done, you feel great … Like right now, I feel wonderful because I had a really talented make-up artist this morning.
Do you like doing comedy more than other genres?
Mmm, at this point, yeah. I mean it depends on the day you ask me, because sometimes I’m like craving for something dramatic.
Still, isn’t there a bit more satisfaction as actor when you’re also able to be that funny?
I don’t know if I’m that funny. I hope that I am! But I think comedy’s harder. I see amazing comedians and I’m like, “Oh my gosh, how do they do it?” Because your brain has to work really, really, quickly, and you have to very much be in the moment. I do think comedy is harder than drama.
Do you think more could have be done with this hilariously talented ensemble if it wasn’t a Disney movie?
Oh, wow, well … I don’t know if a lot more could have been done. I mean, I think the comedy is on the broader side and it’s still very funny … I don’t know, but I think we did a good job with what we had, and that we did have to make it a certain rating. I don’t necessarily know if we would have gone dirtier …
But you had Betty White!
She gave us enough dirt off set. What did she say to me one time? She said the word “pecker” and I thought I was going to lose my water. That was really funny.
You Again is in cinemas now.