After years of praying and hoping and wishing and dreaming for Kristen Bell to return to the small screen medium that turned her into a household name, the artist formerly known as Veronica Mars is back.
Playing Jeannie Van Der Hooven, a bright and beautiful up-and-coming member of a cutthroat management consulting firm fronted by Marty Kaan (Don Cheadle) in Showtime’s newest series HOUSE OF LIES, Bell has finally been given the opportunity to grow up. And nobody is as happy about that fact than her.
“It’s a very very different role than anything I’ve ever played,” explained Bell of her flirtatious and mysterious new character. “For one it’s an adult, I’m playing my age — YEEEES — not acting my age! For another, the character is very flawed and I think that makes it interesting.”
Suffice it to say, interesting doesn’t even begin to describe Bell’s latest role that has her immersed in the often indefinable and murky world of management consulting. Said the actress, “Management consultants do anything and everything it takes to get the job. No one really knows what consultants do and I don’t think consultants actually know, but they know they need to walk in there and convince you they are necessary. Not unlike an actor’s job, I will say, striking similarities there. So there’s a lot of putting it together on the fly, which keeps the pace of the show up because you never know if it’s about to unravel.”
Which, let’s face it, is half the fun and much of the appeal of acting on a cable network like Showtime, where anything really does go.
“I think they’re [Showtime] not under the same restrains as the Networks so they can go a little further with subject matter, with what they show and how provocative they are.” admitted Bell when asked about the differences between Network and cable. “I think it’s a little more interesting and I had my eye and was looking for something to kind of come back to TV. It’s like a feeling that I’ve been away from home for too long. I love doing movies, but I look at TV like high school and movies like camp. You create these great relationship in movies and then they sort of dissipate and you sort of go your separate ways. With TV, I like the crew that I work with and going to the same job everyday, it appeals to my emotional stability a lot more.”
Also appealing — aside that is from the risk of putting out a bad movie (“Unlike that one bad episode of VERONICA MARS in season 3… which didn’t exist by the way, you can do one bad movie and it can be attached to you as a little barnacle for the rest of your career!”) and not having to face the burden of carrying an entire series on her own shoulders (“If I tried to explain how happy I am to get to take a backseat, yet still have completely relevant role that is interesting and dynamic that is not all resting on my shoulders that tape would run out.”) was how comfortable the producers made her feel with regards to the more provocative nature of the series.
“She [Referring to her character] gets around, which is interesting and awkward to shoot but feels surprisingly safe. I did it in Sarah Marshall a little bit but haven’t done a ton of those kind of simulated sex scenes but they’ve actually been feeling weirdly comfortable,” said Bell. “I was very measured about talking to the Producers and they were basically like, ‘You own it so tell us what you will do, tell us what you won’t do’ and it just made me feel very in control which is all you can ask for.”
Well, that and a run that lasts slightly longer than the dearly departed brilliant but canceled VERONICA MARS.
HOUSE OF LIES premieres on Sunday January 8th at 10PM on Showtime (Monday at 9PM on TMN in Canada). Watch Kristen Bell’s HOUSE OF LIES For Free Online Right Now!