Welcome back to our occasional feature for swimfanning over our celebrity faves! I was scrolling through my Hulu watchlist earlier this week and saw The Good Place down there at the bottom (AKA where shows go when there are no new episodes), and I got a case of the sads. I miss Kristen Bell on my TV screen. So while we wait for another oh-too-short season of a show where it wouldn’t be out of place for a burrito to be an all-divine judge, join me as I lightly stalk K-Bell to see what she’s up to in her downtime.
Fake Girlfriend Name: Kristen Anne Bell
Name Says: Such a normal name for a truly zany person. It matches her tiny, bubbly exterior, but I don’t know if it could truly contain the multitudes of her personality. It means the “follower of Christ”, though personally I think it should stand for “follower of funny” because Kristen is never one to let the punchline pass her by.
Date of Birth: July 18, 1980
Age says: Some of the best people are born on the 18th of a month—I’ve validated this with much empirical evidence coming from no further than my own couch. This also means she’s a Cancer, and the first link I found after Googling says that Cancers are “fierce, energetic, and ready to act on impulse” which seems spot-on to me.
Place of Birth: Huntington Woods, Michigan, U.S.
Birthplace says: A tiny suburb outside of Detroit was never going to be enough to contain this personality, but some of Hollywood’s greats get their humble beginnings in Middle America. After all, you have to understand how the Everyman lives to really capture their humanity for the silver screen.
Educational Background: New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts but left right before graduating to be in Broadway musical version of Tom Sawyer
Education says: She walked the halls of Tisch, a place where many other famous actors got their start, though she made a savvy move to leave early in a field where experience probably often trumps degree, and, as we know, those musical theater days paid off in a big way.
Where You Have Seen Her:
Where haven’t you seen her? In the fourteen years since Bell embodied the best intrepid girl-detective (sorry, Nancy Drew and Harriett the Spy), she and her voice have been all over the silver and small screens. Obviously her most famous role is the voice of Princess Anna from that little indie film, Frozen, but Kristen’s first major film was the titular role in Judd Apatow’s Forgetting Sarah Marshall. We, the informed watchers of The WB, already knew she had great comedic timing from the many well-delivered witticisms of Veronica Mars, but Sarah brought her acting chops to a wider audience.
Over the next few years, before Frozen hit it big, Kristen bounced around doing a myriad of movies like When in Rome (her first rom-com), You Again (legit forgot all about this movie), Hit and Run (she and Dax are perhaps trying to pull a Goldie Hawn/Kurt Russell, as they have now done multiple movies together) and Burlesque (wait, she was in that?). And I think many of the Gossip Girl watchers of the world all had our own personal “Wait…is that…? Holy crap, it IS!” moments at various times during the show’s run when we finally figured out that the voice of Miss XOXO herself was, in fact, Miss Bell.
She’s gone from video game voice (various Assassins Creed games) to paid cable tv powerhouse (Showtime’s House of Lies) to full-on mommy-powerhouse (in Bad Moms AND A Bad Moms Christmas) and now delights us in the quirky TV comedy of The Good Place.
Where You’ll See Her Next:
Season 3 of The Good Place, obvs, which probably won’t be back until mid-Fall 2018. And as if there was ever any doubt it would happen with the amount of money Disney has raked in from the franchise, Kristen will be reprising her role as Princess Anna in Frozen 2, likely coming out sometime in 2019. She’s also starring as Anna again in the sequel, Wreck-It Ralph 2, which will be out late 2018. (I wonder if having two young kiddos has influenced Kristen’s choice to do more voice-acting and shortened TV seasons so she can spend more time at home?)
Why You’ll Adore Her:
I’m pretty sure hanging out with Kristen would be like those perfect friend conversations where everything just flows from one topic to another seamlessly. You ever have one of those? When you just know you’ve found your person as you start off giggle-snorting over a Buzzfeed article about the adorable John Krazinski and finish with a thoughtful discussion on the current plight of Syrian refugees, all over the same meal (consisting of black bean burgers and fries (because K-Bell is a vegetarian, but we, as her BFFs, won’t hold that against her)).
So I present to you: why you should invite Kristen (and Dax, because he seems pretty chill too) to your next couples game night:
She could reenact that time she met a sloth:
She and Dax would be that couple you appreciate for going all-out at your next Halloween costume bash (because Jackie and Sharon just showed up wearing black and white t-shirts with a P and S on them and, what, did you just pick the first thing you Googled, Sharon?):
She’s a good sport when her daughter asks for things like this:
In keeping with the costuming theme, K&D are, if possible, even bigger Game of Thrones nerds than you are:
Make that just bigger nerds than you, period:
She’s a loyal friend, appearing a whopping 26 times on The Craig Ferguson Show because they were IRL friends (click below if you’ve got 4 hours and 40 minutes to spare watching Kristen and Craig banter with each other. Skip to the end if you want to watch a very pregnant Kristen eating peanut butter out of a giant jar while they sit in armchairs by the fire because she is DONE with it) and shamelessly supports her best buds’ accomplishments, like when she appeared on long-time friend Ryan Hansen’s YouTube Red show:
And she’s just as generous with her time and love for her family, like when she helped her sister get a whole new downstairs basement makeover:
Kristen’s not afraid to get real for a second, and has been open in the past about depression and going to therapy, which led to this moment of amazingness where she sings a love ballad to her therapist:
She’s also a genuinely giving person, who regularly promotes the causes she cares about. She’s teaching her daughters to be charitable and help others, she cofounded a company that brings nutrient packets to malnourished children around the world, and has taken what she’s learned about her husband’s past addiction issues and reached out to organizations like PATH and Sun Cedar.
Kristen will be that friend who doesn’t bullshit you when you tell her you’re pregnant, won’t lie and tell you that labor is all sunshine and roses, but instead will be there to offer practical advice and split a croissant when you just need to vent how weird being a mom is (be warned, Bell is a chronic over-sharer and…there’s a lot of it here):
Kristen and Dax are one of those celebrity couples that would totally get to me if they ever broke up. They’ve been open about going to consistent couples therapy as part of maintaining a healthy relationship, learning to fight positively instead of attacking one another or giving over to dramatics, and are fiercely protective of their two young girls staying out of the spotlight. They clearly have a sweet but silly relationship:
I will leave you with what feels like the perfect representation of Kristen Bell, when she, Mila Kunis, and Kathryn Hahn played “Fear Box” over at Vanity Fair, during which Kristen simultaneously creates the phrases “puppy-cat” and “cuddle chicken” and I just love her all the more for it: