Kristen Bell, Veronica Mars
What? Kristen Bell
, in the Big Apple, to promote the Tribeca Film Festival premiere of her comedy Fifty Pills
? Say no more — I'm there
. After all, not all of us can rub elbows with her on the set, as Ausiello did during his turn as an extra on Veronica Mars
(Tuesdays at 9 pm/ET). Radiating sunniness and warmth, Bell had much to discuss in addition to Pills
, in which she plays a coed whose mild-mannered beau gets roped into dealing Ecstasy "for just one day," to pay off a student loan. (Been there, done th-... um, crazy concept
, I meant to say!) TVGuide.com asked the actress about her numerous new film roles as well as, of course, the up-in-the-air fate of her UPN series.
TVGuide.com Not that you ever, ever, ever partook, but how do you think Fifty Pills did in capturing the college-campus drug culture?
Kristen Bell: We're not hiding that we're playing up the "funny" consequences of dealing drugs. There are obviously real consequences and it's not a great profession, but this is a comedy. It's not meant to be offensive or belittle the consequences of actually dealing drugs. It's a caricature.
TVGuide.com: Exactly. If you want a serious movie about drug trafficking, let Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones make it.
Bell: Right. Let them do it!
TVGuide.com: Is there anything that you brought to your character, Gracie, that wasn't necessarily on the page?
Bell: I don't know that I brought that much, because between the way [screenwriter] Matt [Perniciaro] wrote it and described it to me and then talking to [director] Theo [Avgerinos] about the character, it was there. They totally created it. I just came and filmed the physical of it.
TVGuide.com: Being such a talented actress, there is so much potential in the types of roles you could explore. Is there any limit in how far from yourself, or from your Veronica Mars character, you are willing to go? [Bell once played a foulmouthed, knife-toting grifter-prostitute on HBO's Deadwood.]
Bell: It's sort of a weird profession being an actor, in that it manipulates your emotions. When you're crying, you're really crying. You're not crying about anything you care about, but you still have the cry inside you, that feeling of sadness you had to go through to produce the tears. It affects your body and your emotions more than it does mentally. So you find that when you're playing a really dark character, you come home with all this s---. You're like, "Why am I edgy? Why am I needy?" It's because you take it home. You don't mean to, but... actors have very nice lifestyles and enjoy the benefits of their careers, but that is a sort of not-talked-about aspect of it. If you're dedicated, you do end up taking some of that home.
TVGuide.com: So it's good to play the occasional light and sunny gal?
Bell: Yeah! Someone sunny and gay and skipping!
TVGuide.com: Your horror movie Pulse, originally due out in March, is instead hitting theaters July 14. Was it frustrating to have its release pushed back?
Bell: Yeah, but we've been doing some reshoots that I think are going to make the movie even better, and that only shows the support of [producer-distributor the Weinstein Company]. They're not like, "Oh, just release it. If it has holes, it has holes." I know some people are like, "It's a horror movie. It doesn't need to make sense." [Laughs] But if it's really good, it makes sense! And living up to Kairo, the Japanese version, is a really [tough task]. But ours is going to be good.
TVGuide.com: You also have Fanboys coming out this year. [Bell's Fifty Pills costar, Lou Pucci (Thumbsucker), cameos as "Boba Fett No. 1."] Is that film a love letter to Star Wars obsessives, or might it ruffle feathers à la William "Get a Life!" Shatner on Saturday Night Live?
Bell: Oh, it's a massive love letter. An orgy to the fans. And the movie is hysterical. It's about these four guys and this one sort of nerdy girl who attaches herself to them. [They] drive cross-country to break into George Lucas' ranch to steal [Star Wars: Episode I], because it's 1998. It's a great cast and I hope everyone's going to love it. Carrie Fisher and Billy Dee Williams cameo. It's really funny.
TVGuide.com: TV-wise, what's your current gut instinct regarding Veronica Mars getting picked up for a third season by the new CW network?
Bell: I'm not worried about next season at all. We've gotten the phone calls and optimism from the people that we need to get it from. Like, [CW president of entertainment] Dawn Ostroff and [CBS chairman] Les Moonves have been very involved, saying, "Don't worry." You never know until it's down to the wire what it's going to be, but they've never hidden their support as viewers or as executives. I think the show has a lot to offer, and if we're lucky, we'll be back. But I'm really not worried.
TVGuide.com: How best can you tease Mars' season finale?
Bell: [Pushes up right sleeve of shirt to show faded bruise] I had the most ginormous bruise you've ever seen in your life — it was the size of your tape recorder — on my arm. It looked so vile and it had this big bump in the center that I got from doing a finale stunt. People were staring at it all week. I think that what is done in the final episode hasn't been done on television before. Not in the way of stunts or anything, but the theory behind it, if you really think about it, hasn't been done. I think that's because [series creator] Rob Thomas challenges himself. They tried really hard to make it as good as Season 1, and I really think it is. As usual, a couple of people are offed — there will be some deaths. [Laughs]
TVGuide.com: You're like UPN's version of Jack Bauer, people dying all around you!
Bell: Yeah, right! It's like, "You know what? You're dead, you're dead, and you're dead!" The total number of people killed by the end of this season will be 21. That's the number of people [killed off] after two years, 44 shows. Technically, every other episode, somebody's dying. Not good odds. [Laughs]