Kristen Bell and Hayden Panettiere, Heroes
This is our
kinda hostage crisis! Heroes
went on location to the beach at San Pedro, California, to shoot a scene (airing tonight, 9 pm/ET, on NBC) in which Company men Mohinder (Sendhil Ramamurthy
) and Bob (Stephen Tobolosky) plan to swap Claire (Hayden Panettiere
) for Bob’s daughter Elle (Kristen Bell
), who is being held by Claire’s pop HRG (Jack Coleman
). Got that? The chick exchange will lead to a deadly climax — one prophesied in an Isaac Mendez painting — but right now Panettiere and Bell just wanna have fun. We sat down with these two real-life pals for a seaside chitchat.
TVGuide.com: This is the first time Claire and Elle are in a scene together — the meeting of the hot blonde babes!
Kristen Bell: Yes, it’s the highly anticipated standoff millions are waiting to see! I dressed for the occasion.
Hayden Panettiere: And I — what else is new? — am in my cheerleading outfit. It really disappointed me because Kristen’s in heels and a cool designer outfit. They dress you nice at the Company.
Bell: This is what I wear to the office to kill people. But I wish I was in the cheerleader outfit.
Panettiere: Would they notice if we swapped? It could be like Parent Trap! But Kristen’s not too coordinated. She keeps zapping people and falling over.
Bell: That’s because they’ve got me zapping people in high heels! I look like I’m in a comedy sketch!
Panettiere: Save it, honey. Last season, I had to do a dive out of a window and then do a tuck 'n’ roll — all in 4-inch-heels, OK? It was easy.
TVGuide.com: Divas, please! You’re both wonderful. Now, tell us about the scene.
Panettiere: Elle knows all about Claire, but Claire has no idea who Elle is. All she knows is that HRG is holding Elle hostage for a reason and that Elle is giving her an evil look — so I give her one right back. I’m looking her up and down like “Who are you, bitch?” And she’s like, “You don’t know me but I know you, bitch!”
Bell: The whole idea is that Elle and Claire are two sides of the same coin.
Panettiere: Yeah, HRG didn’t turn Claire into the Company because he knew they’d experiment on her. He knew what they’d turn her into. But Elle’s dad didn’t protect her that way.
Bell: Bodies are not able to take that much electricity and pain, and so Elle’s psychologically a little off her rocker.
Panettiere: We’re like the yin…
Bell: … and the yang.
Panettiere: And now Elle is Claire gone bad.… We don’t technically meet in this scene since we don’t have lines. I do my nasty glare and, trust me, it didn’t require much acting.
Bell: That’s OK. There’s a scene later where I get to zap the hell out of her with my lightning bolts.
Panettiere: [Rolling her eyes] Puh-leeze. She misses me and hits West [Nick D’Agosto].
Bell: I thought I hit you.
Panettiere: No, you hit him. Then he passes out on top of me and crushes me. What a gentleman.
Bell: Men! [Both squeal with laughter]
TVGuide.com: Obviously, Miss Kristen Bell didn’t read the script.
Sendhil Ramamurthy: [Strolling by and overhearing] She doesn’t bother worrying about which of us she electrocutes. She doesn’t care. That’s the real Kristen Bell. Put that in your interview! [He laughs and wanders off]
Panettiere: Our characters are going to have a very interesting relationship. We relate to each other; we get each other.
Bell: Yeah, we’re definitely connected. Our dynamic will change over the course of the next few episodes. Just wait. You’ll find out that Elle holds the key to Claire’s future. I have a past with Peter and a past with Claire’s dad and a future with Claire.
Panettiere: No, you have a past with my dad and a present with Peter.
Bell: No, I have a future with Peter… no wait... [Exasperated]. I do need to read the script.
TVGuide.com: Forget the future, let’s discuss the past. You both knew each other as young actors in New York, right?
Panettiere: She used to change my diapers.
Bell: I did not change Hayden’s diapers!
Panettiere: We met when I was 8.
Bell: And I was… [Hesitates]… well, I don’t want to say how old I was. [Laughs] We were both with the same agency. Hayden doesn’t remember this but I happened to be in the office the day she booked Remember the Titans and she came in with her mom to celebrate. I was there having a meeting and all the agents were saying, ‘We knew it, Hayden! We knew you’d get the movie!” She had these long beautiful blonde curls.
Panettiere: [Grimacing] I know, I know…. Don’t rub it in.
Bell: She was adorable.
Panettiere: And I went to see Kristen on Broadway in Tom Sawyer. I remember that very clearly.
Bell: Did you want to grow up to be me? Do you still want to?
[Panettiere pretends she didn’t hear the question] No, the truth is, Hayden was a very big deal already back then. She was also on Guiding Light at that point. I was just doing Broadway Schmroadway.
TVGuide.com: [To Bell] Did you ever want to get on a soap opera?
Bell: No. Musical theater was my be-all-end-all. That was my ultimate dream.
Panettiere: And then her dream was crushed — now she’s only on Heroes.
Bell: Maybe Elle could sing.
Panettiere: I have always said there should be a musical episode: There is a lot of singing on the set.
Bell: Everybody would try to outdo each other! It would be a total catfight. Jack Coleman sings all day long. Sendhil sings. One day in the car, Masi Oka [Hiro], Zach Quinto [Sylar] and I decided to start a band. It could be like the Heroes all put on a talent show! You know, Hayden and I have been saying for a long time that we wanted to work together, so it’s kinda fun that we now get to be rough and tough because we’re not friends.
Panettiere: Not friends on the show, she means. We’re such good friends in real life that we carpooled to the set today.
Bell: I drove and we got so lost we wound up in a Lowe’s parking lot somewhere.
Panettiere: Yeah, and she wanted to drop me off there.
Bell: I said, “OK, Hayden, you’re here, get out!”
Panettiere: I was like, “Kristen, we’re supposed to be shooting at San Pedro beach today, not Santa Monica beach!”
Bell: I had us in the wrong place. We had like 10 minutes to get to the set and we were still 45 minutes away.
Panettiere: Now it turns out she’s working here till sundown and I’m out after just a couple more shots. So I’m stuck here for hours with no way to get home. I didn’t even bring a book. This wasn’t the best plan.
Bell: I’m sure everyone would love to think I sabotaged her, but it ain’t the truth. But we do enjoy sabotaging each other on screen, if we can keep a straight face.
Panettiere: Our scene today was so hard. I was trying not to laugh. At least Kristen gets to have a smirk on her face. But I have to restrain myself.
TVGuide.com: Unlike what you did on Live with Regis and Kelly a while back.
Bell: Whaaat? What did you do?
Panettiere: I said the F-word. And it was all over the Internet. I was outside the studio and the paparazzi were pushing this little kid to get to me.
Bell: I would have straight-up knocked somebody out if they were pushing a kid.
Panettiere: I just blurted it out, it wasn’t even intentional.
Bell: [Riveted] Ooh, what did you say… like “WTF”?
Panettiere: I think so, very quickly, and somebody managed to catch it.
TVGuide.com: But you came off like a true superhero — protecting a little kid in jeopardy!
Panettiere: Honestly, did they need to report about that? There’s nothing else going on in the world except an 18-year-old — a legal adult — saying the F-word?
Bell: Hayden has the most level head of any 18-year-old I’ve ever met. She’s handling her fame with real grace, isn’t she? I couldn’t do what she does.
Panettiere: Oh, thanks. I had you as a role model. [She reaches over and caresses Bell’s face tenderly and they laugh like crazy]
TVGuide.com: Kristen, how long are you signed with Heroes?
Panettiere: [Perking up] Yeah, how long?
Bell: Hayden just wants to know because she likes to cradle my face.
Panettiere: That’s an inside a joke.
Panettiere: About, uh, something interesting….
Bell: We can’t say. [They are called to return to the set]
Panettiere: Did we actually do an interview here?
Bell: It was more like a non-interview. I feel like we should have been telling information about the show as opposed to revealing that we cradle each other’s faces.
Panettiere: I’ll leave you with this. I’d like to keep Kristen around. I enjoy her. I have fun with her. She’s talented. She’s wonderful. I’m just never going to carpool with her again!
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