Magazine Scans >2016 >Emmy – #08
Kristen Bell’s most recent series, House of Lies, may have just finished its five-season run this summer, but the busy actress is quickly returning to TV screens with the new NBC comedy, The Good Place, debuting this coming Monday. Created by Mike Schur — co-creator of Parks and Recreation and Brooklyn Nine-Nine — The Good Place finds Schur delving into more metaphysical/supernatural terrain with his comedy, in this story of Eleanor (played by Bell), who has died as the series has begin.
But there’s good news for Eleanor in the form of the Good Place of the title. It seems she’s one of the lucky ones sent to the afterlife you very much hope to go to, rather than the dark alternative. The bad news? Eleanor shouldn’t be there. She’s been mistaken for someone else, someone who lived a much better, kinder life than Eleanor did. And now Eleanor needs to figure out a way not to be found out.
I sat down with Bell to discuss The Good Place, the secrecy behind its concept (which wasn’t revealed until the trailer for the show was released), working alongside her TV royalty costar, Ted Danson (who plays the head of Eleanor’s section of the Good Place), and more – including a bit about the future of Frozen, now that it’s become a true cultural phenomenon.
IGN: For me, I hear Mike Schur, Kristen Bell and Ted Danson working together and instantly think that sounds like a great combination, regardless of what the concept is. But what’s funny is that at first, everyone played things real close to the vest as far as what the actualconcept of the show was, beyond something about a woman trying to atone for her misdeeds. So what were your first conversations like with Mike?
Kristen Bell: I heard everything and I mean everything in the first pitch meeting with Mike. I had an hour and a half of verbal diarrhea from Mike Schur, talking about this thing that he had barely worked out but he was super interested in and I was absolutely on the edge of my seat. Then, when I left the meeting and signed onto the project, he said “Okay, now be quiet, because I told you all that so you would sign on and you have an idea of where we’re going, what the show is… But for real, be quiet!” So Ted had the same experience and he and I for the first ten weeks shooting it had to keep a close eye on what we were saying because there are a lot of really fun reveals.
IGN: I promise I don’t mean this as a slightly backhanded compliment, given Eleanor’s persona, but it feels like this is such a perfect character for you because she’s perceived in one way but has this total other edge to her that people don’t guess at first.
Bell: It interests me more than anything else to find a character that, on the page, seems like the antagonist or whose intentions are misinterpreted and find how the audience can sympathize with that. I discovered that playing Sarah Marshall and I’ve been looking for it ever since. It’s incredibly interesting, the pitch Mike Schur had about this jerk who gets into the Good Place, because it’s my job to make you root for her despite these terrible things that she may be doing. So yeah, I think it plays to what I feel my strengths are. I say that in a very humble way. I’m far from the most talented actress on Earth but I feel like I’ve found a niche. I’m not an onion you can’t get to the bottom of. I’m more like a shallot. I’m like a little pink onion. I do have some layers and I might not be as potent but I add some spice to the dish. You know what I mean?
‘Do, Re & Mi’ will be a musical show aimed at pre-school children, the first project under new Gaumont animation head Nicolas Atlan.
Kristen Bell will produce an animated musical series, Do, Re & Mi, for Gaumont Animation.
Bell will take pre-school aged kids on a “musical adventure,” with original tracks performed by theFrozen star and American Idol finalist Jackie Tohn.
“Music has been a huge part of my life for as long as I can remember. I hope this show will inspire a new generation of kids and expose them to the benefits of music, which can be incredibly inspirational, encouraging and fun all at the same time,” Bell said Monday in a statement.
Bell will share producer duties with Tohn, Michael Scharf and Ivan Askwith. The series was created by Tohn and Scharf.
The show will follow Mi, the musical note, who searches for a song each day with pals Do, an electronic tablet, and Re, a bossy keyboard. The trio find their song by the end of each episode.
It will be aimed at pre-school children and be available across multiple screens with apps, games and music videos as part of the project.
For Bell, Do, Re & Mi is the Bad Moms star’s first foray into animation production, though she has voiced both the beloved Princess Anna in Disney’s Frozen and sloth Priscilla in Zootopia.
The series marks the first under new Gaumont animation head Nicolas Atlan, who was appointed earlier this year.
The Good PlaceKristen as Eleanor Shellstrop
Bad MomsKristen as Kiki
CHiPsKristen as ????