In The Lifeguard, out this Friday, Kristen Bell stars as a former A.P. writer who moves back to her childhood home, becomes a suburban lifeguard, and spends her afternoons free-floating in her protracted adolescence—a period which involves romancing a neighborhood teenager (David Lambert) and worrying her childhood friends (played by Mamie Gummer and Martin Starr). Coincidentally, after filming the dark comedy—written and directed by Liz Garcia, and out in theaters this Friday—Bell began another homecoming project, returning to her television origins with the Kickstarter-funded Veronica Mars movie. Filmed six years after the conclusion of Rob Thomas’s teenage-sleuth series, the crowd-sourced comedy is slated to arrive in theaters next year after a Comic-Con preview this summer that put fans in a Neptune-nostalgia-induced frenzy.
In anticipation of the projects, the actress met us last month in West Hollywood to discuss—among other things—the backyard pest she battled for the majority of the summer, why her love scene with a teenager wasn’t as awkward as one might imagine, and where Veronica Mars will be in life when she revisits her legions of devoted fans next year.
Julie Miller: I’ve been following your battle with the mockingbird stationed in your backyard. Is it true that you’ve considered filling a Super Soaker with. . .
Kristen Bell: Cat urine? Well, Liz [Garcia] told me about that. I bought the Super Soaker because we tarped the tree [where the mockingbird lives]. Last year, he did the same thing and I had a Nerf gun and I shot bullet-sized Styrofoam bullets at him. I’m telling you, the tree is like a landfill. There are all of these empty water bottles wedged in it. There are, like, aspirin bottles, a Clinique lipstick, and junk that I was throwing at the tree to try to get him to come down. But it’s actually a familiar problem. There are blogs about “How I Got Rid of My Northern Mockingbird.”
I’ve considered tying shiny ribbons to my tree because they don’t like things that are shiny or flutter. I bought the Super Soaker. I sprayed the tree once but I didn’t nail him. And Liz said to put my all into it and find some cat urine. I was one step away from Googling “where to find cat urine” and the sucker didn’t show up again.
Knock on wood.
Knock on wood. Can you believe that? He left last week. I’ve had peace and quiet.
Aside from this war on your backyard mockingbird, you’ve been pretty outspoken about your love for animals—even letting Ellen DeGeneres show a home movie of you crying out of happiness upon meeting a sloth. Has anyone offered you an animal-related reality show yet?
No. I’m very into animals. Maybe one day. I mean, believe me, this isn’t the first time I’ve ever thought of it. I’ve dreamed, to an inappropriate degree, of teaming up with Jeff Corwin at one point. I was like, “We’d be perfect on the road together. Our comedy is in line with each other. He’d have the know-it-all. I’d be able to explain stuff he’d tell me off-camera.” I was into it. Maybe one day.
I saw The Lifeguard at Sundance and loved how it captured that moment when you don’t really want to make the jump from adolescence to adulthood. Did you identify with your character’s inability to make that transition?
Continue reading Kristen on the Veronica Mars Movie and Her Barely Legal Lifeguard Love Scene
Kristen Bell attends the 1st Annual Founders Party for the Invisible Children’s 4th Estate Leadership Summit at Royce Hall, UCLA on August 10, 2013 in Westwood, California.