Category: Kristen News

Kristen Bell and Ted Danson Dish on ‘The Good Place’ and Their Real-Life Bad Places

Kristen Bell and Ted Danson Dish on ‘The Good Place’ and Their Real-Life Bad Places

The Wrap – Don’t put Danson behind a bar or take him to an escape room, the way Bell recently did.

This story about Kristen Bell, Ted Danson and “The Good Place” first appeared in the Comedy/Drama/Actors issue of TheWrap’s Emmy magazine.

Heaven or hell? Devil or angel? And does it even matter?

NBC’s delightful comedy series “The Good Place” started out as a vision of paradise, albeit a rather odd and completely secular paradise; it ended its first season with the show-shattering reveal that our human characters had actually been spending their time in a radical new version of hell designed to get them to torture each other rather than leaving that job to the pros.

And in Season 2, the show from “Parks and Recreation” creator Mike Schur kept upending itself in the most delicious of ways.

This is a show that can make hell kind of charming and give a fun, cuddly twist to the afterlife. Kristen Bell somehow makes us root for a woman whose self-obsession knows no bounds but who’s smarter and maybe even nicer than she lets on. Ted Danson was a scene stealer even in the first season as a human-torturing demon who had to hide his true nature from the other characters and from the audience.

(Granted, words like demon may not be appropriate for an altogether nonreligious and bureaucratic afterworld; he’s middle management at best, and not very good at his job of torturing humans.)

On a break early in the filming of Season 3, Bell and Danson discussed the pleasures and challenges of a show that delights in blowing up its own premise over and over. (Warning: spoilers ahead.)

Season 2 must have been a real kick for you, Ted, because you finally got to…
TED DANSON Be who I am. Yeah, it was really fun. And it was easier to find the funny, because funny usually is this kind of triangular thing between you, another character and the audience. But I had no relationship to the audience in Season 1. They never saw me in a private moment, or I would have been twirling my mustache.

Would you have taken the part without the knowledge that eventually you were going to get to show who this guy really is?
DANSON Oh, I would have done it. I signed on before I saw a script. I knew that Kristen was likely going to do it. I then listened to Mike Schur empty his mind for an hour and tell me everything he knew about the show and the twist. And I really signed up for Mike Schur.

KRISTEN BELL He can tell a story with detail that is frightening, like a computer. “Here’s what I want to do in Episode 9, and it’s a callback to Episode 6…” And I’m like, “You haven’t even written the pilot, bro! Slow down!”

DANSON Is this the first job you’ve taken when you haven’t read a script?

BELL Yeah. Wow. Yeah. We were sold on the idea, with the twist, and with his commitment to cliff-hangers and pulling the rug out from under people. I just thought, “What a goal. Let him try, I’d love to be a part of it.”

I feel as if Ted needed to know the twist to play his part, but you didn’t.
DANSON But she needed to know in order to take the part.

BELL Well, yes and no. Mike is an unparalleled collaborator, and I think he had respect enough for me to say, “I would like you to know what you’re signing up for.” So he opened the whole kimono that day.

Was it frustrating to hide who this guy was, Ted?
DANSON I don’t know about frustrating, because I had my hands full just trying to fulfill the script. But watching it, I would go, “You’re either doing a really good job, Ted, or that’s some of the worst acting I’ve ever seen.” And I couldn’t quite make up my mind.

BELL Around Episode 8 of the first season, my husband [Dax Shepard] said, “I love your show, but my one critique is that Ted is just wildly underused. He’s just kind of one-note.” And I didn’t tell him the twist, because I can keep a secret.

DANSON [Silently mouths] I can’t.

BELL I couldn’t tell him that there was a very specific reason you’ve never seen Michael on camera by himself, that all those choices were leading up to something wonderful.

DANSON It was hard.

BELL Keeping the secret?

DANSON No, that was easy, because I didn’t. But I didn’t know how to be funny.

BELL I don’t think you realize how funny it is when you’re bumbling.

DANSON I don’t.

BELL It’s pretty cute.

So Kristen, were you looking forward to working with the unleashed Ted Danson in Season 2?
BELL Big time. That terrifying cackle he gave at the end of Season 1, I was like, “What is in store?”

What’s in store is that Michael changes — he starts the season torturing humans and ends as something of a guardian angel.
DANSON Well, he’s madly in love with humans. And I think he recognizes that Eleanor’s way smarter than he is.

BELL I agree.

DANSON He watches her change and still be doomed. And if you can change in the afterlife, you should be able to garner points or something. The system sucks, and it just seems horribly unfair to him that people he’s grown to love don’t stand a chance to be in the Good Place.

As a viewer, I have no idea where the show is going in Season 3. You blew up the premise at the end of Season 1, then took the setting for both seasons and stuck it in a museum on hell. The humans are back on Earth, but for how long?
DANSON Nice try, thinking you can get us to tell you something about Season 3. Not me.

BELL It’s impossible not to say at the end of each of our seasons, “Where on Earth are they going to put us?” No pun intended. “What is going to happen, how could we possibly raise the stakes?” But they figure it out. They are given a problem in that writers room and they figure it out. I don’t even know how they do it, but it’s fascinating what they do.

Kristen, when you were on TheWrap’s comedy actors panel, you talked about how we’re in a time where we need heroes who are good — that we’re not looking for Walter White or Tony Soprano anymore. Do you think this is a show for its time?
BELL I do. I think that when your reality is comfortable, you can be entertained by something uncomfortable. When your reality is more uncomfortable, I think you want to see people fighting for good. You want to see something relatable: “Oh, those people are in a crazy/s—ty situation as well, and they’re figuring it out, and they have hope and drive.”

I think that’s why our show has been successful, because people enjoy that these characters are fighting for goodness amidst all their bumbling complexities and idiotic behavior.

DANSON When I think about Mike Schur, one of the things I think about is that he’s a decent man. And I think to talk about decency and ethics and consequences and do it with a 9-year-old’s fart sense of humor and magical visual effects, it’s just brilliant.

Was the morality of it, for lack of a better word, one of the reasons you were interested?
DANSON I don’t think I got it until I started watching the shows and would see Eleanor wrap up a little moral to our story. It took me a while to get it. You must have gotten it faster.

BELL For sure. In that love fest with Mike in our first meeting, I realized that he, too, has long been preoccupied with what it means to be a good person. I felt a connection with him.

So you have that preoccupation as well?
BELL Oh, yeah. It began as your regular old therapeutic codependency. I wanted to please people, and I want to be liked, and I’m afraid to disappoint people. And in learning how to manage that a little bit more, and figure out how to be good to myself with self-care and boundaries, I realized that a lot of my codependency was things that I really enjoyed, and some of it wasn’t codependency at all. It was just who I wanted to be.

There is a part that recognizes that good behavior makes me feel good. Who knows if there will ever be a reward, but the reward of feeling good is enough for me right now.

Ted, was it as much fun for you as it was for the audience when you showed up as a bartender in a scene late in Season 2?
DANSON No! I hate getting behind a bar. It took me a year on “Cheers” to not be embarrassed or shy. I was so not a bar person or a confident Romeo. I was a backwards, shy kind of kid. Took me almost a year to get that Sam Malone relief-pitcher, bartender arrogance. So having stopped that, I seriously have anxiety stepping behind a bar. It was a great scene, but I was so uncomfortable.

Had you two met before this series?
BELL We had. My husband and I had just watched the first season of “Damages,” which is so good. Ted plays Arthur Frobisher, and we were so obsessed with it that for that year or two, we changed our alias to get mail to Holly and Arthur Frobisher.

Then I booked this movie called “Big Miracle,” which Ted was also in. And I met him for the first time in Alaska in this lobby of the hotel. And I said, “Hello, Mr. Danson, my name is Kristen Bell. I don’t want to freak you out, but I do want to let you know that I am checked into this hotel as Holly Frobisher.” And he was like, “Oh, OK. Very nice to meet you.” I realized in retrospect that was maybe not a good opener.

DANSON Captain Cook.

BELL It was the Captain Cook Hotel. Did it freak you out when I told you I was checked in as Mrs. Frobisher?

DANSON Well, maybe.

BELL Did you, like, tell the ADs to keep me away?

DANSON No. And now that I know you and Dax, I can see how much fun you must have had doing it.

BELL Oh, we loved it.

I hear you took Ted to his first escape room, and I’m wondering if there will be a second.
DANSON No. No f—ing way.

BELL Shut up! There will be a second escape room. First of all, if Mary [Steenburgen, Danson’s wife] and I have anything to say about it, there will be.

DANSON Mary is dying to go again.

BELL I should have done more research, so this one is on me. I should have realized that this was an escape room where A, they split your group up, which is already no fun, and B, they turn off the lights, so it’s pitch black. You are given flashlights, and Ted just sat down on the little twin bed that was in the room and handed Dax his flashlight…

DANSON And just stretched out.

BELL Meanwhile, Mary was killing it on our side. She was an amazing detective.

DANSON It wasn’t just that the lights were out and I like to take naps. It’s also that I was with the guys, and the guys are meant to relax. If I’m around women, I’m up and interested. If it’s the guys, I’m gonna stretch out. There’s no one to impress.

Getting back to your show, do you have any ideas of how you’d like things to end for your characters?
DANSON I can guarantee that whatever I could possibly imagine would fall so short of whatever comes out of Mike’s noggin.

BELL Ditto. Yeah. We know our place, and we’re so happy to live here.

It’s a good place?
BELL Exactly. I have no problem leaving the heavy lifting up to them.

Read more of TheWrap’s Comedy/Drama/Actors Emmy issue here.

Magazine Scans > 2018 > The Wrap
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Why Kristen Bell says she’s ‘obsessive about food’

LA TimesKristen Bell doesn’t just buy groceries and shove them into her refrigerator. Instead, she hits up Google and does what she describes as a “deep dive” into every brand she’s purchased, every ingredient listed on each box.

Food — that’s my jam,” said “The Good Place” and “Frozen” actress. “I want to know what’s in everything. I’m obsessive about food. I want to know who made it and where it came from.

Bell was chatting before a party in West Hollywood to celebrate her other business — This Bar Saves Lives — a line of snack bars co-founded by Bell and fellow actors Ryan Devlin, Todd Grinnell and Ravi Patel. On this night, a couple of new flavors were being launched (dark chocolate and coconut, peanut butter and jelly) to add to the gluten-free, non-GMO and kosher products.

I’d always been struck by this feeling that charity is wonderful, but businesses could do better,” said Bell, 37. “There is a lack of giving back in the food space.

The solution, according to Bell and her co-founders? With every bar they sell, a nutrition packet will be given to a malnourished child via Plumpy’Nut — a peanut butter, powdered milk and vitamin parcel that can take “a skeletal baby at death’s door to a healthy, thriving child,” she said.

Nutritious convenience foods, prized berries from the farmers market and clever swaps — cauliflower crust pizza instead of regular — are all part of meal planning for Bell, who is married to actor Dax Shepherd, with whom she has two children. Here she shares her tips for clean eating, being ingredient-savvy, and why baby steps are better than nothing.

Stock up on go-tos

I’m really into pasta made with chickpeas. It’s got a ton of protein. It’s a little more chewy than regular pasta, but not in the way that gluten-free pasta is. And my whole household is on ghee instead of butter. There’s a California garlic one which I like to open and just smell. And a Madagascar vanilla, which I put on my kids’ waffles instead of syrup. I get a farm box that sometimes has Harry’s Berries. They’re incredible. You can maybe find them at the farmers market. … In the summer, we’ll go through six containers a week.

Listen to your body

I was vegan and am now vegetarian. I’m all about eating clean and ethically, but I also believe that it’s important to listen to your body. Some people’s bodies tell them to eat meat. There’s a better way to do it because factory farming is a nightmare. I give my children meat; the chicken they get has been raised in, basically, a spa. They get all but manicures.

Seek out the healthier option

For protein, I’m obsessed with the Beyond Burger. When I’m working out, I’ll eat two a day. When I want to do fast food, I’ll make a cauliflower crust pizza with a Beyond Burger in the middle, and I’ve got a pizza burger.

Inconsistency isn’t all bad

My workout habits aren’t as good as my eating habits. For me, 70% of feeling good is the food I eat. Working out for me is very random. L.A. has great hikes so sometimes I’ll do that. Lately it’s been Pilates. I have problems with my posture and Pilates mat and reformer help a ton with that. I use a site called Pilates Anytime where you can follow any Pilates class. I’ve taken some TRX classes at Yogaworks, which is resistance work using bands on the walls. It feels horrifying 48 hours later, but the good kind of horrifying.

Start small

This is what I tell people; you don’t have to shoot for the moon. If all you can do is 100 sit-ups on the floor while the kids are watching TV, then do that. You don’t have to commit to something for the rest of your life. Maybe try something like Whole30. You buy a book, follow the recipes and after 30 days hopefully you will notice enough of a change to make it last. But for now, just think about today.

Hit the keyboard

There is more information out there than you know. Food feels confusing, but it’s not. If you have the inkling to better your life and health, there are resources out there and a little understanding goes a long way.

Kristen Bell Shares Struggles With Depression and Anxiety

Kristen Bell Shares Struggles With Depression and Anxiety

Kristen Bell has once again spoken candidly about her struggles with anxiety and depression in an effort to diminish the taboo and encourage others to seek help.

The star has joined the Child Mind Institute’s #MyYoungerSelf campaign, a celebrity-driven initiative to educate people about mental health issues and mental illness.

In a new video she recorded for the nonprofit organization, Kristen shares the words of wisdom she’d like to bestow upon her younger self, all the while reminding viewers that everyone has problems and help is available.

I have suffered from anxiety and/or depression since I was 18,‘ the star began the short clip.

What I would say to my younger self is: Don’t be fooled by this game of perfection that humans play because Instagram and magazines and TV shows. They strive for a certain aesthetic and everything looks so beautiful and people seem like they don’t have any problems.

But everyone’s human. Everyone has problems. Everyone feels yucky on the inside sometimes.’

And you deserve to feel just as beautiful on the days you wear no makeup and the days you don’t shower and the days you feel like you’re depressed. And you have an obligation to take care of yourself from the inside out, because that’s how you can truly feel beautiful.

She notes that there are resources for people struggling with depression, including doctors who can offer real solutions.

You are not alone. Never feel embarrassed or ashamed about who you are. Never feel embarrassed or ashamed,’ she went on.’

There are plenty of things to feel embarrassed or ashamed about — if you forget your mom’s birthday, feel embarrassed about that. If you are prone to gossiping, feel ashamed about that. ‘

But never feel embarrassed or ashamed about the uniqueness that is you, because there are people out there to help. And we are all just human,‘ she concluded.

Both the Child Mind Institute and Kristen have shared part of the clip on social media, with the star adding a caption to say how ‘grateful’ she is to be working with the organization.

Kristen is just one of several celebrities to join the #MyYoungerSelf campaign and speak on camera about experiences of growing up with a mental health or learning disorder.

This is hardly the first time that Kristen has openly discussed her mental health and history of depression, either, as the star has made a point to speak out to destigmatize mental health issues.

In May of 2016, she wrote an essay for Time magazine in which she explained why she was ‘over staying silent‘ about depression, opening up about her first experience with depression in college at New York University.

I felt plagued with a negative attitude and a sense that I was permanently in the shade. I’m normally such a bubbly, positive person, and all of a sudden I stopped feeling like myself,‘ she wrote.

Though she kept quiet about her struggles for the first 15 years of her career, she is now fighting the taboo against them and talking about it.

Here’s the thing: For me, depression is not sadness. It’s not having a bad day and needing a hug. It gave me a complete and utter sense of isolation and loneliness,‘ she explained. ‘Its debilitation was all-consuming, and it shut down my mental circuit board. I felt worthless, like I had nothing to offer, like I was a failure.’

There is such an extreme stigma about mental health issues, and I can’t make heads or tails of why it exists,’ she went on. ‘Anyone can be affected, despite their level of success or their place on the food chain.’

There’s nothing weak about struggling with mental illness. You’re just having a harder time living in your brain than other people,‘ she added.

The star also has a family history of anxiety and depression, which both her mother and grandmother struggled with. In fact, her grandma was subjected to electroshock therapy.

Speaking to interviewer Sam Jones for the series Off Camera, she explained that no one should take her happy-go-lucky demeanor to mean she doesn’t have problems.

I present this very cheery, bubbly person, but I also do a lot of work. I do a lot of introspective work and I check in with myself when I need to exercise and I got on a prescription when I was very young to deal with my anxiety and depression and I still take it today,’ she said. ‘I have no shame in that.

She added: ‘I shatter a little bit when I think people don’t like me. It really hurts my feelings when I’m not liked. And I know that’s not very healthy and I fight it all the time.

Discussing the unfairness in how mental illness is regarded, she went on: ‘You would never deny a diabetic his insulin ever but for some reason when someone needs a serotonin inhibitor, they’re immediately crazy or something. It’s a very interesting double standard.

Kristen Bell to Serve as Global Advocate for Women’s Peace & Humanitarian Fund

Kristen Bell to Serve as Global Advocate for Women’s Peace & Humanitarian Fund

Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund

American actress and activist Kristen Bell will become the first global advocate for the Women’s Peace & Humanitarian Fund(WPHF)—a United Nations and civil society partnership supporting women to prevent crises and build peace—the fund announced today. In her new role, Ms. Bell will advocate on behalf of local women across the globe who are working to make our world a more peaceful and gender-equal place.

“I’m honored to advocate for these inspiring women who are working to end conflict, rebuild communities and advance gender equality,” said Bell.

Globally, humanitarian crises and threats to peace are more common than ever before. UN studies show that women’s inclusion in conflict resolution accelerates peacebuilding, expands humanitarian reach and advances gender equality. When women are empowered to meaningfully participate in crises response, their contributions undeniably result in more lasting peace.

Despite this, women’s participation in peacebuilding today remains needlessly low. Financial resources supporting the activities of women peacebuilders are dramatically underfunded worldwide. On average, local women’s organizations receive less than one percent of aid allocated to countries in crisis.

As a global partnership of the United Nations, world governments, and civil society organizations—WPHF helps to fill this gap by raising funds to support the work of women peacebuilders on the ground.

“It’s my joy to be a women mediator,” said Mary, a 44-year-old farmer and member of a local network of WPHF-supported women working to prevent conflict in Burundi. “My work resolving local disputes makes me feel confident and powerful, and I can see the positive impact we’re having in my community.”

To date, WPHF has supported over 30 local women’s organizations like Mary’s, across four countries with grants of over US $7 million.

“WPHF is mobilizing much-needed support for women in crises, and we couldn’t be happier to have Kristen on board,” said Ghita El Khyari, Head of the WPHF Secretariat. “Her passion for this work will help give voice to equally-inspiring women who are working to end conflict and build peace in their communities.”

In addition to her work as an accomplished actress, Kristen Bell is a committed humanitarian and fierce advocate for women’s rights. Her prolific career spans movies and critically acclaimed television shows like Veronica Mars, Frozen, Bad Moms, Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and the current hit NBC show, The Good Place.

“At this critical moment, it’s more necessary than ever to see women speak with ownership and confidence,” Bell said. “I’m thrilled to be working with WPHF to help empower local women fighting for peace.”

You can find Kristen Bell on Twitter.

The Women’s Peace & Humanitarian Fund (WPHF) is the only global financing mechanism dedicated exclusively to supporting the participation of women and their organizations in peacebuilding and humanitarian action. WPHF is an innovative partnership between the United Nations, member states, and civil society. Generous support for WPHF comes from the governments of AustraliaCanadaIreland,Spainthe United KingdomLiechtenstein, and Lithuania.

Interview│How Kristen Bell Is Accomplishing Her Life Goal To ‘Spread More Joy’

Interview│How Kristen Bell Is Accomplishing Her Life Goal To ‘Spread More Joy’

Kristen Bell was interviewed by Elana Lyn Gross for Forbes. Read below:

Kristen Bell, the award-winning actress and star of NBC’s The Good Place, is well-known for her roles on popular television shows, movies and on Broadway, as well as for her charitable work. Giving back has always been a priority for Bell so, when her friends discovered a simple way to help children with malnutrition recovery, she came on board as a cofounder. They founded This Bar Saves Lives, a granola bar company that donates lifesaving malnutrition treatments to children in need. Along with their giving partners, Edesia Nutrition, Action Against Hunger, Feeding America and Vitamin Angels, the team has provided more than three million nutrition packets to children around the world.

Elana Lyn Gross: What was the inspiration for This Bar Saves Lives?

Kristen Bell: In 2008, my friends Ryan Devlin and Todd Grinnell traveled to Liberia on a humanitarian trip and met children suffering from severe acute malnutrition. While this was disheartening, they also learned how this condition could be effectively treated through a supplement called Plumpy’Nut. Plumpy’Nut is kind of like a supercharged peanut paste with vitamins and minerals. Two to three of these packets a day for approximately eight weeks can bring a malnourished child back to a healthy weight. The main problem is that clinics around the world don’t have access to enough of it. So, when [Delvin] reached out to me with his simple solution to get more Plumpy’Nut packets into the hands of more families, I had to join the team.

Gross: Since launching in 2013, This Bar Saves Lives has provided more than three million nutrient packets to children fighting malnutrition. Do you have a favorite story about the impact This Bar Saves Lives has had on people?

Bell: We captured a time-lapse of a child we were able to help treat at Second Mile Haiti, our giving partner based in Cap-Haitien. What’s incredible is that our customers’ purchases over the past two years have been able to fulfill 100% of Second Mile Haiti’s Plumpy’Nut needs. Kendy arrived at Second Mile Haiti after his mother passed away and weighed only 11 pounds at nine months old. He needed immediate help and was put on a ten-week treatment of Plumpy’Nut. Throughout this period, Kendy gained 50% more weight. His recovery and transformation wasn’t only evident in his physical appearance, but also in his new, lively attitude.

Gross: What are your responsibilities as cofounder of This Bar Saves Lives?

Bell: I have my hand in many different aspects of the business. I joke that my unofficial title is “chief taste officer,” as I love to participate in the flavor and product development process. I also love meeting with retail partners to share our brand’s story and mission. This Bar Saves Lives’ story is a personal one, and it’s best told live. Whenever I can leverage my role as a professional storyteller to spread the word about our brand and mission, I’m there!

Gross: What is a workday like for you? Please walk me through a day!

Bell: My work days are often inconsistent, depending on what job I’m doing at any given time. They always start with a hot cup of matcha! I usually wake up at 7 am with my girls, get them ready, and then I’m off to school which is around 9 am. Then I come home and I’m either off to the recording booth for a voice-over, or off to hair and makeup to shoot, or spend the rest of the day at my computer writing and answering emails at home. I pick the girls up at 4 pm, come home, play with them, make dinner, get them to bed and snuggle with my husband on the couch!

Gross: Has giving back always been important to you? 

Bell: Absolutely. I am incredibly lucky to have always had a great support system and a lot of encouragement to follow my ambition. I want to be that support system for people who don’t have it. My goal in life is to spread more joy and reduce suffering any way I can. It makes me feel good when I lay my head on the pillow at night that I could be of service to someone else because we are all in this together!

Gross: You wrote a beautiful Motto article about your experience with depression and anxiety. What would be your best advice for someone who is silently struggling with depression or anxiety?

Bell: Rip the word “shame” out of your vocabulary. It’s not worth it. Speak openly, be vulnerable and you will find a solution that works for you.

Gross: What is one thing that you wish you had known when you were starting out your career?

Bell: To take time for myself. I’m very ambitious and sometimes have trouble focusing and take too much on. The result is being spread thin and not giving 100% to anything I’ve committed to. Finding time to reflect, meditate, be with family and not think about work helps me pay attention and perform better.

Gross: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Bell: “If it doesn’t matter in five years, it doesn’t matter.” —Cher

Gross: What is your business advice for other young professional women?

Bell: Trust your gut. Don’t underestimate the quiet power of diffusion. To diffuse is a strength, not a weakness. It will lead to resolve. Work hard, and be nice to people.

Source.

 

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