Kristen Bell is everywhere. Seriously. Go to a movie theater, and you will see Bell—or, rather, hear her—as the ice princess Anna in Disney’s animated holiday hit Frozen. Turn on your TV starting Jan. 13, and there Bell will be, playing lovelorn management consultant Jeannie van der Hooven on Showtime’s House of Lies. Earlier this year, Bell collaborated with Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas to fund a $5.7 million Mars movie through Kickstarter, so she’s got her online bases covered, too. (The film was shot over the summer and is scheduled to arrive in theaters next year). Bell even had a hand in the most exciting Broadway news to hit the wires in ages: the March 2014 debut of the musical adaptation of Heathers, the 1988 high-school classic starring Winona Ryder. Bell workshopped the Ryder role on stage in New York and Los Angeles.
Bell was able to make some time in her very busy schedule to talk to The Daily Beast about her big year: how she helped create Frozen’s Anna, what to expect from Season 3 of House of Lies, why the Veronica Mars movie is going to “make fans happy,” and more.
When you were offered Anna in Frozen, you asked them to rewrite the role. How was she originally written?
It was very much a collaboration. It wasn’t that I asked them to rewrite her so much as I offered up wild suggestions around every corner. It was a surprisingly collaborative process, actually, because they wanted the movie to be very truthful. And I was put in a position where they were ready to hear my opinions on the subject, and that isn’t always why an actor gets hired. So I was lucky.
She was written just plainer. More general. In the first draft of the script she was written more, in my opinion, prissy. She was kind of specific and very girly. And to me, it just wasn’t appealing. There were some fun parts to it, as anyone who’s a bit anal retentive is also funny to watch. But to me it wasn’t what I felt like I wanted to play. She wasn’t as likeable as she could have been.