Forgetting Sarah Marshall - Kristen Bell Interview
Russell Brand would say things in scenes to make Kristen Bell
Tell me about working on this, specifically about working with Jason [Segel] being naked?
Kristen Bell: "I just tried to be as supportive as possible with Jason. Because I think that, you know, he had written a very risky scene and was all gung-ho about going through with it. And on the day of I think he had some genuine reservations. Like, 'Oh wow, this is going to be on film forever. I'm going to have to spend the whole day naked in front of all of our crew.' And it was the last thing we shot so we were all very close at that point."
Did that make it a lot easier, knowing that you'd been around him with his clothes on for so long?
Kristen Bell: "Yeah. And I think we were all just really, really supportive. We were doing our best to make him feel like he wasn't naked."
And did that work?
Kristen Bell: "I hope so."
So tell me what was the main attraction of playing a character like this? She is kind of the bad guy, but not really.
Kristen Bell: "I think that on the page and in the script, and I think what is shown in the movie, is a very 3-dimensional character. They all are. And she has a lot of comedy because she is able to be so stereotypical of an actress, but at the same time, her true colors she shows her sincerity in the way she couldn't be with him anymore. She's able to sort of explain herself, which I don't think a lot of villains in the romantic comedy world get to do."
Working with this group known for improvisation, how easy is that for you to get into?
Kristen Bell: "It was really nerve-wracking."
How do you get over that?
Kristen Bell: "They're really supportive. Because I think if you try to ask people to improv in a very uptight situation, nobody will ever succeed. I think they know that. It's a very fun group of people. They're very protective and so they throw out ideas if you get stumped. They just are generally encouraging."
How easy is it for you to fall into a rhythm opposite someone like Jason?
Kristen Bell: "It was pretty easy because we had had so much rehearsal time. We had had almost three weeks of rehearsal, of just fighting for hours and hours on camera, and making stuff up that the other one could have possibly done wrong in the relationship. We used a lot of that in the fight scenes."
How close would you say the script that you received is to what actually ended up in the film?
Kristen Bell: "Oh, very close. The storyline is exactly the same but they really take everybody's ideas. They're really collaborative. Like all of our suggestions were used, or at least one take of them so they would have it in the editing room to have the option of it."
Is there anything that you did that you wished had made it into the film that didn't?
Kristen Bell: "Not really. I trust them. I completely trust them."
And working with Russell [Brand], because he's a crazy man
Kristen Bell: "He is a crazy man. He is wonderful. I had so much fun working with him because he's wild. He's a free spirit. He's uncontrollable and he is really funny to act with. I almost couldn't keep a straight face, and he loved to say things that would set me off or make me giggle in a scene."
And he would do that on purpose?
Kristen Bell: "Oh yeah, oh sure."
Were there takes ruined because of it?
Kristen Bell: "Yeah, on my coverage. I'd be like, 'Stop saying stuff like that.' He's just really gifted."
How do you get used to working with someone like that? It could come from out of nowhere.
Kristen Bell: "You can't get used to it, but it makes you real grateful to have the job you have. I laughed the entire shoot."
What sets it apart from all the rest of the movies these guys have done?
Kristen Bell: "I think part of the reason they should go see it is because it's up to par with everything else they've done. It's absolutely a completely satisfying, slightly raunchy yet really heartwarming romantic comedy that just balances the reality of relationships with the comedy of these lives."