Bell moves into ‘House of Lies’
Kristen Bell stars in "House of Lies". (Handout)
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Consult this, says Kristen Bell.
“No one really knows what consultants do, and I don’t think consultants actually know,” Bell said. “They know they need to walk in there and convince you that they are necessary.
“Not unlike an actor’s job, I will say! Striking similarities there!”
Bell actually gets to combine both jobs in her new series House of Lies, which debuts across Canada on Monday, Jan. 9, on The Movie Network and Movie Central.
In House of Lies, which originates on the U.S. cable channel Showtime, Don Cheadle, Bell, Ben Schwartz and Josh Lawson star as a team of hot-shot management consultants – you know, the folks who are hired by a company that is in trouble, to tell management what they should do about it.
So House of Lies is a business comedy, if such a thing exists.
“It’s about a group of cutthroat management consultants that will do anything and everything it takes to get the job,” said Bell, who plays Jeannie van der Hooven. “So there’s a lot of putting it together on the fly, which keeps the pace of the show up, because you never know if it’s about to unravel.
“I am not the most comedic (character) on this show that I’ve ever been, but the show is very funny, in a very dark way.”
The 31-year-old Bell first came to fame through her TV role on the series Veronica Mars, and she has gone on to multiple high-profile films. In 2012 she’ll be seen on the big screen in Big Miracle with Drew Barrymore and John Krasinski, and also the Farrelly brothers film Movie 43.
Thriving movie career notwithstanding, TV still feels like home for Bell.
“I was kind of looking for something to come back to TV,” she said. “It’s a feeling like I’ve been away from home for too long.
“And I love doing movies, but I look at TV like high school and movies like camp. You create these great relationships in movies, and then they sort of dissipate and you go on your way.
“But I like knowing the crew I work with, I like coming to the same job every day, it appeals to my emotional stability a lot more.”
Nonetheless, Bell is thankful she doesn’t have to carry House of Lies as the series lead, as she did on Veronica Mars. In House of Lies, Bell’s character Jeannie has to deal with the likes of Cheadle’s lead character Marty Kaan, who boldly predicts there’s an “87% chance” that he and Jeannie are going to sleep together (Jeannie’s number is significantly lower).
“More than I could possibly tell you, and that tape would run out if I tried to explain how happy I am that I get to take a back seat, yet still have a completely relevant role that is interesting and dynamic, but it’s not all resting on my shoulders,” Bell said.
“I have a lot of sympathy for Don (Cheadle). Not that he hasn’t been there a thousand times before. But I do my best to make sure he’s hydrated, you know, little things like that. He’s the big cat, we have to keep him healthy.”
Bell also appreciates the fact that TV characters can be fluid, unlike most movie characters.
“Absolutely, with television every week, you have the chance to re-invent yourself,” Bell said. “You could do a bad movie and it could be attached to you as a little barnacle for the rest of your career.
“No one remembers the one bad episode in Veronica Mars, season three – which didn’t exist, by the way. But you know what I mean? Theoretically, if there were to be.”