Kristen Bell has been on all our radars for quite a few years now. From her work as the titular teenage private detective on Veronica Mars and her starring role on the NBC comedy The Good Place to her feature film stardom as Princess Anna from Disney's Frozen films and the title character in Forgetting Sarah Marshall, Bell is one of the most prolific actresses of our time. As she seamlessly shuffles between film and television, Bell has proven time and again that she's here to stay, and we couldn't be happier about it!
Not only has Kristen Bell appeared often in feature films and televisions series, but every time she's on-screen she knocks it out of the park. Her upcoming Netflix murder-parody series, The Woman in the House Across the Street from the Girl in the Window (say that three times fast), looks like a lot of fun. But over the years, possibly due to her increasing popularity, there have been a few roles that have fallen to the wayside, and some that have slipped from our collective consciousness altogether. Here, we've put together a list of some of our favorites.
Gossip Girl - The Narrator and Herself
Okay, so Kristen Bell only narrates the original and current Gossip Girl reboot, but because she's always been uncredited (and many didn't know it was her for a long time), it's definitely worth a mention here. Her role as the seemingly omniscient narrator is supposed to keep us from discovering the true culprit behind Gossip Girl and did a great job at distracting the audience for six whole seasons. She also appears as herself in the series finale, "New York, I Love You XOXO," where she and Rachel Bilson audition for a "Gossip Girl" TV series (Bell even winks at the camera in an "if you know, you know" fashion). Recently, she returned as the Narrator in the current HBO Max sequelboot of the series.
Parks and Recreation - Ingrid De Forest
The Good Place wasn't the first Michael Schur series that Kristen Bell made her mark in. Her short, three-episode stint on Parks and Recreation is also pretty memorable as she plays the obnoxious Eagleton councilwoman Ingrid De Forest, a foil to Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) as the towns of Pawnee and Eagleton are forced to unite. The banter between Ingrid and Leslie is by far the best part of Bell's guest appearances here, though we can't help but hate her a little bit after she steals Leslie's council seat in the merger. Still, it's funny to watch Bell as a snobby, upper-class "Miss Indiana," even if she's kind of the worst. She appears in "The Pawnee-Eagleton Tip Off Classic", the iconic "Filibuster" episode, and "Second Chunce." Yes, we spelled that right.
Movie 43 - "Fake Supergirl"
This might be one that Bell (and all of us) would want to keep forgotten, but never the less, it marks the first time that she's ever played a superhero, albeit a fake one. Movie 43 is a film (if you can call it that) made up of short segments such as "Super Hero Speed Dating" where Robin (Justin Long) and Supergirl end up on a date and are quickly interrupted by the Dark Knight (Jason Sudeikis) who just wants to ruin the Boy Wonder's life. Bell really sells it as the Girl of Steel, and after Robin saves her life from a bomb, it's revealed that she isn't actually Supergirl at all, she's actually the Riddler (Will Carlough), which is equally parts disturbing and confusing. In any case, it makes us want to see Kristen Bell as the real Supergirl (or any superhero) at some point!
Scream 4 - Chloe
In the everlasting Scream tradition of killing off A-list celebrities in the opening sequence, Scream 4 follows suit with the opening "Stab 7" bit. Here, Bell and Anna Paquin play two college-age girls watching the fictional "Stab 6" only for Paquin's character to critique the low-budget horror for all the usual cliches. But, in a sudden turn of events, Bell's character Chloe stabs her friend in the abdomen, annoyed by her constant critiques. As it turns out, this is just another movie that another group of teen girls are watching, leading into the events of the film, but it's shocking never the less. This "movie-within-a-movie" scene is some seriously heavy foreshadowing, mirroring how Scream 4 will inevitably end, and Bell's hard-as-nails performance really sells it.
Fanboys - Zoe
An underrated comedy classic, Fanboys follows a group of nerdy friends as they travel cross-country to storm the famed Skywalker Ranch in order to watch Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace before its release date since one of their friends is dying of cancer and won't make it to opening night. Kristen Bell's character, the comic-loving Zoe, is easily the best character in the film and gets the boys out of multiple sticky situations as they travel across the states. Honestly, rewatching Fanboys just makes us hope for a "Fanboys - Episode II" where they attempt to storm Disney to watch The Force Awakens, but it would only work if Bell and company were willing to return.
Heroes - Elle Bishop
Heroes was one of those shows that was incredibly popular at first, and then was basically never heard from again. Part of the reason was the show's second and third seasons, the first of which suffered largely due to the 2007-08 Writer's Strike. Kristen Bell's electricity-wielding character Elle Bishop was introduced in the second season and quickly became a fan favorite. Not because Elle was a hero (if anything, she's more of a villain), but because her complex and disturbing backstory made her arc important to the series' overall mythology. Here, Bell got to play a completely mentally unstable character, which was certainly different than her mentally grounded work on Veronica Mars. Still, her death at the hands of Sylar (Zachary Quinto) was highly criticized at the time and left many Elle Bishop fans wanting more.
Deadwood - Flora Anderson
Did you know that Kristen Bell was in two consecutive episodes of Deadwood? In a role that most people forget, largely because her hair isn't blonde and her accent's changed, Bell's Flora Anderson was pretty important to the story of Janie Stubbs (Kim Dickens), who was essentially seduced by the young thief before having to kill her for her treachery. Her beating and following death is pretty brutal and completely in line with Deadwood's more mature tone, which was different than Bell's usual roles at the time. Her appearances in "Bullock Returns to the Camp" and "Suffer the Little Children" still stand out in her filmography as some of her most interesting, and different, work on camera.
Safety Not Guaranteed - Belinda
Possibly the most important role in Safety Not Guaranteed, Kristen Bell shows up in the back half of the movie as Belinda, the apparently-deceased girlfriend of Kenneth (Mark Duplass), the one that he supposedly turned back time for. As Darius (Aubrey Plaza) talks with her, it's revealed that Belinda and Kenneth were only friends, that they were never an item, and clearly, she never died. Kenneth swears that this is due to his meddling with time, but it's mostly unclear. Bell isn't on screen long, but her presence is felt throughout.
Play It Again, Dick! - Veronica Mars/Herself
If you haven't seen Ryan Hansen's CW Seed series Play It Again, Dick!, then you're really missing out. This forgotten gem was made back when the Veronica Mars reunion film was first released in 2014 (before the controversial Hulu season) and Kristen Bell's iconic character was back in the public eye. Bell's friend and co-star Ryan Hansen took full advantage of the publicity and made this mockumentary-style series that followed him (and his Veronica Mars character, Dick Casablancas) as he attempted to get a Veronica Mars spin-off about Dick off the ground. It's pretty funny, and Bell's recurring involvement makes it all the better. Plus, most of the old Veronica Mars cast shows up at some point.
They also talk about the way the film ignores the usual movie trope of the best friends falling out in the 2nd act.
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