Kristen Bell: From PI to Hero - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

Kristen Bell: From PI to Hero

October 17, 2007 by  

Kristen Bell, Heroes

The following contains spoilers pertaining to Kristen Bell’s new character on HEROES (but no other plot spoilers). Read at your own risk.

I don’t know about you, but I am more than a little excited about Kristen Bell’s HEROES debut next Monday. If you aren’t familiar with Bell from her days as the title character on VERONICA MARS then you are in for quite a treat. Kristen Bell is a special actress that has so much charisma and natural talent that she’s going to have you wrapped around her little finger in no time.

Yesterday I had the distinct pleasure to join reporters from all over the globe in a call with Kristen, and HEROES creator Tim Kring during which we discussed Kristen’s role on the hit NBC show – how she came to join the cast, a little more about her character, and just how being a hero is different than a PI. Continue on to see a sneak peek of Kristen’s HEROES debut!!

Just Another Hero…
For Kristen Bell, joining the cast of HEROES was a no brainer since she’s been a fan of the show since the premiere. It seems that Heroes was quite the watercooler conversation during her days on Veronica Mars, and our favorite heroes were also fans of the pesky PI from Neptune, CA. Having heard what a great show Heroes was to work on from long time friends Zachary Quinto (Sylar) and Hayden Pannetierre (Clarie), Bell put out feelers during last year’s Comic Con – just letting the powers that be know that she was interested…you know, in case they were wondering.

Creator Tim Kring, who was already a fan of Kristen’s work thought she would be a great fit for a character they created named Elle. But according to Kring the character has evolved from what was initially on paper, “When you cast an actor as talented as Kristen Bell then there’s a lot more that the actor can bring to the character.” But enough of the mutual admiration society over there, let’s talk about Elle. What do we know about this mystery woman? Very little. To date, most of the details have been kept under wraps, but here’s what we do know.

Just Who is Elle?
We’re going to have to wait until next week (and probably longer than that) to get the goods on Elle, but Bell and Kring let us in a little on her character saying that she’s unlike most of the heroes we’ve seen to date as she really loves and has embraced her power. Elle was raised by The Company and serves as a cautionary tale of what can happen when someone is fully aware of all her power her whole life and doesn’t just discover it on her own. As for what her power is, Bell and Kring wouldn’t confirm (although there’s been rampant speculation that Elle’s power is somehow related to electricity), but they did say that Elle is “a little messed up in the head” and has “very few boundaries”. Added Bell, [Elle] “doesn’t have the ability to decipher right from wrong” and her intense personality lends itself to Elle’s moral ambiguity. Elle is strong in her convictions and her actions and whatever she is doing she wholeheartedly thinks she’s doing the right thing. Whether she’s a hero or a villain might not be obvious at first…but is it ever?

When we first meet Elle she’s going to be on the hunt for Peter Petrelli. Although it’s a little unclear as to what their relationship is, Elle has ties to Peter’s disappearance and seems to have a lot of info about Peter’s past. It might be a little bit before we truly understand Elle’s relationship with Peter because although she appears in episode 5, we won’t see Elle again until episode 8 during which we will learn a whole lot more about this mysterious new hero. But Peter isn’t the only hero Elle is connected to. Kring and Bell also told us that she has ties to HRG and Claire, whom supposedly Elle has an “interesting connection” to. And don’t be surprised if Suresh knows a thing or two about Elle – they also have some kind of tie.

Check out a sneak peek at Kristen’s debut on HEROES courtesy of

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Asked about how she prepares for a role in which so much of her character’s back story is a mystery, Bell said that she was lucky that Kring told her a little more about her character than most of the other actors get. She’s sworn to secrecy and won’t even tell her co-stars who have been pestering her to know more. But acting without really knowing the full character comes down to trust. Bell says that she asks the writers and director about the details and nuances that she needs for a particular scene but contends that “it’s got to be all about trust.”

Kristen Bell thinks that while viewers may initially love to hate Elle, she hopes that over time, as more is revealed about the character, that viewers will sympathize with her and understand more about why she does the things she does. And if become a viewer favorite is in the cards, Bell will be ok with that too. Although she is only signed on for 13 episodes, Kristen mentioned more than a few times how happy she is working on the show and that she has her fingers crossed that her character doesn’t get killed so she can hopefully stay on past her original commitment.

Kristen Bell & Zachary QuintoAs for which hero Bell said she would like Elle to to interact with on-screen? Well I got to ask her and she quickly responded, “Sylar!!”. Not only because of her friendship with Zach, but because “Sylar is such a cool character” and she would love to “face-off” against him on screen. She was all excited to talk about which super power she would most like to have in real life (a topic that comes up often on set). Bell said that of any power she would like to have multiplicity, that way she get more stuff done, like cook dinner and clean up.

From PI to Hero…
Kristen Bell is one of the most sought after young actresses today. In addition to her new role on HEROES and her two movies coming out later this year, Kristen also moonlights as the Upper East Side blogger with all the hot gossip as the narrator on GOSSIP GIRL. And while she maintains that she won’t be seen on the show (she likes a job where she can work in her jammies), it seems our gossip girl isn’t going anywhere any time soon. XOXO! A few months ago it was widely reported that Kristen turned down a gig on LOST to become a hero, but Bell says that’s not exactly true. Although there were talks about her joining the cast of the hit ABC show, Bell confirms that she was never formerly offered a part. But from the sounds of it, Kristen Bell made the right choice in joining HEROES and is having a blast on set with her new and old friends.

Kristen Bell and the cast of Heroes

But what was it like to go from the small and tight knit cast of VERONICA MARS to the ever expanding cast of HEROES? Bell said that while she did have some anxiety and nerves, nothing about the show has been hard. It seems that even though Veronica Mars filmed in San Diego, and Heroes in L.A., Bell already knew quite a few people from the cast and crew. She and Zachary Quinto have been very close friends for over ten years. And Kristen first met Hayden Pannetierre in NYC when Hayden was only 8 years old. The two shared a common management team and Hayden, who Kristen described as a “lovely little girl even back then”, would often see Kristen’s stage productions while in New York. The two kept in touch over the years and had always joked about perhaps one day playing sisters, so this role was a natural fit. Kristen likened joining the cast to starting at a new school, but a new school where all of her friends already went to. Creator Tim Kring said that Kristin was immediately part of the Heroes family.

Kristen Bell & Ryan HansenBut what about her old family? What about her friends from Veronica Mars? Well Kristen says that they all still keep in touch, and her former co-stars have been texting her non-stop trying to get the scoop on Elle. Right before our call she had just had breakfast with Ryan Hansen who played Dick Casablancas on the show. As for her on-screen ex, Logan Echolls? Kristen said that she’s been super busy and hasn’t been able to catch Jason Dohring’s new show, Moonlight, but she’s TiVo’d all the episodes so far and is looking forward to watching them.

Kristen hopes that although she’s playing a character very different from Veronica, that her long time fans will come along for the ride. As much as she loved playing Veronica, and although she misses her very much, Bell is enjoying playing someone closer to her own age. She admits that she was blessed with the good genes to always play younger, but is ready to take on more of an adult role. But she hasn’t left Veronica behind. Asked if she would be involved with the Veronica Mars comic books if they ever came to fruition Bell said that she would “mow Rob Thomas’ lawn if he asked” so if he was involved she would love to be as well.

The Queen of Geek…
Kristen Bell embraces her status as a leading lady of the geek sub-culture. When a reported rudely referred to her fans as “nerds” Kristen politely corrected her by asking if she meant “the coolest fans ever?!”. Like many of us, Kristen is a bit of a geek herself. Of all her guilty geeky pleasures Kristen said that she loves attending Comic Con and loves taking pictures with the “fascinating” people that attend the event in character. Although she said she’s often bewildered by those who dress up and seem put off by taking the time to take a picture with her.

When pressed about her favorite TV shows Bell said that she loved PUSHING DAISIES and THE OFFICE (we knew we liked her) as well as many BBC shows. Kristen’s geek status will only rise later this year with the Star Wars-inspired film, “Fanboys”.

I hope you are all as excited as I am to tune in to see Kristen’s debut on HEROES next Monday at 9pm on NBC. And check back later this week for more scoop on HEROES from series creator Tim Kring.


10 Responses to “Kristen Bell: From PI to Hero”

  1. Jo on October 17th, 2007 12:25 pm

    OOooh. Villain! Yes! She is going to up the ante on this show for sure.

    Very nice article, Kath.

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  3. Krizit on October 17th, 2007 12:55 pm

    I knew I loved Kristin but now I love her even more! “The Office” AND “Pushing Daisies” and she’s best friends with Zachary.. she’s kind of perfect. I think I have a girl crush 😉

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  5. Crystal on October 17th, 2007 2:20 pm

    Monday can’t come soon enough. Kristen is gonna rock the Heroes house!!! I’m very excited to see her play a character who is “morally ambiguous.” What a departure from VM. I know she’ll totally pull it off.

  6. Ben on October 17th, 2007 3:07 pm

    Kristen Bell is a great addition to the Heroes cast, I’m not sure if I like the idea of her as a villian though. It’s easy to hate Sylar when he lops someones head off, but Bell is just too good looking for that.

  7. Billiam on October 17th, 2007 4:34 pm

    Maybe my mind is just blanking, but who is standing between Peter and Hiro in that one picture?

  8. allison on October 17th, 2007 9:39 pm

    I wish Kristen Bell could be my new best friend. I mean, her favorite shows are Pushing Daisies and the Office?!? And she eats breakfast with Ryan Hanson?!? Could she get any cooler?

  9. karina on August 15th, 2009 8:36 pm


  10. ronnie on April 4th, 2010 4:03 am

    very nice