10 Best Kristen Bell Roles
Today, Kristen Bell is nothing short of a household name. The gigantic success of Disney’s Frozen has almost single-handedly ensured that, in spite of the fact that she lends only her voice to the animated film, as well as its upcoming sequel. Bell has had a number of exciting projects in both film and television throughout the years since her breakout role as the eponymous Veronica Mars in both the television show and the film which succeeded it — as well as the upcoming revival series. She has also used her platform as an actress to draw attention to activist causes she cares about — namely the writer’s strike of 2007 and 2008. Bell is indeed an interesting figure in modern television and film. While she certainly has a number of projects on the horizon, here are her ten best roles so far.
Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
Forgetting Sarah Marshall is a classic comedy. Bell plays the eponymous Sarah Marshall, a TV actress (in the mold of Bell herself at the time of its release) who dumps her struggling musician boyfriend Peter Bretter (Jason Segel). To get out of his post-breakup depression, Peter goes to Hawaii and finds himself at the same hotel where Sarah is staying with her new boyfriend (Russell Brand). It is a riotously funny film in which Bell gives a great performance.
The Good Place (2016 to Present)
The Good Place is the latest sitcom from some of the minds behind the U.S. version of The Office, as well as Parks and Recreation and Brooklyn Nine-Nine. In the show, Bell plays Eleanor Shellstrop, a woman who has died and been mistakenly sent to the “good place” instead of the “bad place.” It is a clever and unique show for any fan of scripted comedy television.
Even by Disney’s standards, Frozen was a huge blockbuster hit. The film earned more than $1.5 billion at the box office, thanks in part to Bell’s performance as Anna, the optimistic sister of a princess cursed with the power of creating snow and ice. It is a must-watch for any fan of animated children’s films.
Veronica Mars (2004 to 2007)
In Veronica Mars, Bell plays the eponymous character. Veronica is a high schooler and private investigator whose life is turned upside down when her friend Lilly Kane (Amanda Seyfried) is murdered. She takes it upon herself to uncover Lilly’s murder in this well-made neo-noir series for young adults.
Veronica Mars (2014)
In 2014, Bell revived the role that made her famous in a feature-length film. Veronica is now an adult living in New York City until a new conflict forces her to return home around the time of her ten-year high school reunion. Because of the preceding show’s cult status, the film did not perform very well at the box office, but a revival series is forthcoming in 2019.
Scream 4 (2011)
Though the schtick of the Scream franchise began to wear a bit thin by the fourth entry, Wes Craven was an unarguable titan of the genre. Even a mid-level quality Craven horror film is better than plenty of other horror films. Bell fits right in with veterans of the franchise like Neve Campbell, David Arquette, and Courteney Cox.
House of Lies (2012 to 2016)
In the Showtime series House of Lies Bell plays Jeannie van der Hooven, who is a partner at a management consulting firm. She and her cohorts (played by Don Cheadle, Ben Schwartz, and Josh Lawson) are extremely driven and will do just about anything to close a business deal. The show is a quick and clever portrayal of slippery, amoral businesspeople.
Gossip Girl (2007 to 2012)
In the young adult drama Gossip Girl, the dramas of Upper East Side Manhattan prep school students are detailed by an anonymous internet poster known only as “Gossip Girl.” Bell narrated the show for all six seasons as the titular internet personality. She also played herself in one episode of the hit CW Network television show.
When in Rome (2010)
In the romantic comedy When in Rome Bell plays unlucky-in-love protagonist Beth Martin. When she goes to Rome, she takes a handful of coins from the Fountain of Love and finds that the owners of each coin come to try to sweep her off her feet. When she falls in love with one of them (Josh Duhamel), she worries that breaking the spell will end their love affair. It is a predictable but ultimately enjoyable romcom.
Bad Moms (2016)
Bad Moms is a comedy about three stay-at-home moms who try to learn to cut loose from the high stresses of parenting and careers. The trio is played by Bell, Mila Kunis, and Kathryn Hahn. They find themselves in opposition to the uptight head of the PTA, played by Christian Applegate. It is a funny, female-driven broad comedy.
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