At the movies

Lake Bell: I like ‘relatable’ characters

 
Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

Lake Bell, one of the few actresses in Hollywood who can also add the titles of writer and director to her name, swapped the world of quirky independent film for an international Disney movie in her latest on-screen role.

The 35-year-old wrote, directed and starred in her own independent movie In a World… in 2013, winning critical praise for her comic look into the rarefied world of voiceover artists. Now Bell stars opposite Jon Hamm in the Walt Disney feel-good sports drama Million Dollar Arm. She plays Brenda the doctor who helps sports agent J.B. Bernstein in his improbable quest to train two baseball pitchers from India.

She talked to Reuters:

What did you like about the character of Brenda?

I enjoy Brenda’s utter steadfast truth and her ability to express herself via tough love, which is something I relate to deeply in my own life.

It is such a cliche question, but millions of women would probably want to know what it’s like playing opposite Jon Hamm.

How do I answer that in a new way? Jon and I are good friends. We have known each other for a long time. He comes on [satirical TV series] Children’s Hospital occasionally, so he is very playful and fun. He is really goofy and hilarious, and people probably know that somewhat from his SNL career … But he really is a comedy fan and great comedy player. In this film, he plays the straight man to a lot of fish-out-of-water elements, which I think is incredibly difficult and takes a comedic brain to know how to play the straight man with perfection.

Some might say you are a knockout, but in your film and this film you play somewhat disheveled, messy women.

I really enjoy playing characters who are realistically put together. I don’t walk around in stilettos and fancy dress all the time. That’s just not my life, and I don’t feel comfortable that way. I enjoy playing characters I can relate to personally who aren’t “glam squad” all the time.

This might be your most high-profile role.

It’s interesting to think about it that way. Because it’s Disney, it’s a very universally acceptable film for a lot of different demographics. This is the first time I am in a film I can say to any family member to go and check it out, and I am not embarrassed by some weird boob scene or something. It’s safe. It is incredibly sweet, and it’s relatable for young relatives, older relatives and everything in between. That, for me, is a big deal.

Read more People stories from the Miami Herald

  • Celebrity birthdays on Sept 16

    Blues singer B.B. King is 89. R&B singer Betty Kelly (Martha & the Vandellas) is 70. Actor Ed Begley Jr. is 65 Actor Mickey Rourke is 58. Magician David Copperfield is 58. Actress Jennifer Tilly is 56. Actress Jayne Brook is 54. Singer Richard Marx is 51. Comedian Molly Shannon is 50. Singer Marc Anthony is 46. Comedic actress Amy Poehler is 43. Singer Musiq is 37. Rapper Flo Rida is 35. Actress Alexis Bledel is 33. Rock singer Teddy Geiger is 26. Rock singer-musician Nick Jonas is 22.

  • At the movies

    Kevin Kline talks working with Dame Maggie Smith on ‘My Old Lady'

    Veteran playwright Israel Horovitz believes no actor is capable of doing it all. Except for perhaps Kevin Kline, who, Horovitz observed, “can do really a lot more than most actors can do.”

  • Celebrity roundup

    Beyonce and Jay Z end tour; Robin Thicke talks drug dependency; Pia Zadora resting comfortably

    An emotional Beyoncé was in tears as she and husband Jay Z wrapped up their “On the Run” stadium tour Saturday night in Paris, where the duo said they got engaged years ago.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category