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The Hottie Stop interviews Lake Bell, star of No Escape and Man Up!

11.23.2015by: Eric Walkuski

Gorgeous, funny and smart, Lake Bell has been a favorite of Movie Hotties' for quite a while. Known for knocking it out of the park on both sides of the camera, Bell has delighted us on the big screen (IT'S COMPLICATED, NO STRINGS ATTACHED) and the small (How to Make It in America, Children's Hospital), while also impressing the hell out of us with her feature directorial debut with IN A WORLD..., a film she also wrote and acted in. This gal can do it all.

2015 gave us multiple opportunities to see Lake flex both her dramatic and comedic chops: On the funnier side of things, she showed up in Netflix's Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp and then co-starred alongside Simon Pegg (while rocking a ridiculously good British accent) in the romantic comedy MAN UP. Shifting gears, she fled murderous revolutionaries in the action-drama NO ESCAPE, co-starring Owen Wilson and Pierce Brosnan. Want to see every side of Lake? Check both of these terrific flicks out.

Ms. Bell spared me a few minutes of her time recently to chat up both MAN UP and NO ESCAPE while also reminiscing on her time in the director's chair, giving up acting and wondering what she'd be doing if she weren't in the entertainment biz. 

 

Hi there! Where are you calling from, New York?

Yeah, I'm in Brooklyn.

You're a native New Yorker if I'm not mistaken.

I was born and raised on the upper east side, but then I moved down to Vero Beach, Florida when I was like twelve. I was there for a bit until I went to boarding school, so I've knocked around a whole bunch.

Did you ever make the move to L.A.?

I lived in L.A. for eleven years or so, right after college. I went to college in the UK and then when I came back to the states I went to L.A.

 

Do you prefer New York to L.A.?

You know, I appreciate them both, because I've really lived in L.A. and I've really lived in New York. I love both coasts and at the end of the day, I think it's all about the city that you love to spend time in.

Was just watching No Escape, which is tremendous. What was the most difficult sequence to film?

It was so intense. I think the most unforgettable part of it was that we were in the most extraordinary country. We shot it in Thailand, and it was just a great privilege to be there under those circumstances, for both Owen [Wilson] and I and the children.

Did you guys form a little family while there?

Totally. I wasn't pregnant when I shot the movie, but I put myself in the position of feeling fiercely protective of these very innocent little girls. We were shooting in somewhat treacherous circumstances, in terms of it being like, "It's 3 a.m. in the middle of a river in the rural part of Thailand." For these little girls, whether they're actors or not, it's challenging, as it was for us.

I've seen you act in dramas, comedies, thrillers, is there one genre you prefer over the other, or that you're more comfortable with?

You know, the whole reason I got into this business and why I was attracted to it was because I could exist in all these different realities and genres, and realize different types of characters. For lack of a more sophisticated term, play make-believe, in so many different ways, so I think that's why I don't want to be limited to one genre.

A lot has been made of your terrific accent in Man Up, what do you think of the positive reactions you've received for that?

For me, I'm so proud of my performance in that because it was on my career bucket list, to do an accent like that. I never wanted an audience member to be taken out of the movie because I sounded like I was doing an accent. For my own piece of mind, to even be able to improvise, with Simon or any of the other actors, I felt it was imperative to conquer it in some ways. I committed to the accent the second I landed in London and I didn't drop it until I left.

What's been your favorite experience in the business?

It's incredibly difficult to say. [Laughs] I'd be crazy to say that In A World... wasn't life-changing. The shooting of it, the creation of it. The emotional rewards I received after the making of that movie were just unforgettable. So far I've yet to have anything quite that intensely fulfilling, but every experience I've had has been part of my education. I'm very thankful for all of those experiences.

Can you ever see yourself just directing exclusively, or do you think you'll never give up acting?

I can't really answer that question, because if the last few years have taught me anything it's that things are utterly unpredictable. Even myself, the choices I make; you just don't know what your path is going to be. If I had my druthers, I would continue to do all of it. I think in the same way that I like to go from comedy to drama, from drama to comedy, I would also like to go from directing to acting, acting to directing. I feel lucky enough that I can kind of exercise all of those muscles. And if you're bored of one thing you can move on to the other.

What do you think you'd be doing if you weren't in the entertainment industry?

It's such a hard question, because there are so many facets of the industry that I'm a part of. It's like, "What would you be if you weren't an actor, a writer, a director."

Okay, I'll narrow it down: Was there another area of interest for you growing up that you might have pursued?

I mean, it didn't exist? [Laughs] I'd be an artist, probably, I did a lot of visual art stuff when I was younger. I was always writing, so I don't know if I'd be a journalist or an artist. Something around that. My mother always thought I was going to be a journalist, and I was always like, "I want to be an actor," and she'd say, "You're going to be a journalist." And lo and behold, I'm somewhere in between, you know?

What is your next directing gig?

My next directing gig is - by the way, I believe it once it's in the can - but my next gig in theory is this project that I wrote called What's the Point? It's an ensemble comedy, and I wrote it, I'm directing it, and I might co-star in it.

Is there someone out there you're dying to work with?

You know, I'm such a fan of actors that I have a list of people that I keep in my brain and use - whether they like it or not - when I'm writing. That's the great thing about writing, you can cast anyone you want. I almost don't even want to expose it, because I'm going to try to go get those people.

Thanks so much for your time, hope to talk to you again soon.

Thanks so much for your support.

 

You can follow Lake on Twitter right HERE. MAN UP is currently in theaters, while NO ESCAPE hits Blu-ray/DVD on November 24th; order it right HERE.  

Extra Tidbit: What's your favorite Lake Bell performance?
Source: Movie Hotties

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