LAKE BELL! Is who I am. Who are you? Let's talk about it. AMA style.
Hello reddit. My name is Lake Bell. I'm a writer, director, producer and actor. My favorite food is artichokes. Because I know better. In other news, you may know me from Children's Hospital or HBO's How To Make it In America, and my latest movie In A World which opens this weekend.
I've tweeted proof.
Let's get into it. AMA!
Update: MASSIVE THANKS to all of you who took the time to say hello. Great questions all around. I'll see you guys this weekend in the cinemas. I am leaving here, but as always, I will be @LakeBell on Twitter.
I will not dignify that. But obviously Dr. Cat Black.
I don't have any questions because I already attended an amazing In A World Q&A here in LA, but I just wanted to say that In A World has been my favorite movie of the year. It motivated me to write on my entertainment blog again (after a 10 month absence) because I needed a way to quickly share with all my friends how amazing this movie is. http://herearethingsilike.wordpress.com/2013/07/29/lake-bell-in-a-world/ When my mom comes to visit LA in a couple weeks, I will absolutely be seeing this film again with her.
I love that it doesn't fall easily into any one box. It's not a cheesy romance. It's not straight up drama. It's not just a comedy. It was a phenomenal movie that had all the facets real life has. Drama, humor, relationships. I truly adored it and I really appreciate you taking the time to come to the screening, answer questions and chat with the audience members. You are now one of my all-time favorite people. So, thank you. I can't wait to see this movie with a new crowd and I can't wait to own the DVD!
Wait now I do have a question... what kind of amazing special features can we expect? I'd imagine you have some great bloopers.
EDIT: Thank you for the Reddit Gold, whoever you are! My gift to you is to tell you to go see In A World... ASAP ;)
First of all, I am floored by (A) your comments here, and (B) your tremendous review of In A World. I am quite literally with wet eyes in reading your thoughts. Thank you profoundly for your support and your sheer understanding of its message. It is utterly my baby and I guess it just feels good to inspire someone to feel that excited about anything.
As far as DVD extras are concerned, I have all kinds of goodies for you, including much-loved albeit superfluous deleted scenes, one of which with Melissa Disney who is the only female to have ever voiced a movie trailer ( Gone In 60 Seconds ). Also, a bloopers reel (of course) and the full segment of Eva Longoria's "stupid slapper" scene co-starring my lovely and patient assistant Heather Manzuto.
I absolutely loved you in How to Make it in America. Congratulations on your new marriage to Scott Campbell. You two do great work!
Thank you for these massively kind words. I agree that he is one talented badass.
Any chance we will get to see the return of "The White Knuckler" on FX's 'The League'?
Also, great job on 'How to Make it in America'. You are an excellent actress.
I don't know, you are going to have to talk to those cats about it. I am ready if they are.
Thank you very much. Are you going to come see In A World on Friday? Because I do acting in that too.
Hi Ms. Bell, Tell us your experience with Boston Legal's cast and crew. Your come back on the series as James Spader's opponent is my favourite!
Wow, I like your deep cuts references! I haven't thought about Boston Legal in a long time, but I appreciate the loyalty to Sally Heep. Boy, wasn't she just a heap of Sally?
Spader and Shatner was all I needed, but the only reason my wife gave Boston Legal a real chance was Bell rounding out the cast. I'd love to hear Lake talk about Boston Legal as well!
Boston Legal was very long ago, so forgive me if I am not as sharp on my memories in reference to the show. My favorite parts of the show were my interactions with James Spader and William Shatner. It needs to be said that these men don some of the best voices in all of Hollywood. Can I get a "What what" on that?
Lake have you always been such a stone cold fox?
Again, the question is the compliment. So a bowlful of thanks to you. The answer is: HELL NO MUTHAFUCKA. I used to be picked on for my scrawny hairiness, and I was a late bloomer, so much so that my name haunted me with the phrase "Lake has no waves. I never want to swim in her." Things do get better.
What's Josh Peck like in real life?
If you're serious, I'm sorry. If you're not, you're a genius.
Hi Lake, was In A World your first time directing? How did you like it compared to acting? Also, you’re beautiful.
It was my first time directing a full-length feature. But I've done a couple of short form things, like Worst Enemy (which was at Sundance 2011) and then of course Children's Hospital.
It's different than acting, mainly in that you must wear comfortable shoes. It's more of an athletic sport. That's why I have a lot of sneakers.
You're beautiful as well. Don't change a thing.
BLAM! points finger accusingly "YOU KNOW WHY!!"
EDIT: You're beautiful by the way...
Correct. Yes I do know why.
Hi, Lake Bell!
•Who are your favorite comedians? •What are your favorite books? •What is the Sundance experience like? •Is Tig Notaro that awesome in person?
Let's start with comedians.
- Tig Notaro
- Demetri Martin
- Mike Birbiglia
- Louis CK
- The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
- The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
- My current obsession is Just Kids by Patti Smith
Sundance is the only environment I've been in as an adult that reminds me of wanting to work hard for something, and to make an institution proud. It's a profound community of creativity and inspiration.
Lake - any hope for another season of 'How to Make it in America'??
The question itself is a compliment. Unfortunately I don't think that it's in the cards. That said, it was fun while it lasted, don't you think? I find in my industry, with the end of anything, an opportunity arises.
Okay, 2 things:
First off, I am so happy to see a fellow Westy grad who did Dramat end up doing so well. Having just graduated, I know that everyone looks up to you for comedic/acting/directing mentorship. Also, everyone on the hill is excited for this movie.
Lastly, what made you decide to do this movie? It looks hilarious and am just curious what sparked you into writing it?
Thanks and good luck with the upcoming release!
Glad to hear from someone on the Hill. Those were formative years in my experience acting and directing, actually. My first directing gig was during a season of one acts. I owe Dean Adams a lot of credit for encouraging me.
I wanted to make this movie mainly because it infected my brain from every angle. I think that to have the energy to make a movie, you have to be obsessed with the subject.
Thank you for your well wishes. Go Martlets!
What is your top 3 favorite moves?
- King of Comedy (Martin Scorsese)
- Hannah & Her Sisters (Woody Allen)
- A tie between Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (Paul Mazursky) and A Fireman's Ball (Miloš Forman).
I believe the question was "moves", so like the Stop Short, or the Accidentally Dropped Item.
Sorry, I misread. I thought you meant "movies." When it comes to dancing, I don't like to keep myself in a box. I just let it flow, you know? (aka I do not know the professional terminology of my favorite dance movies but I do occasionally like to drop it like it's hot)
did you see this video made by Kyle Mooney from Good Neighbor Stuff? It gives In A World a shout-out in the end. Are you good friends with Kyle? Did you always think you would be doing comedy when you were younger or had different plans?
thanks lake ur the shit
I have indeed seen that video! Kyle is a friend of mine and he made this video in support of In A World.
I'm glad you liked it. Pass it on!
Who is the funniest actor off-screen on the set of childrens hospital? (my guess is Rob Huebel) What is a typical day like on set?
huge fan of the show and all your work!
First of all, is this Rob Huebel?
Anyway, Rob Huebel, to answer your question Rob Huebel, the funniest off-screen actor at CH is not really about the singular, it's more about the collective. I always feel bad for incoming guest directors, because it's like herding cats or 11 year old children. Rob Huebel.
What happens at the end of Surface?
Thanks for answering, I was actually a really big fan of the show growing up.
Excuse my cheekiness. I am thankful you are a fan of Surface. The sad truth is that I really don't know the answer to your question. But what I can say is that Nim lives on.
I'm a huge fan and just want to know, what is your least favorite movie?
Hey man, keep it to the positive.
When I was a kid, I liked Juliette Lewis and Lauren Bacall (I know those are juxtaposing women but I think that's what keeps me diverse).
As a rule I don't like to play favorites, but What Happens in Vegas resulted in me forging some of my closest friendships. So I have a soft spot for that movie. But Children's Hospital (though it's not a movie) continues to be my comedy family that I hold very dear to my heart.
I am somewhat nonplussed when it comes to being nude for work. I am not a fan of overtly gratuitous nudity, mainly because it distracts away from story. But because in life we get naked sometimes, I think it's a necessary occurrence in art imitating life.
Are you going to make any podcast appearances to promote this movie?
Please tell me we will see you back on Comedy Bang Bang soon!
I did Tig Notaro's Professor Blastoff podcast. That's a good place to start. I'll hopefully get on CBB soon. I don't have any dates, but hopefully in my near future.
A question I've always wondered: In season one of Childrens Hospital, Dr. Cat Black almost kissed Lola Spratt, but instead sneezed in her mouth. I imagine that deadly germs could be passed this way, so what I'm wondering is DID YOU GIVE LOLA CANCER?
That's a great question. And yes, obviously, because cancer spreads by saliva. I know this because I am a doctor.
will you marry me? :)
I appreciate the question. But Scott does not.
Hey Lake! Seeing as though women are still sorely underrepresented in the field of directing, I just thought it was so awesome that you decided to not only write and star in, but also direct In A World...
You're a true triple threat and a role model for broke college chicks trying to write and direct stuff, thank you! -Alyanna
Your words are genuinely moving. It is difficult, yes. But it is our responsibility as women to take on hurdles with grace. And the most graceful way to address your dreams is to just do them. I saw an interview with Zhang Xin where the interviewer asked what she was thinking about as she entered a room filled with male suits, and she laughed and then blankly said "I just don't think about it." And I think the simplicity of that conceit is really powerful, because I share that feeling that we shouldn't feel victimized as women, we should just go about our business and mentor and look up to both men and women: if they are doing what you aspire to do, they should be an inspiration to you regardless of gender.
What thing that you had to struggle for was most worth it?
In this industry, it's very easy to get caught up in how grave everything is. So I have had many moments in the journey of making this movie, from the inception of the idea to this moment right now, that have been incredibly trying. But there has been nothing more rewarding.
So it's impossible for me to complain about its struggle, mainly because there are so many more grave struggles in the world than making comedies.
Don LaFontaine or Hal Douglas?
That is an unfair question, in a way. They are both profound voiceover greats but Don LaFontaine penned the words "In A World," so we must give him credit where credit is due.
Who is your favorite rapper right now?
Though it sounds unoriginal, I am a Jay-Z loyalist.
I was so proud of Kid Cudi when he pulled you in How to Make it in America. It really made we want to turn into a good looking black dude who walks dogs and sells weed, but I wasn't sure how to go about doing that.
Can you give me tips on how to magically turn into a man like Domingo?
I think this is more of a question for Kid Cudi, don't you?
Perhaps it is, but the only part of Cudi I am really interested in is what exactly it took to successfully seduce a girl like Rachel.
Are large amounts of weed and the ability to look good even rocking yesterday's clothes necessary? Regardless, you are right and I will ask Cudi if I ever see him out smoking a J/walking dogs or on a Reddit AMA.
'Preciate the answer though. Time to go watch some Childrens Hospital.
hey lake!!!! i'm a huge fan of your work.
where do you think you would be if you didnt work with rob corddry on "What Happens in Vegas?"
ok i love u bye :) <3 <3
It's an interesting question. I have made a habit of following whatever path presents itself to me and supplementing that path with creating my own opportunities and seeking out exposure to new experiences. So if I hadn't met Rob Corddry, I might not be talking to you right now. Maybe he is the root of all things.
Hey, I loved How To Make it In America! I was so upset when it got cancelled, I feel like it deserved at least one more season. How is Victor Rasuk and Luis Guzman in real life? One last question; Using your imagination do you think Ben and Cam made it in the fashion industry?
Victor and Luis are fine gentlemen. And I miss working with them on a daily basis. In fact, my only regret in the series was that I didn't have more scenes with them. In my fantasy, Ben and Cam get stuck making women's lingerie... but that is just my fantasy.
What scene in 'Childrens Hospital' made you lose it and start to laugh the most?
I think the apt question is "What scene in Children's Hospital DIDN'T make you lose it?" In truth, it's a constant struggle and negotiation of one's focus on that set. Every day is a laughing challenge.
What was it like making No Strings Attached?
Working with Ivan Reitman was a huge part of why No Strings Attached was such an informative experience. He is a master of comedy direction and I was honored to be on his set. Also, my friend Elizabeth Meriwether (the mastermind behind The New Girl) wrote this film and after doing this movie, I would do anything she ever pens. Fun fact: it was originally called "Fuck Buddies."
Hey Lake. Have you ever considered getting a tattoo of a tiny lake and a tiny bell? I have.
But for real, who is your favorite auteur film director?
First of, I have a guy for your tattoo dreams.
My favorite auteurs / directors in no special order would be
- Martin Scorsese
- Paul Mazursky
- Woody Allen
- Alexander Payne
- Robert Altman
- Miloš Forman
Was sad to see How to Make it in America not get renewed, thought you were absolutely fantastic in that. That was kind of all I had to say, but here's a question, How did your parents land on naming you Lake?
"Lake" was a family name. My great-grandmother was named "Lake." Before that, it was a family name. But I used to tell people my parents were hippies and conceived me on a lake, so I just want to come clean on that.
Lake, usually movie trailers convince me NOT to go see movies, either by giving away the best jokes of the movie, taking away any sense of story or surprise, or just showcasing how bad the movie actually is. In A World has one of the best trailers I've seen in a long time. I imagine that a lot of love went into the trailer for a movie that's, sort of, about trailers. Can you tell us some of the "making of" or thought that went into the trailer for In A World?
I wrestled with this conundrum for a long time. My neuroses surrounding the making of this trailer were profound for the very reason you are stating. Initially I wanted to try something sort of meta and somewhat "clever," but in the end came to realize that I am a trailer purist and preferred to adhere to a simpler, more honest / classic movie trailer template. It was very much an amalgamation of sensibilities between myself and the Roadside Attractions marketing team. I am thrilled that you approve.
Saw the movie at IFFBoston and I loved it can't wait to see it again in theaters. Is it coming out first on selected theaters and then released nationally? Btw this is "healthcare". ha!
You should be able to see if the movie is coming out near you on Fandango but I'm almost positive it either comes out this Friday or the Friday after that in Boston.
By the way, that screening you attended might have been one of my favorite screenings of In A World. I wish I could always catapult free t-shirts into the audience. Like a pep rally before every showtime.
EDIT: August 16 is Boston!
I binge-watched SURFACE for the first time recently and it was a good time - awesome old timey monster show. So much potential, was weird when it ended like that. Could you speak on how it was working on it.
It sounds like the show got short shrift by the studio.. but there seems to be enough fans of it that something of a proper finale or 2nd season could work, Netflix season style - would you be down?
Look, I'm down for anything. But often, these decisions are so far out of my hands or your hands. Unfortunately, it's often just good ol' fashioned politics. And I know that sounds sort of unromantic, but it's a cruel reality. But I enjoyed making that show tremendously, and I will never forget my year living in Wilmington, NC.
What is your favorite thing to do when you aren't working? Aside from stuffing your mouth hole with artichokes.
Listen, you mouth hole, this is what I'll say. Doing this kind of work is so often all-encompassing you can forget about hobbies. That said, I am thankful to be married to someone who exposes me to different environments. And that my family provides that exposure as well. So for instance, I am a car enthusiast. And I continue to be. I am also a fan of culinary exploits, as well as being an active animal rights aide.
Serious note: when you are in the process of creating a story, do you outline it or just jump right into writing it while the thoughts are a'flowing?
It's sort of an amalgamation of both. I feel like creativity comes in waves, so if I am feeling a surge of random anecdotes or ideas that are inherently funny or unique, I will address them. And my outlining process is somewhat disjointed as well. I like to begin writing before I have a clear understanding of what the end is. Mainly because I like to ask myself the question "what do I want to see next?" I am only allowed to do that because I write without deadline or for someone else. I know and appreciate that that is a luxury.
What is your writing process? What changes, if anything at all in your approach to something you act in and something you direct?
Because life is busy and I don't write for anyone, meaning I don't have a deadline nor restrictions, that can sometimes be paralyzing unto itself. So in order to set myself up for success, I create self-induced writer's retreats in my home for 3-4 days at a time where my cell phone and outside contact is banned. I stock the fridge with my favorite fun snacks and juices, and I don't allow myself to write anything until I arrive at this predetermined date. And I wear sneakers while I write to support the idea that writing is an active process.
For this film, I had to do all of these occupations, so it really just boils down to the very simple salve: "preparation." Normally you have soft prep that rolls into "hard prep," and then you shoot, but because I had to wear so many hats, I was forced to make up new types of preparation like "semi-hard prep" or "moderately soft-to-soft-prep," and etc. The point is, I make a lot of lists, I draw a lot of pictures, and I wear comfortable shoes.
I haven't seen In a World yet but I know people who've seen it at festivals and have heard it is fantastic!
Do you think you'll ever write an episode of Childrens Hospital?
Thank you for the lovely words! I never say never. But I am not inherently a sketch writer, as it is not my forte. So I don't foresee it happening necessarily. But I will continue to direct them as long as they will have me.
How To Make It In America was the best, what will it take to bring it back? Also, do you have any Crisp clothing?
I've recently watched Childrens Hospital and didn't know you were in it, it made it better, is that also going to return?
Aaaaand, is In A World getting a UK release? I definitely need to see it. I saw you talk about voice acting on Conan, how long did you do that for before you launched into proper acting?
Sorry for the question assault, glad I caught this!
First question: given the way that television works, I don't imagine that it will come back. That said, stranger things have happened. And yes, I have a Crisp backpack and baseball cap.
Second question: we (myself included) have been making Children's Hospital for 5 years now. By the way, it's on the air currently, Thursday nights at midnight on Adult Swim. So thank you for the support (we got nominated for our second Emmy).
Third question: I am proud to say In A World opens in the UK on September 13. And I say I am proud because I went to drama school in England, at Rose Bruford College, in SE10. So to answer your second part of the question, I had been doing "proper acting" way before I had considered doing voiceover acting. And then with respect to voiceover artists, voice acting is also proper acting.
Who is the sexiest brutal dictator?
What's going on, buddy?
What's your take on the way Surface ended? Was there ever any talk of continuing the series?
Surface was a very expensive show to make. So in the end, it became hard to maintain. But I am proud of it, and also, one never knows when Nimrod will resurface.
Who is your favorite actor to work with?
That's too difficult of a question to answer, although I appreciate where you are coming from. As I am a part of the breed, I am a lover of actors as a species.
Hey Lake!! I loved you in It's Complicated. Who do you most want to work with? Oh and go veganism!! How long have you been a vegan? Favorite vegan food?
PS I have a straight girl crush on you
First of all, I am eating a vegan caesar from Bliss in New York right now as I type this. It's delightful, you should try it.
I want to continue to work with and surround myself with people that inspire me, those that are my contemporaries but also my mentors. And in truth, I couldn't even name them because I would be nervous I'd leave someone out.
Fred Melamed, Rob Corddry, Nick Offerman
Kill, Fuck, Marry?
why are people still playing this game? It's so mean. What about kiss, cuddle or spoon?
Miz Bell. Glad to have you here.
If you had to choose between a three-foot tall grizzly bear and a 7-foot tall koala, which would you choose?
Please provide your reasonings.
I would answer this, but I'm feeling kind of fuzzy.
You've worked with Ashton Kutcher twice now. Any future collaborations planned?
We don't as of now, however the first two projects weren't planned, so god knows. Maybe we'll just work together every few years to check in.
Don't be a dick.
who is the hottest doctor at childrens?
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