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.

Comments: 190 • Responses: 52  • Date: 

MelodiousFunk17 karma

who is the hottest doctor at childrens?

lake_bell24 karma

I will not dignify that. But obviously Dr. Cat Black.

emhig16 karma

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 ;)

lake_bell22 karma

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.

cabreezy13 karma

I absolutely loved you in How to Make it in America. Congratulations on your new marriage to Scott Campbell. You two do great work!

lake_bell15 karma

Thank you for these massively kind words. I agree that he is one talented badass.

justinofdoom13 karma

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.

lake_bell21 karma

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.

mccbala12 karma

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!

lake_bell13 karma

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?

faintpremonition3 karma

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!

lake_bell12 karma

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?

Jesr21610 karma

Lake have you always been such a stone cold fox?

lake_bell41 karma

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.

seymour19 karma

What's Josh Peck like in real life?

lake_bell11 karma

If you're serious, I'm sorry. If you're not, you're a genius.

LutzExpertTera9 karma

Hi Lake, was In A World your first time directing? How did you like it compared to acting? Also, you’re beautiful.

lake_bell18 karma

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.

patanwilson8 karma

BLAM! points finger accusingly "YOU KNOW WHY!!"

EDIT: You're beautiful by the way...

lake_bell8 karma

Correct. Yes I do know why.

iamnickdolan7 karma

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?

Thank you!

lake_bell19 karma

Let's start with comedians.

  • Tig Notaro
  • Demetri Martin
  • Mike Birbiglia
  • Louis CK

Favorite books.

  • 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.


colo_willy6 karma

Lake - any hope for another season of 'How to Make it in America'??

lake_bell9 karma

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.

IamMisplaced6 karma

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!

lake_bell10 karma

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!

DunDerD6 karma

What is your top 3 favorite moves?

lake_bell15 karma

  • 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).

faintpremonition9 karma

I believe the question was "moves", so like the Stop Short, or the Accidentally Dropped Item.

lake_bell19 karma

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)

kzbaxdg75 karma

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

lake_bell11 karma

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!

kzbaxdg75 karma

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!

lake_bell18 karma

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.

JediKnightRC5 karma

What happens at the end of Surface?

lake_bell11 karma

Everybody dies.

JediKnightRC3 karma

Thanks for answering, I was actually a really big fan of the show growing up.

lake_bell10 karma

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.

Gocelings4 karma

I'm a huge fan and just want to know, what is your least favorite movie?

lake_bell13 karma

Hey man, keep it to the positive.

thedaedra4 karma


lake_bell16 karma

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.

Memphish_Boognish4 karma

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!

lake_bell8 karma

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.

tfu094 karma

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?

lake_bell16 karma

That's a great question. And yes, obviously, because cancer spreads by saliva. I know this because I am a doctor.

bubbagump2k4 karma

will you marry me? :)

lake_bell17 karma

I appreciate the question. But Scott does not.

littlekicksdance4 karma

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

lake_bell11 karma

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.

Beartits3 karma

What thing that you had to struggle for was most worth it?

lake_bell6 karma

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.

shma_3 karma

Don LaFontaine or Hal Douglas?

lake_bell7 karma

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.

Cfmurch3 karma

Who is your favorite rapper right now?

lake_bell10 karma

Though it sounds unoriginal, I am a Jay-Z loyalist.

DopeDeposit3 karma

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?

lake_bell6 karma

I think this is more of a question for Kid Cudi, don't you?

DopeDeposit1 karma

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.

lake_bell5 karma

Amen brother.

kzbaxdg73 karma

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

lake_bell10 karma

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.

dominicanerd853 karma

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?

lake_bell11 karma

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.

petethepusherman2 karma

What scene in 'Childrens Hospital' made you lose it and start to laugh the most?

lake_bell8 karma

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.

Frajer2 karma

What was it like making No Strings Attached?

lake_bell11 karma

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."

BUCN4142 karma

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?

lake_bell9 karma

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

VladimirPoontang2 karma

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_bell8 karma

"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.

faintpremonition2 karma

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?

lake_bell7 karma

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.

didiette012 karma

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!

lake_bell7 karma

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!

Fairgomate2 karma

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?

Thanks :)

lake_bell6 karma

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.

Gay4Moleman2 karma

What is your favorite thing to do when you aren't working? Aside from stuffing your mouth hole with artichokes.

lake_bell7 karma

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.

rexmanly2 karma

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?

lake_bell11 karma

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.

Stairmaster_Stu2 karma

What is your writing process? What changes, if anything at all in your approach to something you act in and something you direct?

lake_bell13 karma

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.

kennycosgrove2 karma

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?

lake_bell5 karma

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.

thegoslow2 karma

  • 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!

lake_bell7 karma

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.

iamnickdolan2 karma

Who is the sexiest brutal dictator?

lake_bell14 karma

What's going on, buddy?

ontheroadsal2 karma

What's your take on the way Surface ended? Was there ever any talk of continuing the series?

lake_bell8 karma

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.

Federico111 karma

Who is your favorite actor to work with?

lake_bell6 karma

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.

sillyparrot21021 karma

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

lake_bell7 karma

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.

bfraiche1 karma

Fred Melamed, Rob Corddry, Nick Offerman

Kill, Fuck, Marry?

lake_bell12 karma

why are people still playing this game? It's so mean. What about kiss, cuddle or spoon?

rexmanly1 karma

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.

lake_bell3 karma

I would answer this, but I'm feeling kind of fuzzy.

nonnahs871 karma

You've worked with Ashton Kutcher twice now. Any future collaborations planned?

lake_bell6 karma

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.

MelodiousFunk-5 karma


lake_bell23 karma

Don't be a dick.