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The Hot Seat: Kristen Bell

This lunachick may be making fake IDs for the cast of Gossip Girl.

Illustration: Rob Kelly

News flash: Kristen Bell is short. It's easy to forget, since she's always going toe-to-toe with giants like Josh Duhamel—a foot taller than the diminutive Bell—or a figurative rom-com heavyweight like Meg Ryan. As the marriage-spoiling other woman in December's Serious Moonlight, Bell has to romance Oscar winner Timothy Hutton and go mano a mano with Ryan, all while trussed up in duct tape (it's a comedy). Clearly, Bell never takes a break; she followed this fall's Couples Retreat with a stint on the Starz show Party Down, continues to narrate Gossip Girl ("Be as sassy as possible," she says of the voiceover process) and cheerleads for her canceled show Veronica Mars: "I truly feel that [show creator] Rob Thomas and I will shoot a movie, even if it's in his backyard with my video camera," she says. With a work ethic like that, we guess we can skip the 5'1" jokes.

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So you face down Meg Ryan in this movie. Was it scary?
At points I felt myself daydreaming during the scene, because her mannerisms are so adorably hers. I was in the scene going, Meg Ryan is soooo cute, and then snapping out of it. And she was game for all of our wrestling matches on the bathroom floor. That just made me so happy.

Could you take her in real life?
Oh, I'm sure I could take her. I could also take Tim. I could take her and Tim at the same time. [Laughs]

Were you one of those rowdy NYU party kids when you were a student here? I live above an NYU bar, and they drive me batty.
We're more similar than you think, because they kept me up at night, too. I was a very good girl. Though I did have a weird streak in my college career where I made fake IDs.

Impressive.
And here's the weird thing—I have a spotless record. I was grounded only once growing up, and it's just 'cause I sassed my mom. I'm pretty much a Goody Two-shoes; I'm not really proud or ashamed of that, it's just how I am. But there was this time in college when I thought it was a really good idea to make fake IDs. I sold 'em for $20 a pop, then I went to Joyce Leslie and spent all of it.

Now you narrate Gossip Girl. I hear you want to show up onscreen.
I often jokingly threaten that if they don't let me on the show soon, I'm gonna go to extras casting, get a job as a waitress on the show, and breeze by the camera and shoot one right down the barrel. Just let the audience know that I'm watching them.

It's 'cause the show did a threesome, right? That's why you want to appear.
I've seen the episode. And I pictured myself in there the entire time. Believe you me.

Who would join you in your ideal Gossip Girl threesome?
Hmm. Who would an anonymous waitress have a threesome with? Rufus, and Chuck. You gotta have a little Chuck in there.

You have three dogs already. When you get old, are you going to be a crazy dog lady?
I heard there was a man in Michigan who was found with, like, 600 Chihuahuas in his house. I'm lookin' him up. Find out if he's single, first and foremost. But then check out what the rules of the house were, what his game plan was. I could never go above three.

What's with all those really tall guys you work with onscreen? Josh Duhamel, Jason Segel...
Keep 'em comin'. I am happy to chug a tall drink of water. Maybe it's just the luck of the draw, or maybe, um, I have a bigger personality.

So people think you're 5'11"?
Yeah, they think, Gotta put someone in the ring that can handle her.

Ever had to stand on something on set?
Ab. So. Lutely. Have I ever. Have I ever not had to stand on something? Jason Bateman would place bets on how many apple boxes I'd have to stand on throughout the day.

Balance is the key to being a movie star, then?
I've definitely mastered the art of walking off an apple box on my tiptoes so they don't have to use a trail of apple boxes. When I step off, my level doesn't change.

I assume that's on your rsum, under "Skills."
Absolutely, and I challenge you to find a scene where you can see me dip. I take pride in my walking work.

Serious Moonlight opens Dec 4. Gossip Girl airs Mondays at 9pm on the CW.

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