One of the most highly anticipated debuts of the season is next Monday at 9pm, when Veronica Mars star Kristen Bell makes her first appearance on the hit NBC drama Heroes. It’s hard to contain the joy when these two very popular cult shows join forces. Bell herself, alongside Heroes mastermind Tim Kring, held a conference call today to talk openly about her role on the show and what else to look for in season 2.
Among the topics covered: details on Kristen Bell’s character, including who she interacts with and how long she’ll be around; the structure of season 2 and the possibility of seeing more of the Group of 12; Bell’s offer to be on Lost; and Bell’s favorite TV shows and whether she stays in contact with her Veronica Mars co-stars.
About her character, Elle, Kristen Bell described her as “a little bit off” with very duplicitous motives, which she relishes. Elle has a lot of information about Peter’s past, though Bell was reluctant to say more without Tim Kring’s approval. He chimed in, stating simply that she is looking for Peter and it’s a good bet that she finds him.
When pushed, Bell spilled a lot more about Elle. She kept up the line about how she has “a very cool power.” Also, Bell said Elle “has ties to HRG and to Claire.” describing that it’s a very interesting dynamic she has with Claire, and that it’s a deeper relationship than most people would think. Elle also has some smaller ties to Mohinder, and Bell described her again as “a little messed-up in the head” with few boundaries, Kring added that Elle was raised within the Company, and that her character is a cautionary tale about what happens when a Hero is raised with an awareness of her power, rather than discovering it on her own. She hopes fans will root for her character, even though Elle has trouble differentiating between good and evil, because her upbringing inside the Company really messed with her moral compass.
The next episode is a bit of a tease, according to Bell, because even though she appears in episode 5, her character is not in the two after that. However, Bell assured viewers that she returns for episodes 8 and 9, which feature a lot of great Elle stuff.
Bell spoke a little about her friendship with Hayden Panettiere, which goes back a while, and may have let something slip when she said the two always joked about playing sisters or best friends. She quickly backtracked, saying their characters on Heroes aren’t necessarily either of those, but it definitely sounded like her defenses were down for a moment. She said she’s more than willing to join the show for the long-term, though right now she’s only signed up for 13 episodes of this season, and at the end of those, she’ll have a meeting with Kring and other producers to determine whether or not her character is worth keeping around.
For fans frustrated with wanting answers, Kring assured them that all the questions raised so far in Volume 2, “Generations,” will be answered, and that unlike last season’s full-season arc, “Generations” will be resolved by episode 11, after which there will be another cliffhanger leading to Volume 3. Tim Kring said that the character Bell plays was created long before they had her in mind, though after she was chosen for the role, the character was slightly tailored for her. Addressing fears of overpopulation on the show, Kring said fans should fully expect to see characters leave in the near future.
BuddyTV asked Tim Kring about the photograph of the Group of 12 seen in last night’s episode, and he confirmed that we will be seeing more of the five as yet unknown characters, and that they will be played by the same actors featured in the photo. He briefly talked about how difficult it was to arrange that picture, as it includes actors and refers to plots that are still many episodes away, so they needed to plan ahead. When pressed on the brunette standing next to Mr. Parkman, Kring made a tacit confirmation by saying “It did look an awful lot like Joanna Cassidy.”
Bell most wants to act with Zachary Quinto, because the two have been friends for nearly 10 years, and because Sylar is such a cool character, and she would love to face off against him on the show. If she could have any super power, it would be multiplicity, because if there were more copies of her, she could get more done and tell herself to make dinner or clean up.
When asked about being offered a role on Lost, Bell explained the actual situation as: “I had been spoken to about possibly doing a role on Lost, but I was not offered one.” Then Tim Kring came along, and her love for Heroes from day one made this her “dreamiest of dream roles,” and Bell couldn’t resist. She added that Heroes was always the water cooler conversation on the set of Veronica Mars, and she learned the inverse was true on the set of Heroes. Though she may have had some nerves starting, it was easy because the cast is so easy to gel with. It was also easy because Bell had existing relationships with several cast members and writers.
Bell describes her geekiest guilty pleasure being her obsession with Comic-Con and her fondness for going up to people in full costume and getting her picture taken with them, because she finds them fascinating. When pressed for her current TV viewing schedule, she admitted to loving Pushing Daisies, NBC’s whole Monday night lineup and The Office. She’s also a big fan of BBC shows like Little Britain and The League of Gentlemen, but her number one favorite TV show of all-time is America’s Funniest Home Videos. She’s most attracted to cult shows like Veronica Mars and Heroes because the fans are more invested and need to watch the show, rather than most shows where people just watch a show because it’s on TV.
She also hopes Veronica Mars fans will enjoy her new role as much as she does. VM fans will be glad to hear that Bell stays in contact with her former co-stars, and had breakfast with Ryan Hansen (Dick Casablancas) just 20 minutes before the call. All her old cast and crew members are eager to get the inside scoop about what’s going on, but Bell refuses to tell them, and even takes a little pleasure it being able to hold it over them. She also was asked about doing the voiceover for Gossip Girl, and while she loves the opportunity to go to work in her jammies, she said she won’t be appearing on-screen for the CW series.
-John Kubicek, BuddyTV Senior Writer
(Image courtesy of NBC)