Lake Bell at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival premiere of A Good Old Fashioned Orgy
|Born||Lake Siegel Bell
March 24, 1979
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Occupation||Actress, director, screenwriter, producer|
|Spouse(s)||Scott Campbell (m. 2013)|
I love Dr. Hauschka's blue mascara. It's not so blue that it's like, 'What's wrong with you?' It's more like a secret that you're wearing it.
I think coming to work and being absurd and neurotic and thoughtful at the same time is far more interesting.
There are a lot of funny people and a lot of unfunny people. Some of them are women and some of them are dudes.
I love fashion. I always have. When I was a kid, I was in almost full-on costumes when I went to school, and I've retained a bit of that in my adulthood.
I've always been very in tune to my voice and to other people's voices and how they express themselves vocally. And I always loved accents and dialects – I collected them like stamps.
I feel very comfortable with my trajectory because I do have a life; I can go on the subway, you know? And I've been able to do that my entire career, and I have friends who are huge movie stars and can't go on the subway, and I feel like that sucks.
Actually, in my own life I think I probably feign neuroses to be more interesting than I am.
I have vitamins I intend to take to be a better person. I even have a pillbox for them to remind myself to be healthier. But will I take them? Definitely not.
I'm super and very openly obsessed with voice-over. 'In a World…' was my love letter to the industry of voice-over. And in a way, I sometimes think of it as a 93-minute audition to the voice-over industry to say, 'Hey. Consider me!'
I think of myself as a content creator and, hopefully one day, a content enabler and supporter of others, so that's what my immediate and hopefully future journey is.
'In A World…' changed my life a thousand per cent. I feel thankful that something I believed in so much – I love dialect, so I dedicated five years of my life to making a film about it – yielded such rewards. It led to 'Man Up,' as well as 'No Escape,' which comes out later this year… two movies where I am the female lead.
I think the key to a great romcom is to not fight against the genre. The trend more recently has been to apologise or be snarky, so it's an anti-romcom. Just lean in and embrace the fact it's a love story, and it's funny, and it's light. It can still be uber-smart and deal with zeitgeist issues.
I am lactose intolerant, and I always thought it was really funny how people who are lactose intolerant continue to eat dairy, because they like it so much. And I find it not acceptable.
I certainly felt like my life had been enriched and had also changed forever when I took 'In A World…' to Sundance.
You can't live in a dialect without tremendous work. Like any muscle, accents and voices and languages are all formed out of the muscles that we have in our mouths and faces and tongues.
'Wet Hot American Summer' was sort of lowbrow genius, you know? But smart in its cultish silliness. It wasn't considered something of great cultural caliber. But like many cult pieces, it sort of became something culturally relevant, which I think is what's so wonderful about it.
When you have a little one, you realize that your only mission in life is to protect this helpless, very sensitive creature. That is your charge. That's primal. I relate to that deeply.
My dad's a Jew, and my mom's a WASP, so that should pretty much say it all. It was a comically dysfunctional family.
I think part of what I love about being an actor is getting to take on different worlds and investigate different genres and travel to different lands.
My mom is incredibly stylish, and she gets it from my grandmother. I feel like I can't live up to how chic they are as women. They are great role models for aging gracefully, and that's a thing that is very key that I try to always emulate.
I love accents in general. I'm obsessed with dialects, and I had to write a whole movie about it called 'In a World…'
Anything that is profoundly energy-shifting – like having a child – is fodder for creative thought. So for me, I welcome it and look straight into it as something to learn from.
At a time when every series we're supposed to be DVR-ing is very important, very serious, has to do with heavy, heavy matters, I think 'Wet Hot' provides a respite to that DVR homework. It's totally the gummy bears of your programming.
I collect handkerchiefs. I know that's sort of old-timey, but my mom started the collection for me, and now I have a bunch. Basically, I have a myriad of beautiful handkerchiefs, and I carry them like a grandmother in my purse. And I opt for hankies in any situation.
The only thing I liked about Christmas as a kid was the gifts; otherwise, it just seemed like a stressful time.
I'm vegan on home base, but when I travel to other countries, I throw it all into the garbage.
There are so many projects on my Dream List. I have so many things in the works, just like little ideas or collections of things or things I write or even just a title of something.
My fiance likes drawing on napkins, which I save. I'm always scared I'll get caught taking a linen napkin from a restaurant!
I like my body, I like to have fun with what I put on, but I also want to remain classic. So I guess my signature is sexy and eclectic but classic.
What I think is sad about the rom-com genre is that it has adopted this pejorative title. I think the reason why there haven't been as many great ones is because we are fighting against the genre itself. If it is a romantic comedy then snuggle up to the fact that it can be a really earnest, refreshing feeling to feel good after a movie.
My mother is a beautiful writer. Writing letters back and forth with her was an athletic endeavor, and it became something I really looked forward to.
I was a commercial girl. In drama school, I was a mediocre model occasionally to pick up some extra cash, and because clearly I'm not six feet tall, and I had baby weight, I would mainly just would do promotional stuff.
I think, in general, when you're doing comedy, you're having a good time regardless of the comedy table tennis that you're playing. I think you want that, too: you're rooting for two characters to be together, and you should feel that even when they're angry at each other, they're still in synch with each other.
My mother, Robin Bell, is the master of balancing the finite line between classic and creative when it comes to fashion. Mom has no qualms about unleashing the pinking shears on a vintage Givenchy dress if it means she'll wear it more once it's sleeveless.
Having children is not for everyone, but I think it's a beautiful lesson in it not being all about me anymore. It's a relief, in a way. It's like, this is her story now, and I'm her mom. It's a nice shift.
Before you have kids, you're like, 'I hope I don't die on this plane,' or, 'I hope I don't die crossing the street.' It's all me, me, me. 'What do I want to eat? What do I want to do?' But when you have a baby, and you would just happily stand in front of a bus to save her, it's a ferocious commitment to protecting your charge.
I have this necklace I always wear. I collect pendants from people I love; my best friends and members of my family have all given me one, and I put them on this chain so no matter where I am they're always with me.
My happy place is holding my daughter and my husband in the same hug. It really is. I'm getting emotional just thinking about it. I consider it such a privilege, and I know that I'm lucky. I never want to take it for granted.
I feel very lucky that when I'm burnt out of acting, I take to the pen, and I write something I want to direct. And then, when I'm tired of taking on too much responsibility as a director, I then look for an acting gig. And I've made it very clear that I'm interested in voiceover work. I mean, I'm always looking for voiceover gigs. I love that.
I find the female tragedy of insecurity to be hilarious. We get obsessed over issues like the tiny skin tags on our backs or that we're fat. You read one line in a magazine and it sends you into a tailspin.
There have been times where you do the red carpet in a certain shoe, and you go into the bathroom, you take that shoe off, you put the other shoe on from your purse, and then you walk around for the rest of the night.
I'm forever writing, forever looking for something to direct or produce, and always on the hunt for a great role.
When I was pregnant, I was like, 'I'm pregnant, so I'm allowed to eat everything: bagels with cream cheese for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and I can have pizza for dessert.'
I think the greatest privilege you have as an artist is time to nurture what you want to make; that's super luxurious. For you to rush into something, that doesn't feel fun to me. I'm living life in order to be able to write about it.
But I'd say 'How to Make It in America' is the most accurate depiction of the New York hipster community on television for sure.
My brother and I had many games. We were inseparable. We had a little team going on between us. We had even a language that was kind of like pig latin. So we'd speak in the language. It's called Op.
Filmmaking is a huge privilege; it's not brain surgery. It's art, and art is supposed to be an enjoyable process, and it is an enjoyable experience for me.
Most of my characters are an amalgamation of people that I've met, my family, or myself. Being a writer, you can draw only from what you know. I am lucky to have really rich and interesting people in my family for, you know, interesting family nights and great characters.
Marriage is traditionally old-school in many respects. It is highly antiquated, and, that being said, beautiful.
I consider myself a good layman's cook. Ninety percent of the time, I'm successful with what I set out to make, and I can improvise. Yes, I own a mandoline. Yes, we have a Vitamix.
If I write something, and I'm going to put in all that love and energy, I want to direct it.
I have a weird obsession with wearing not just fashion sneakers, but actual sneakers that have bounce, because I want to feel like I'm in an active state.
I hate bell peppers, which is annoying because they technically have my name all over them.
While marriage is historically associated with dire obligation and clipped wings, I've found that it actually liberates you to take on adventure and achieve your dreams. I like to call my husband 'my person.' Find your 'person,' and you can do anything!
When you write and direct your own film, you basically know exactly what you want. Or you hope to. For the studio, it actually can make life a little easier, because if you have a bunch of questions, they only need to call one person.
I went to drama school in England, and you spend your first year working on the muscles surrounding the vocal mechanisms. You learn how you support it and create characters through your voice so that became an obsession. So I went to Hollywood thinking, 'Oh, I'm going to be one of the great voice-over artists.'
I'll be totally honest in that I feel tremendously lucky that I am offered incredible jobs all the time to direct, but the problem that I have just personally is that there are only so many years in my life to dedicate to certain projects.
At the end of the week, my husband and I do a leftovers dinner, where we have to use whatever's in the fridge. It's sort of a game.
The finest lesson I've learned with age is that all I need is a small team of comrades who inspire me, try not to judge me, and remind me when I'm judging myself.
The two things that hit you when you meet someone are, first, how they're visually put together and then, what they tell you with the tone of their voice – whether or not they're to be taken seriously.
I don't really enjoy working in TV, to be completely honest. Even though it's incredibly lucrative, I'm just terrified of not being satiated in a myriad of different ways.
I feel that being an actor is a front-row seat into seeing how everybody else makes their movies. Basically, being in the trenches for ten years is like a college-level course in filmmaking if not more. It feels like every director I work with and every set that I visit as an actor, I see someone else's definition of filmmaking.
I lean into all things that are a little off. I will always wear overalls. At this point, I find a way in most of my life to wear a jumpsuit or an overall, anything that's sort of like an all-in-one situation. I do that on the red carpet a lot.
I'm organized, but receipts tend to mess up my system. They're barbarians! So I store them in a notepad.