A Minute With: Actress Lake Bell on going from indie to Disney

Wed May 14, 2014 8:15am EDT
 
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By Mary Milliken

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Lake Bell, one of the few actresses in Hollywood who can also add the titles of writer and director to her name, swapped the world of quirky independent film for an international Disney movie in her latest on-screen role.

The 35-year-old Bell wrote, directed and starred in her own independent movie "In a World..." in 2013, winning critical praise for her comic look into the rarefied world of voice over artists. "It changed my life," she says of the experience.

Now Bell stars opposite "Mad Men" star Jon Hamm in the Walt Disney Co feel-good sports drama "Million Dollar Arm" opening in U.S. theaters on Friday. She plays Brenda the neighbor and doctor who helps sports agent J.B. Bernstein in his improbable quest to train two baseball pitchers from India.

Much to her disappointment, Bell didn't get to go to India to film. But she did get to talk to Reuters about what it's like to work in her first Disney film, how it is thankfully lacking in a "weird boob scene," and what it's like working with Hamm (a question she clearly gets a lot these days).

Q: Is directing and starring in your own independent film and then going to a Disney movie quite a unique transition?

A: It is. But I had a great experience. If anything it was refreshing to be in the hands of the very capable director Craig (Gillespie). And Disney, I have never worked for Disney before but it was a tremendous experience. And Jon is a really good friend of mine.

As a writer-director, I like being on other people's sets. I am an actor first and foremost and I think being an actor for hire is how I learn, seeing other people's sets ... Especially with this movie having sports elements, I've never seen anything like that. Unfortunately, I didn't get to go to India.

Q: You get to play the bridge between the young Indian men and the prototype- American sports agent.   Continued...

 
Cast member Lake Bell smiles at the premiere of "Million Dollar Arm" at El Capitan theatre in Hollywood, California May 6, 2014.   REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni