Kristen Bell's rising career takes her to "Rome"

Thu Jan 28, 2010 2:43pm EST
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By Zorianna Kit

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - When she waded in to a water fountain in Rome to film a scene for her upcoming movie, Kristen Bell had little more on her mind than having fun.

Now, with "When in Rome" hitting theaters on Friday, it has dawned on the 29 year-old actress that she's carrying the success of an entire film on her shoulders for the first time, and with that comes the pressure to maintain a rising career.

"It's only now that I'm realizing that, wow, this is what people call your 'vehicle,'" the actress told Reuters.

But this 'vehicle' didn't pick up Bell without a lot of hard work ahead of it. Bell began acting in school, went to the New York stage, then moved to Hollywood where she landed the title role on television show "Veronica Mars" before starring in the movie "Forgetting Sarah Marshall."

Along the way, the petite, blonde-haired Bell, who grew up idolizing funny actresses such as Catherine O'Hara and Jennifer Coolidge, has been showcasing stage, music and comedy skills.

In "When in Rome,' she plays Beth, a single art curator who travels to Rome for her sister's wedding, and once there, she falls for the groom's best man (Josh Duhamel).

But when she plucks several coins from a fountain, she finds herself pursued by a band of unwanted suitors -- played by Will Arnett, Danny De Vito, Jon Heder and Dax Shepard -- all of whom had previously wished for love on those coins.

In real-life, Bell has dated Shepard for two years, but she keeps her private life out of the public spotlight.   Continued...