Disney invited me on an expense-paid trip to Los Angeles for the Disney Frozen Event so that I could report back to all of my readers about the movie and behind-the-scenes details, like this Kristen Bell interview. No other compensation has been exchanged and all opinions are my own. Note: photos are courtesy of Disney. Interview shots of Kristen Bell were taken by Louise Bishop from MomStart.com.
Fulfilling a childhood dream
Actress Kristen Bell fulfilled a life-long dream with her role as Anna in Frozen. When she was only 4 or 5 years old, she made a goal that she would be in a Disney animated movie someday.
When asked how she felt about being in a Disney musical, she said that the musical aspect was actually what enticed her to be involved in the project. Kristen said, “I studied music in college and I trained operatically when I was a little girl and I love musical theater so, so, so much. I’d done a couple Broadway musicals and I try to keep music as relevant as possible and it puts me in a mental state of happiness like nothing else, I think. Really like nothing else.”
Creating Frozen’s Heroine, Anna
As she began work on the movie, and as the script morphed and changed into what it is today, Kristen put a lot of herself into the character of Anna, an uncharacteristic princess.
Speaking of Anna, Kristen said, “I knew exactly what I wanted to do going in. I was like, I don’t want her to have good posture, I don’t want her to have dreamed of holding a sword her whole life. I didn’t want her to be one or the other of the archetypes that I was used to seeing. I just wanted her to be who I wanted to see on screen when I was little, which is someone who talks too much and too fast. And puts her foot in her mouth and is goofy, but really kind of likes people and being social and being positive. And I really wanted her to also be proactive, I wanted her to be the the driving force of the movie. And not just be the damsel that needs someone else. She’s not rough and tumble, and she’s not the girl who has her hair braided by birds. She’s really goofy, she’s who I felt like I was when I was a kid.”
After seeing the movie just a short time after our interview, I could tell just how much of Kristen’s cute personality did shine through in the movie.
One of the best lines of the entire interview was “why does the sidekick get all the jokes?” Kristen decided to push and let her opinion be known, and luckily they listened. In fact, a lot of Anna’s character development happened through Kristen’s silly improvisations in the recording studio.
When Kristen asked if she could just “talk for a while” they would always say yes, and those improvs always made it in film. Kristen said, “There was a specific one that they told me had formed Anna, which was really early on, which I just pulled out of my rear end, which I often do, but she talked too fast, you get ahead of yourself, and you’re like oh my – I shouldn’t have said that. When she first meets this guy named Hans, there is that one typical Disney moment where they’re too physically close to each other, because somebody’s been bumped, and they’re feeling butterflies. And she goes, ‘this is awkward. Not meaning you’re that awkward, I’m awkward, you’re gorgeous.’ They explained to me later on that that moment- it kind of epitomized who she was. They understood her I guess. And I was so happy ’cause that, it makes me laugh every time I see it.”
Kristen Bell’s favorite scene in Frozen
When asked if Kristen had a favorite scene in Frozen, she answered without hesitation. “The scene that I connect to the most…because I appreciate the story that’s being told, is not actually my scene, it’s Elsa’s. She has a song called ‘Let It Go’ which is done vibrato. Idina obviously is a powerhouse and she just blows it out of the water.
“But the song itself happens at a point in the movie where the movie’s whole theme is this idea of fear versus love, and the one character (Anna) is driven completely out of love and blind naivete and everything is great… Then you have this other character (Elsa) that’s absolutely paralyzed by fear. The movie is really about her embracing what makes her different, because that’s what makes her unique. And learning how to not let her fear paralyze her.
“In this song, Let it Go, she’s finally all about herself… And it’s just so overwhelming to me to hear the lyrics and know the emotion is just…you know what? I am who I am. And that’s me. And I’m going to love myself. And I don’t care what anyone else has to say about it. It’s the moment when she loves herself, and every time I watch it I just think it’s so beautiful.”
Singing with Idina Menzel
When asked if she was intimidated to sing with Idina Menzel, she said, “Yes! I mean she’s like the best singer on the planet. And I am, you know, we don’t have like this dramatic age difference but I was in New York not working while she was in New York working. And she is just such a powerhouse. We’re blown away, because she’s so soft spoken and she’s like kind of diminutive and just sweet.
“It’s the opposite of what you think you’re going to get. And I think there’s a part of her that knows what she brings to the table, even though it would never come across. She’s not cocky at all. She did her best to make me feel like safe and confident ’cause I was kind of like a little jittery.” Kristen described meeting at Idina’s house to rehearse songs at her piano, and Idina would compliment her on her singing and she’d just be blown away.”
This Bar Saves Lives
At the end of our interview, Kristen pulled out a bag full of snack bars and told us a little about the amazing company that makes them.
This Bar Saves Lives, is a healthy snack bar that helps fight severe acute malnutrition. For every bar sold, the company gives a packet of life-saving food to a child in need. Since launching just a few months ago in June, they’ve given over 58,000 meals.
Treatment: In the last decade, Plumpy’Nut® has become the most important weapon in the war on global hunger. It’s a nutrient-rich paste made from peanuts, milk powder, sugar, vegetable oils, and a mixture of vitamins and minerals. Plumpy’Nut® is revolutionary because it’s so simple. It doesn’t need to be mixed with water, cooked or refrigerated, and it has a 2-year shelf life. Three a day for seven weeks and Plumpy’Nut® takes a child from near death to certain survival.
Prevention: While there are millions of severely malnourished children that require the immediate help of Plumpy’Nut®, the best long term solution for the global tragedy of childhood malnutrition is prevention. Nutributter® was designed for undernourished children below the age of two to prevent stunting—a condition caused by a diet lacking in essential calories, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals—which not only affects a child’s growth, but also their lifelong health and productivity.
I tasted the Dark Chocolate Cherry Sea Salt and was blown away by the excellent flavor. But even better than the taste, I love that this is a snack that gives back. It was a perfect way to end our interview with Kristen Bell!
Frozen stars the voice talents of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Josh Gad, Santino Fontana, Alan Tudyk and Ciarán Hinds and is directed by Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee with original songs by Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez.
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