Bell tackles her bully

“High school is a pit of despair,” Kristen Bell declares. “It’s aswirling tornado of insecurities and there’s really nothing good aboutit.”

“High school is a pit of despair,” Kristen Bell declares. “It’s a swirling tornado of insecurities and there’s really nothing good about it.”

Truer words have never been spoken. But Bell isn’t bemoaning her teenage years in Michigan. She’s actually talking about the setting of her new film, You Again.

Directed by Bell’s longtime friend and collaborator, Andy Fickman, the comedy follows a successful woman (Bell) who realizes her brother is going to marry the girl who mercilessly bullied her throughout high school (Odette Yustman), so she sets out to expose the fiancée’s dastardly true colours.

With a supporting cast that includes Sigourney Weaver, Jamie Lee Curtis and newly minted national treasure Betty White, Bell was in co-star heaven while revisiting the darkest period of most people’s lives.

“(In high school) you’re on this learning curve of who you are and who you want to be, and you’re comparing yourself to everyone around you and there’s no sense to it,” she says. “Everyone just wants to be loved and no one feels loved enough in high school.”

Of course, the actress could just as easily be describing Hollywood. “Touché,” she smirks, hoisting one well-arched eyebrow and nodding her head in agreement. “Totally.”

Yet unlike many young actors on a desperate quest for attention and accolades, Bell had to be convinced to move to Hollywood, and it was You Again director Fickman who persuaded her.

The pair met 10 years ago during a production of Reefer Madness. Not long after the show closed, Bell recalls, “Andy said ‘I think you need to move to L.A.,’ and I said, ‘You’re drunk.’” After much insistence and his promise to “be your family there,” Bell packed her bags and came out West.

“I have a best friendship and a weird older brother relationship with Andy, and it’s a relationship I’ll take to my grave,” she says. “I love him so much. I do projects with him all the time, they just don’t warrant this kind of press. We’ve done plays together in black box theaters that seat 17 people and it’s because we like working together.”

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