Kristen Bell realizes her dream of being a Disney princess – Orlando Sentinel

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Kristen Bell realizes her dream of being a Disney princess

By Roger Moore. McClatchy Newspapers

9:20 a.m. EST. November 27, 2013

There are things her most devoted fans know about Kristen Bell that people who didn’t help fan-finance her big screen Veronica Mars movie might not.

She can sing, for starters.

When you’re too small to play sports, you compete in solo and ensemble singing competitions, the diminutive Bell says. At least, that’s what I did. It turned me into a musical theater junkie.

I sang only in Italian, for a while. Then I discovered musical theater. I studied that in New York in college. Musical theater is what led me into the ocean that is film and television.

She sings and more than holds her own with Broadway star Idina Menzel in the new, animated Disney musical Frozen.

Any time music is a part of my performance is a good time, in my book. This was a really ‘lucky get.’

The 33-year-old Michigan native is an alumna of New York University. and a Broadway veteran in her own right. She was in a revival of The Crucible and the musical The Adventures of Becky Thatcher.

She just married her longtime love and When in Rome and Hit and Run co-star Dax Shepard. She had a baby this year, and they named her Lincoln.

But even hard-core fans might not realize that she let Shepard talk her into naming their child after his baby his 1960s vintage souped-up Lincoln Continental.

Well, first of all, he’s big . I don’t let him do anything. He just does what he wants, Bell says with a laugh. I think it was a combination of the president and the car, we just liked the sound of it. ‘Lincoln.’

And Bell counts herself very lucky that she had her daughter just in time for her most kid-friendly movie ever. Frozen, a Disney cartoon based on a Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, lets Bell become a Disney princess.

This was a dream for me, ever since I was a toddler, really. But I knew if I was ever going to be a Disney heroine she’d have to be someone I wanted to see, I could relate to.

I wanted to make her very adventurous, to not be a ‘typical’ animated heroine. I wanted her to talk too quickly and too much. I wanted her to put her foot in her mouth, to be clumsy and awkward and have all of these characteristics that I feel I had as a kid.

I was always talking too much and too fast, speaking before I thought.

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So her character Anna, younger sister to the ice-cursed Elsa (Menzel), doesn’t so much talk as blurt. She acts before she thinks, and when her sister heads off into self-imposed exile because everything she touches freezes, plucky Anna sets out to find her and bring her home.

Anna’s such a goofball sincere, an eternal optimist but just weird. I really like that, because I have been weird and proud of it forever.

Reviews are full of praise for the movie, for Bell’s surprising singing and her vigorous vocal performance (The Hollywood Reporter ), which fills Anna with Bell’s own personality.

I hit those lines the way I hear ’em and they sort of fall out, Bell says. I did study music in college and music is such a big part of my life that I hear dialogue at a certain tempo.

The other big project in her crowded life is the Veronica Mars movie that she and series writer Rob Thomas pulled together and turned into the most famous Kickstarter (crowd-financed) movie ever. They raised millions from fans of the teen private investigator TV series, which aired from 2004-2007. They reunited much of the cast and made a feature film that is due out next year.

Veronica is so much a part of who I am that it wasn’t hard to get back into character, she says. It was everything I wanted it to be. We have talked about the movie we’d want to do pretty much since the day the TV series got canceled. We’d all allowed ourselves to dream of doing it.

But I’m not sure any of us ever dreamed it would ever be a reality.

Looking for the reviews?

Frozen was one of 7 movies that opened Wednesday in Central Florida. Find reviews of the Kristen Bell film, plus The Armstrong Lie, Black Nativity, The Book Thief, ‘Homefront, Oldboy and Philomena at

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