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Feature: Heroes

Elle to Pay?

Kristen Bell

She may not be the nicest character in Heroes, but she’s got an electric personality! We charge Kristen Bell to tell us about the evolution of Elle

Fanboys the world over had their hearts set a-flutter last August when internet rumours had Veronica Mars boarding an Oceanic flight to Hawaii to join the cast of Lost. The flutter spiked days later, when it was announced Veronica’s alter ego Kristen Bell would not be getting lost after all, but would become an electricity-throwing siren on Heroes instead.

“The funny thing is, it really shows the power of the Internet,” laughs Bell. “I never had a deal with Lost. Somebody online, I think, got that in their mind, because they had put out a casting for a 20-something, cynical, sassy blonde. Somehow, flatteringly enough, someone on the Internet connected it to me and it actually caused the Lost people to call and discuss my availability but I think Heroes was always a much more real option, partly because I had social connections to the show and partly because I was a fan and slightly campaigned for my involvement.

“I spent a day with the writers at Comic Con and just put it out there. I said, ‘If you ever need anyone, an extra on the show, I’d be down’. And I think we all sort of laughed it off and then later on they said to my friend Zachary Quinto [Sylar], ‘Do you think she was actually serious?’ And he said, ‘I know she is serious’. And then it blossomed from there.”

Bell’s Elle Bishop was introduced to the audience of the hit American show in the fifth episode of the second season, entitled Fight or Flight. Elle is the daughter of Robert ‘Bob’ Bishop, played by Stephen Tobolowsky, the operative head of big brother firm The Company and the de facto arch nemesis of many of the show’s good guys. Blessed with the ability to not only create but manipulate electricity, Elle now serves as an agent for the family business (despite the fact that she has been poked and prodded for years like a guinea pig, all in the name of science). “I know she is going to be one of the coolest characters I will ever play,” says Bell. “Elle’s extremely damaged but utterly convinced that she is doing the right thing, even if it’s for the wrong motives.

“She has a lot of daddy issues,” continues Bell. “She just wants to be loved but goes about it in absolutely the wrong way. What they give her to do on the show is incredible. And it’s actually frightening when you know how childlike she is. That was a very interesting paradox that I think [Heroes creator] Tim [Kring] was trying to present. A girl who was very, very broken and very, very bratty and yet had so much power within The Company.”

by Jeff Renaud

Read the full interview in
Cult Times #153

Photo © NBC
Feature © Visual Imagination 2008. Not for reproduction

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Cult Times #153
June 2008
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