(Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures) She was on the verge of breaking a man’s heart while traveling to an exotic location in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. A couple years later, Kristen Bell is trying not to have her heart broken as she ventures to the romantic Italian city of Roma.
To save herself from having a man she thinks she loves from breaking her tender little heart – just like the man audiences first meet in the opening scene of When In Rome – Bell’s character comes up with two of the most obnoxious defenses: superstition and working too much overtime.
Alas, Beth struggles to come to terms with love, mostly because it has come to her from many odd angles. First, there was the ex-boyfriend who crashed Beth’s otherwise successful art gallery party. Then there was the apparent love-at-first-sight when she attended her sister’s wedding in Rome. Oh, then there were the four men who chased her hard when she arrived back in New York City, all because they made a wish in a Roman fountain of love that apparently came true at Beth’s expense.
This was not the life Beth signed up for, nor did she have time to deal with it, what with her otherwise rising star status as a prominent art gallery professional. While Beth was eerily all too similar to the career-minded, love-avoiding woman played by Eva Mendes in Hitch, Kristen Bell told Buzzine she is nothing like the character audiences meet on screen in When in Rome.
“I’m not that superstitious at all. I love working, but I don’t know if I am a workaholic,” Bell candidly told Buzzine. “I’ll walk under ladders. I love my relaxing!”
Apparently she loves laughing too, as she had the severe case of the giggles when working opposite Danny DeVito, who plays a hilarious supporting role in the film.
“I sometimes could not stop laughing,” she told Buzzine of DeVito. “He’s one of the funniest guys ever. He’s a smart, great filmmaker – not only for his acting prowess but because he is also the master of directing comedy. He was great about sharing ideas and stories.”
All joking aside, Bell stated that her co-star, Josh Duhamel, and herself hoped to bring a strong level of chemistry to the film to make When In Rome a pleasant romantic comedy for audiences. Thankfully, Bell said finding that chemistry was actually not hard to discover.
“We knew it was really important. Josh and I got along so well from the beginning, and it was natural,” she quietly told Buzzine. “It’s a different thing to capture on screen. It’s a crap shoot, but there was chemistry.”
Perhaps part of the chemistry between Duhamel and Bell was established in part due to the production allowing them to basically be themselves on camera, especially with the slapstick physical comedy that prevails throughout most of the film.
Both Bell and Duhamel confessed to Buzzine they are klutzes in their everyday lives off-screen, and When In Rome allowed them to be a little awkward without issue.
“People embarrass themselves on a daily basis. I know I do. I’m always falling over stuff,” Bell told Buzzine with quite a genuine laugh. “I’m very klutzy in real life, so I just had to capture that on camera.”
To help capture that klutziness on camera, not only did Bell have to bring a lot of her personality to her character, but she also had to do things no woman would ever enjoy doing. “My character goes to her sister’s wedding in Rome and has one too many glasses of champagne. She ends up wading through a fountain gathering coins,” Bell frankly said. “When she gets home, these suitors start to come after her. They’re madly in love. There’s a lot of chasing, a lot of running in heels.”
In addition to running around New York City wearing heels, Bell also has to be a stressed-out working professional. “Beth is a ‘gallerina,’ which is a term I’ve learned for young women who run any sort of gallery. It’s sort of a high-pressure job, which is why she is always so frazzled.”
Collectively, Bell somehow made Beth work out just fine, what with her frazzled, klutzy self running all around New York City trying to find and avoid love at the same time.
Still, Bell was just happy to include When In Rome on her resume, adding a new niche to the actress’s ability to play an adorable leading lady in a rom-com. “I’m glad they had the faith in me to pull it off,” she humbly told Buzzine about playing a believably frazzled working professional who is jaded about love.
Thankfully, she is not at all jaded about When In Rome, which opens today (January 29th) in theaters nationwide.