For some reason, I had to fly to Dallas to do all of the "Veronica Mars" interviews on the day before I flew to Austin, even though the entire cast and crew was heading into Austin the same time I was for the same film festival.
No matter. I'll take whatever the opportunity is to sit down with Kristen Bell. We met on "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," and at that point, I had just caught up with "Veronica Mars" and had realized that she was, in fact, awesome. I was on the set for a week in Hawaii, and my wife and my son had joined me, so they were hanging out at the pool and dropping by set to see some of what was going on as well. Bell was hilarious and completely disarming and didn't seem remotely stand-offish with any of the people staying at the hotel.
We ended up seeing her several times over the next few months, most notably at the premiere of the movie. Before the party, my wife and I were standing outside the restaurant on the top floor of the Hollywood & Highland center, and we saw Bell approaching. She was in a dress that looked like a full-time job to wear, and she ducked behind us so that the photographers outside weren't able to see her. "Give me a minute here, guys," she said. She used the momentary shelter to make a few fairly major adjustments for both comfort and modesty, and then hurried inside.
After the recent "Frozen" premiere, Toshi got a chance to say hi to her again and Allen finally met her as well. They were both thrilled after seeing the film, and since we got the awards-season screener of the film and they started playing it on a non-stop loop, they have become major Kristen Bell fans.
Talking to her about "Veronica Mars" and the amazing response to the Kickstarter campaign, she struck me as deeply grateful to be in this position. She has had an amazing run with "Frozen," and she's finally back to playing this role she adores so much, and she's got her family now that she so obviously adores.
As we were waiting for the camera crew to start recording, I thanked her for the work she's been doing to help stop paparazzi crews from being able to photograph the children of famous people. Until you've actually seen the paparazzi at work close up, you don't understand why that's important, but it is. It is a disgusting business, but with adults, there's some sense that they know it is part of the job. With children, they don't understand it, and they don't deserve it. She and her husband Dax Shepherd coined the term "pedorazzi" to describe that part of the industry, and I think that's a perfect description of what they do and what they are. She's actively working towards some sort of lasting legal reform, and I hope she succeeds.
In the meantime, I hope Disney makes "Frozen 2" and she gets to do other musicals and that we get a whole lot more "Veronica Mars." Basically, things are better with more Kristen Bell.
"Veronica Mars" opens in theaters and on VOD tomorrow.