Disclosure: Disney sponsored my travel, accommodations and activities during my stay in Los Angeles. All thoughts are my own.
When you see the movie Frozen this week, you’ll be delighted by the sweet, yet goofy redhead Anna who just gushes with goodness and really is the apple of the movie’s eye. And it’s good to know that the voice behind the beauty is Kristen Bell, a down-to-earth actress who brings Anna’s character to life with her angelic singing that was actually a beautiful surprise to the directors when they cast Kristen for the role.
Last week, I along with 24 other bloggers, got to meet Kristen inside the historic El Capitan theater, right before the premiere of Frozen! She jumped right in, embraced us and blessed us with her insight on playing an animated character.
How did you get involved in the project?
KB : “I’ve always wanted to be in a Disney animated feature like since I was four years old or five years old. It was the first goal I had ever set for myself. But the reality is I auditioned for Tangled and after my audition the casting director pulled me aside and she said, oh that was great and if we go another way, which I think she knew they were… I want you to meet Chris Buck because he’s directing a project that’s a few years down the line called The Snow Queen, and I think you’d be right for it.”
Did the musical aspect of it, singing scare you?
KB : “No, that was what incited me to want to do it, because I studied music in college and I trained operatically when I was a little girl, um, and I love musical theater so, so, so much. So, I’d done a couple Broadway musicals and I try to keep music as relevant as possible and it really just makes- it puts me in a mental state of happiness like nothing else, I think. Really like nothing else. Maybe now other than the kid. I was so eager to get my hands on being a part of a musical again.”
What did you do to prepare?
KB : “Uh, I didn’t at all. I came in with so many ideas, because this was not how the movie was written at all. The inception of the script was much different than this script we have now. And it went through quite a few rewrites and finding everything, ’cause originally they were mother and daughter. And then they were sisters. And then they weren’t. And then they had Elsa and Anna. And then I think they just tried to figure out what worked the best for telling the themes of the story while using the Christian Andersen fairy tale as an outline.
I knew exactly what I wanted to do going in, I was like, I don’t want her to have good posture, I don’t want her to like have dreamed of holding a sword her whole life. I didn’t want her to be one or the other of the archetypes that I was used to seeing. And I just wanted her to be who I wanted to see on screen when I was little, which is someone who talks too much and too fast. And [LAUGHTER] puts her foot in her mouth and is goofy, but really kind of likes people and being social and being positive.
And I really wanted her to also be proactive. I wanted her to be the driving force of the movie. And not just be the damsel that needs someone else, you know. She’s not rough and tumble, and she’s not the girl who has her hair braided by birds. She’s really goofy, she’s who I felt like I was when I was a kid.”
Do you have a scene in the movie that’s your favorite?
KB: “The scene that I connect to the most and maybe it’s not necessarily because of a personal experience, but it’s because I appreciate the story that’s being told, it’s not actually my scene, it’s Elsa has a scene …she has a song called Let It Go which is done vibrato, it’s so good. But I mean, Idina obviously is a powerhouse and she just blows it out of the water.
The movie’s whole theme is this idea of fear versus love, and the one character that’s driven completely out of love and blind naivete and everything is great, and we’re going to be friends. Then you have this other character that’s absolutely paralyzed by fear. Because she shouldn’t be and she does it wrong and she’s not the norm and, you know, the movie is really about her embracing what makes her different, because that’s what makes her unique. And learning how to not let her fear paralyze her.”
“And this song, Let it Go, she’s finally all about herself, because you’ll see like her- what happens, she can’t be around other people, but she sings this song. And it’s just so overwhelming to me to hear the lyrics and know the emotion is just going like, you know what…. I’m throwing [my] hands up in the air, I am who I am. And that’s me. And I’m going to love myself. And I don’t care, I don’t care what anyone else has to say about it. And this is the time where I’m going to let it go and I’m standing here and here I will stay…”
Idina Menzel played opposite Kristen as Elsa, the sister of Anna, who was troubled by her secret powers. And her powerful singing is memorable in the movie and it moved Kristen as well.
About Idina, she says, “And she was lovely. And I think there’s a part of her that knows what she brings to the table, even though it would never come across. She’s not cocky at all. She did her best to make me feel safe and confident ’cause I was kind of like a little jittery, I mean, we’d have rehearsals at her house, like at her piano in her living room and I was just like, oh my god, I mean my blood sugar is so low [LAUGHTER] it was intense. And, she, you know, I’d sing my verse and she’d go- [WHISPERS] And then launch into hers and I was just like this dreamboat, she’s a dreamboat.”
Kristen was so much fun and very personable. She’s quite a dreamboat too. And has a heart of gold.
Kristen even took the time to introduce us to these yummy bars called @ThisBar. Check this out. Each and every bar that’s purchased donates a life saving nutritional packet to a child in need. They’ve partnered with a company called Plumpy Nut, which is what Save the Children uses, and the bar has like peanut butter and powdered milk and vitamins and ll the nutrition needed to fatten up a starving kid. So listen, if you’re gonna buy a candy bar anyway, you might as well support a great cause. I tried one of the bars and I loved it. Buy a bar. Feed a child. Check out the website for more info. www.ThisBarSavesLives.com. It’s definitely food for thought. Serious thought!