She recently mastered the British accent for her role alongside Simon Pegg in Man Up, and now New York actress/director Lake Bell reveals she perfected her craft while living above a chippy in Kent.
Bell, currently starring in No Escape alongside Owen Wilson and Pierce Brosnan, lived above the chip shop while attending the Rose Burford College Of Theatre in Sidcup.
“I spent my formative college years in the UK living above that chip shop, so if I didn’t get that accent right, I was going to be pretty mad with myself,” Bell tells Loaded.
No Escape saw mother-of-one Bell relocate to Thailand for two months of filming.
The action thriller tells the story of an American engineer (Wilson) trapped with his wife (Bell) and family in a fictitious South-East Asian dictatorship during a violent uprising.
It was a change of pace for Bell, mostly known for romantic comedies including Over Her Dead Body and What Happens in Vegas, alongside Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher.
And Bell says the plotline on No Escape took a toll on her.
‘I finally get to work with Owen Wilson and we don’t get one joke’
“There was a lot of potential unrest brewing in Thailand at the time and as a life experience, I found filming there a profound experience,” says the 36-year-old. “At one point I remember thinking: ‘I finally get to work with Owen Wilson and we don’t get one joke’.”
Bell is full of praise for Bond star Brosnan. Then again, she does have a thing for Irishmen, having once dated Colin Farrell.
“If you looked up charm in the dictionary then you’re going to find a picture of Pierce,” she enthuses. “He’s quintessentially dapper and he owns it in a way that’s not icky. Pierce is pretty much acting royalty and working with him was wonderful.”
Bell is an avid Twitter user and recently appeared on the Mean Tweets section of Jimmy Kimmel’s US talkshow. But she insists she doesn’t give pay heed to the trolls.
“I try not to pay too much attention to anything bad on there,” she says. “When I first got on, it was a bit shocking because I was just so accessible. You don’t have to read the bad stuff, although some of it is funny. It has waned a bit recently, but when something new I’m in comes out, you soon find out if people love it or hate it.”
Bell and husband Scott Campbell are well known in Hollywood circles – Campbell is a tattoo artist who counts Sting, Marc Jacobs, Orlando Bloom and Courtney Love as his clients. Bell herself has never had her husband draw on her, although she did pose nude on the cover of New York magazine last year wearing one of his designs.
When the couple wed in June 2013, guests included Jennifer Aniston, Cameron Diaz and Lance Armstrong.
Aside from her acting career and impressive list of acquaintances, Bell has been making waves as a writer and director – her 2011 writing debut Worst Enemy was screened at Sundance and her first feature film In A World was also shown at the festival in 2013.
“My next movie is an original work called What’s The Point? and that’s what I’m focussing on at the moment,” Bell concludes.
“I have a daughter now and your priorities change a little, but I am enjoying everything that I do.”