How Does Kristen Bell's Garden Grow?
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BL: Would you consider doing Broadway?
KB: Absolutely! I’ve thought about it and even investigated it, and for me it’s always been about timing. Broadway shows require—even if you’re the biggest actor of all time—a 12-month commitment, and I’m not loving the idea of moving back to the East Coast right now. I’m settled here, but if the right show comes about—maybe in a limited run—I’d consider it. I’d actually love to bring more musical theater to LA.
BL: How do you pick and choose which projects to be a part of?
KB: To be totally honest with you, I’ve been in the right place at the right time. I’m no stranger to desperation. I have that actor thing where I feel like every role will be my last, and I can’t believe people actually hire me. It’s very romantic to have the notion that actors construct their careers and have all the options in the world, and they are cutting and pasting the perfect strategic résumé, but it’s not really the case. A lot of it is, “This movie is being made right now—do you want to try out?” So I’ve been lucky there have been things I fit into.
BL: Let’s get to the serious stuff—Scrabble. I know you’re a big player; what are your strengths and weaknesses?
KB: I’m great with the two-letter words. I know X-I; I know Z-A; I know Q-I. But once you memorize all the two-letter words, expand your horizons. Go for the three-letter Qs—Q-A-T, for example. Know what I’m saying? If I could memorize [all the three-letter words], I’d be unbeatable.
BL: Besides Scrabble and your career, what keeps you rooted in Los Angeles?
KB: LA is what you make of it. I crave a more suburban lifestyle, which is what I’ve made LA for me. I hike a lot, and I really like being outdoors. I like how eclectic the culture is here. The older you get, the more settled you feel. We live out of suitcases enough as actors; I don’t want to move to a new city every 12 months. I like to cook a lot and garden.
BL: I’ve heard about your famous garden.
KB: You did? Who told you about my garden? Well, my garden rules, so it doesn’t surprise me it’s being talked about on the streets.
BL: What’s in season right now?
KB: I planted Black Monukka grapes. I planted a blueberry bush that is not thriving right now. I planted peppers that are doing OK—green, lilac, red, yellow and Thai peppers, which are the spicy ones. I planted basil that has basically taken over my garden. I can’t give basil away. I show up places with bags of basil for people, and I still have too much of it.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY ASHLEY BARRETT. SHOT ON LOCATION AT FOUR SEASONS HOTEL LOS ANGELES AT BEVErly hills