By Fred Topel | Image property of respective holders.
Last Monday's Heroes saw Kristen Bell join the cast as a mysterious stranger with electric powers. Searching for Peter Petrelli and answering to an unknown "daddy," the new girl seems like she's up to no good.
Kristen Bell on Heroes
"It’s been so much fun," said Bell. "I have been crossing my fingers in hopes that I’d get a job soon where I could play someone who was as Tim [Kring] likes to call it, a little off or perhaps didn’t have the brightest and shiniest of intentions. And I think the depth at which they’ve written Elle, this character, she’s so conflicted and sort of comes across as such as vixen, it’s so much fun to play with."
Villains have done well on Heroes. Sylar is the guy everyone loves to hate, and HRG actually became heroic. Bell hopes Elle can be the next villain in the Sylar vein. "I think she’ll go backwards in that area. I think that they will love to hate her initially while they’re confused about her intentions but I think that the more you find out about her… well, I don’t know because I don’t know how it’ll read. I hope that the more you find out about here and the deeper you go into her, the more you’ll sympathize with her."
In addition to knowing a lot about Peter, Bell promises Elle will connect with HRG and Claire as well. She actually knows a lot about Elle, more than many actors know about their storylines.
"Even amongst the cast, everybody’s always asking everybody else who has more information. Unfortunately going into it, maybe I just had a big old smile on my face or maybe you could just sense it, but I had a substantial amount of information and sort of all the other cast members were trying to pick it out of me. I think I did a pretty good job of just smiling through it and knowing that I was lucky enough to have been told a little bit where my character was going or at least know her first arc. It’s hard because when you have secrets, of course you want to spill them but you have to realize how important it is and how vital it is to keep them secrets and that it keeps your job and that it’s actually kind of fun when you know a little bit more information than everyone else."
After Veronica Mars was cancelled after its third season, Heroes presented a serendipitous opportunity. "I joked with the writers that Heroes was the water cooler conversation that Veronica Mars on set. And they had said that in many individual writer circles, Veronica Mars is the water cooler conversation now when they were working at Heroes. I certainly put feelers out there during ComiCon and let them know what a fan I was of the show I think with the secret hopes that one day I could be a part of it. Then it was ultimate flattery when they came forward and said we might have something for you to do."
Perhaps Heroes has been a part of Bell's career ever since it premiered. "We would come into Veronica Mars and like the entire camera crew would stand around. It’d be like, ‘Yeah, but did you see what happened last night and did you see who Claire’s father is?’ Like there are hooks that people are able to sink into you when telling a story that I think Tim has mastered and I think Rob Thomas mastered for the much smaller but certainly avid viewers that we had on Veronica Mars. It makes you want to be involved and I think they’re also really smart shows and they’re a little harder to follow which I really expect. When you treat the audience like an intelligent member, you tend to attract intelligent viewers."