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This is Alec Baldwin and you're listening to here's the thing from I Heart Radio. My guest today is Kristen Bell, a true force of nature.


Kristen is a classically trained actor who landed a role on Broadway in a revival of The Crucible with Liam Neeson and Laura Linney before she even graduated college on a whim.


She and a friend moved to L.A. soon after, and she's been starring in TV and movies ever since, from her breakout role as the teenage private detective, Veronica Mars to Princess Anna in the Frozen movies to the more recent Eleanor Shell strop on NBC's The Good Place.


Kristen has made her name by being plucky, relatable, and when the role calls for it, very funny.


I caught up with Kristen Bell in Los Angeles, where she lives with her husband, the actor and podcast her DAX Shepard and their two young daughters.


Currently, I'm in a motor home parked on our front lawn at all times because I married a hillbilly.


Actually, we just got it a couple days ago over over a quarantine.


His main objective was to buy a motor home because we do go camping and go to the glam Glamis Sand Dunes a couple of times a year. So we rent motor homes, but we found a good deal. And one in Texas, he went down to get it. He drove it back. And it is now I'm not going to I'm not joking with you right now. Look at where it's sitting. So this is the motor home, right? And that's my house.


That's my house.


So that's my front window to the definition of hillbilly is you have a house, you're both working, you're both doing well. You buy a house worth millions of dollars in L.A. and your husband is like, I want to have a motor home on the front lawn.


Baby, I'm lucky this man has all his teeth. Honestly, I'm lucky he has all his teeth. That's the truth. But I will give him credit. She's gorgeous. Her name is Big Brown. She's absolutely shit brown color. And it's sitting right outside my front window and I don't hate it. I love it when we come out here and play in it and we're going to plan on camping in it a ton. And I'm not I'm not mad at it.


How's the quarantine going for you with your family? Shockingly, OK. I mean, you know, mainly because of our privilege. We don't live in a one room apartment. We, like, have a backyard. We can go outside and and my my kids can, you know, run around the house again because we've got a house with a couple bedrooms. So I'm incredibly grateful for that. My my husband and I started out quarantine like in the midst of a big fight, like, you know, those sort of not fight, but yes, fight those like every three years, that sort of marriage housecleaning that has to happen where, like, the resentments have been built and it's coming to a head and you're both going to go back to the therapist.


And we were like right there.


And then the doors closed on the whole world. And we were like, oh, shit.


Yeah, you're hiking through a cave and the walls collapse and you're stuck inside the cave together.


Yeah, it was intense, to say the least, but it did force us to talk vulnerably in order to get over some of the resentments and the sort of housekeeping that needed to happen about how we were not meeting each other's love languages, et cetera, et cetera. And we did it pretty well.


How does he not meet your love language? Well, or I don't meet his. That's the question. So everybody has different ways that they feel that they are loved. Right. For me, it's preproduction. If if I come home from work and you have ordered me food, there's a burrito in the fridge for me. I'm like, damn, this guy loves me. He was thinking she might be home from work and she might want a burrito like he thought about me for him.


It's meeting him at the door. He could give a shit what's in the fridge. He doesn't care if I've ordered him dinner. So if I'm sitting up in my bedroom or I'm playing with the girls or I'm on my computer or watching TV and I don't sort of like meet him with a hug, he's like, I could care less what's in the fridge. I want to see you. I want his is very much physical affection as in like eye contact hand on the shoulder when we're on the couch.


I love snuggling. Yes, I love you. Which we do all the time.


But, you know, after thirteen years, it does become a sort of passing phrase which we try not to make it, whereas I'm less physical.


I don't need anyone to jump up. I want I'm like, everybody stay seated. I'm fine. I'm the mom and I'm, you know, doing my own thing. And I want to take care of everybody else. But it was just stuff like that. And I would be like, but I ordered you dinner. He's like, But I don't care about dinner. I want you to get up off the couch and give me a hug.


And so it's those little things, love language wise, where we have to remember that the other person needs something that we don't need. So we have to think in the other person's love language in order to properly show what we feel.


One time I was at a party and Seinfeld is at another table. They cut up the couples so that Jessica was at my table and I'm sitting there with Jessica Seinfeld. They were talking and I said to her, you realize that if. You look him in the eye every day and look him in the eye and really let it count, let it breathe and say, Jerry, I love you more than anything in the world. He will do whatever you ask him to do for the rest of your life as she started to cry.


She'd like tears in her eyes. Look at him from that school like I want you to still be my girlfriend. I want the romance. I want him. We have my wife and I are locked in a big house with five kids. So as I tell people, it's like the Little Rascals meets The Shining every day here at my house. But I said to my wife, you know, if you just said that to me, took two seconds to tell me that every day I could go on that.


That's the oxygen that I need. Yeah.


And it's really healthy to be able to communicate that to your partner and not to make any you know, no one can be generalized or I don't want to make this broad and sweeping, but I've known a lot of a group of men like that where it actually is quite simple.


It's just presence. It's being present with them and communicative in the simplest way of just a reminder that the foundation exists and that you are still attracted to and love them. Whereas my love language is like, let's go, go. I'm a human doing and not a human being. I'm working on that in therapy, becoming less of a human doing.


Why now? What do you think? What are the pitfalls of the one versus the other? Why? Well, a human being exists more a human doing has a huge to do list and is accomplishes a ton. But then maybe on your deathbed you're like, did I even experience any of it? Because I've got my fingers in a lot of different pots and I'm going, going, going all the time. And that's why I like I think of someone order them dinner, scratch it off my list that proves I love them.


That doesn't work for everyone.


That doesn't work for everyone like I'm learning for you.


Was show business in the blood in the family? Was there show business people in your family know?


Well, my father is a news director. Still is. So the he was the only person that was ever I mean, he was on the radio for a while. He's got a voice like yours is just smooth and wonderful. And I was the only one that ever showed any signs of wanting to perform. And it wasn't really even wanting an audience so much as I sang a lot when I was little.


I have a very musical brain and a very I'm very auditorily sensitive. Like I can't really have a conversation when music is on. I feel almost like I'm hearing voices inside my head because such a big portion of my brain focuses on the music, which is annoying and also great.


But so I sang a lot when I was little and then my mom got me into voice lessons and I studied like operettas for a year or two.


And then in my ninth grade year, my teacher gave me after school homework of Green Finish and Linnett Bird from Sweeney Todd. And I had never sang in English before. It was only singing in Italian. And I was like, Oh my God, what is this? I can understand this character's perspective. So then I became obsessed with musical theater, but again, no one else did it. And my father was the only one that was hesitant, not in a way that would ever hold me back, but just like he hires and fires the journalists at his station.


And so he'll watch a new news reporter and be like, I can't hire her, I can't hire him.


And he was scared of the rejection.


But other than that hesitation, everyone was like, sure, we don't know what you're doing, but good luck.


And they were pretty supportive, but no one else was in performance of any kind.


Actor Kristen Bell. That early introduction to Sondheim took her from the suburbs of Detroit to New York City, another actress with a flair for comedy as Ellie Kemper. We talked about her getting cast as the unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.


They basically said, we're developing a new show. We don't know what it is. Oh, but good to have met you. We met in May and then I met them again in July and they pitched the actual idea to me. What did you think?


I thought they were joking because the premise of the show buried the whole.


I know. And I was like, they were pranking me.


You can hear the rest of my conversation with Ellie Kemper have. Here's the thing, Doug.


After the break, we talk about what advice Kristen offers to aspiring actors today. I'm Alec Baldwin, and this is here's the thing. We're talking today with Kristen Bell. She discovered her love for acting in middle school.


I started doing a lot of like local theater in Detroit.


And then it was less of a like putting a stake in the ground saying this is what I'm going to do. And what happened was I was 16 and went into Mr. Franklin's office in my high school when he's like the guy who helps you pick colleges in the high school. And he was like, well, you want to pick, you know, a college that a career that something you love. So what do you love?


And I was like, wow, I love doing musical theater. He goes, well, you can study theater. And I was like, great, so much, thanks. Bye. By like, I never it was it just occurred to me, it never occurred to me to change what I loved. And I was like, well I guess I'll just keep doing what I'm doing.


And where'd you go? NYU I applied early admission to NYU and I told my parents I sent in my Northwestern application that I didn't because I wanted to. I put all my focus on early admission to NYU. Thankfully, I got in. Then I moved to New York and I was in the Tier School of the Arts for two and a half years.


And then I left my then middle of my third year because I booked Tom Sawyer and then The Crucible with Liam Neeson and Laura Linney and then Reefer Madness and then a couple shows in New York and then moved to DC to do the Kennedy Center Sondheim rep. And then I moved to L.A. on a whim. So it was all theater.


You didn't finish on my you know, I did not I do not have a degree in anything I went through.


I went to GW in Washington for a prelaw program, but finished in theater at NYU. I left there in 1980 but went back in 1994 to graduate 14 years later.


Did you have to take a class because so much of their grades are on attendance? So they waived all my acting classes for my practical experience acting the last 14 years. And I had to write a paper and I wrote a sixty five page paper on the applicability of method acting to the career of someone who was still active in film and theater. And there was only one person who met the criteria. I interviewed Pacino for nine hours at his house up in Westchester.


Oh my God.


I wonder for you, I mean, you're obviously from a very different generation than I am, and you're much younger than I am. What's your advice to young actors? Because I sometimes struggle with that. Whether they should study acting in college, it's expensive.


I'm like, I'll say to them, if I had it to do over again, get a degree in the subject where you can just read a lot of great books, philosophy, literature, history, because this is a great time for you to read, because as I've gotten older, the thing I miss most is time to read. Yeah. And then I'll say to them, go take acting classes somewhere. How do you feel about that?


I think that's actually now in my infinite wisdom after turning 40. I think that that's probably the right thing to say, because previously my only critique of NYU was that I didn't feel that they gave enough practical actors experience like we once in a while had like a casting director come in. But it was really like there was this you were so built up because you were studying all these fancy plays and performing them, but you didn't realize how small your world was.


And I remember sneaking out of classes to go audition because I had gotten an agent right when I moved to New York.


And I also it was in my favor that I looked a lot younger than I was. So when I was 18, I was still playing thirteen. And I remember sneaking out and once I was caught and they were like, you shouldn't be auditioning. And I'm like, well, what the hell are you training me for?


Like, if I'm not supposed to be auditioning because the nerves you feel when you audition can be debilitating for the vast majority of us. Like even I mean, I still have them sometimes, but definitely had them early on. And every actor I know that's working was like, oh yeah, I used to get super nervous, so nervous that I, you know, choke on my words or that I would burp or that I would have the shakes or whatever.


I think you need to learn how to handle that as much as you need to learn how to study these classic plays. I think that's like just getting a hold of your being is incredibly important.


And I didn't I don't feel like there was enough stress put on that about how do you manage your cortisol levels when you really, really want something.


So I think getting into scary situations, I was in this beautiful little like bubble of studying Alexander technique. And when I explained that to my husband and he was like, well, what is that?


I'm like, well, it's sort of like body work. And you're you know, you're in like loose clothes and you're touching each other. And he's like, you did this in fucking college. And so now he always jokes. He's like, let's just throw some sweatpants on. Let's work it out, Alexander's style. But I think that's very safe. And I don't think acting is safe or should be safe.


The first job I had, I got a job on a soap opera in New York and I thought to myself, this is I mean, privately, I'm sitting there on the set and I see the same thing every day.


I come in and I'm like, Oh, Greta, I. Love you, oh, God, if you only knew how much I'd love you to please understand and be on the subway trying to memorize my lines, it was all such a pain in the ass. And then it hit me.


This is hard to do well, to hug and respect for acting thing.


Like the first thing you got to get to is that it's not easy. Even if you have a shitty part.


I tell people just be one of the best things in the movie, even if you as you walk in and go dinner served and learning where you fit in to, because I also find there's so much bringing people up in a lot of like acting classes that I took of like, well, where are you coming from? Where are you coming from? And to be honest, the thing that I've learned mainly in film and television is when I read a script now I'm not looking at it from my point of view.


I'm looking at it from the director's point of view because I'm going and here's the other thing is sometimes it doesn't give a hoot if I feel it. It matters if the audience feels it. So like I could say, I want to do 100 more till I feel it. And I hope that someone in the crew would go, no, no thanks. We need to go home to our families because we are also human beings employed in the same industry that you are.


It doesn't matter. You have to you have to trust in the director that they're getting what they need to get.


But you really have to be thinking about is the audience feeling this and whether you need to just trust the director, you need to watch the take whatever it is. But it's about how you fit into a bigger story. And I don't necessarily know that that was ever taught to me until I started getting really good direction and saying, well, I feel like my character would do this.


And then, like, you know, I don't know, someone like I was on Deadwood and in the very beginning of my career and David Milch would be like, well, I don't, but but this is what I need to have happen.


Milch, I'm I got the best. I was like eight rescue dogs following him around on the set.


I don't know how I got this job ended when I only did a couple episodes, but it was a very cool role.


It was like a young girl who came into town with her brother and she starts working at the whorehouse and then she tries to, like, take everyone for a ride. And she sleeps with Kim's character and she stabs Powers Boothe. And it was and then I get beaten and shot in the center of town. Right. So I only read the sweet scenes.


And then when I got the role, I read the sort of other side of her where she goes crazy.


And I said to him, like, I don't know if I can do this. And he goes, No, I know you can. And then I went home and I felt so insecure. I'm like, does he think I'm evil because these scenes are really evil? So I had a great time working with him.


But I also found that he was one of the kindest people I've ever worked with. Every Friday on Deadwood. That was a difficult show to shoot. It was in Santa Clarita. There were a ton of horses, which means there shit smell everywhere. There was the atmosphere that they pump in, which means everyone's breathing in dust. All of these things, tight corsets, blah, blah, blah, wasn't physically comfortable. Long hours.


And every Friday at lunchtime, he would gather everybody into the one of the saloons and I would watch him give away ten thousand dollars.


He'd put in a fishbowl all these old tickets and he'd say, OK, for a seventeen hundred dollar prize Joe Grip. And he'd say, Thank you so much for working here. I love you guys. OK, for a two hundred dollar prize and he would just give away a ton of his money as he has created numerous shows.


I love that idea. And you know what? Can I tell you something? So I said to myself when I saw him do it, I was like, I'm going to do that. If I ever make it, I'm going to do that, that I'm going to do that one day. This is going to be my example. And I've done it on my last couple shows. And it feels you can't imagine a better feeling. And I but I did it for I just finished a movie called Queen Pins that was an indie that spent all of our budget uncovered safety and I mean covid safety like you have never seen because I was so hesitant to work.


We shot it. We had a huge covid team. Everyone got pictures every day, not just rapids. You had to have a K in ninety five. They had to bring in air scrubbers every hour to scrub the entire air in the room.


No more than twelve people. And I knew it was stressful for people and I was like, I'm going to melt it, I'm going to melt it.


And it was so wonderful.


But here's what I did because I also from you know, just reading Freakonomics, you just have to incentivize people. So I said to our covid consultants who are from UCLA, I was like, what if we just incentivize them?


What if I get GrubHub to give us everybody two hundred fifty dollar gift certificates? So they're encouraged to eat at home. Yeah. And then the next week we get the in and out truck and then and then the other week, subsequent weeks I put five or ten grand in a bucket and I say this is the I did not get covered this week bucket and you're only in here if you didn't get covid. And we pull a name and I got to say, nobody got covid because everyone wanted to be in the bucket.


Oh, well, I'm sure some people were sitting there going, well, at least you can do is put five grand into the fishbowl with all that frozen money. She's honest to God. Oh, you'd think, right?


I've been doing some animated films. I did the movie Boss Baby, and we're just finishing the sequel now. People say to me, how do you feel doing that? I'm like, this is the greatest movie ever made. I love doing those movies because the audience is so receptive as kids, you know, and here you are to have been part of this like unbelievably tight.


Success, was that fun for you, so fun. It's been fantastic and it's been the biggest honor to be somehow important to children that you've never met, so much so that you can make someone's day or that you can send a kid who is in the hospital a message. And it really you can bring a smile to someone's face. And that is something I do not take lightly. I have a lot of respect for the fact that I have that little superpower now and I use it as much as I possibly can.


You know, your generation, you're so youthful looking and you're just turned 40. And I'm going to ask you about that. What's that been like for you in terms of because you still look so young. What's changed for you about the business and what you want to do it for? Twenty two years.


So in the beginning of my career, up until the last I would say five or six years, I was just hungry and I was willing to stay on that hamster wheel of I need to read everything. Who got that? Who should I be meeting? Is there a new best director that I should be having a general with all the things that you think you need to do? And I was getting offered a lot of romantic comedies or things that were I felt like I had done.


And I just desperately wanted like the new Michelle Williams script, you know what I mean?


I was like, I just want to be like an indie actor and I want to be, like, respected.


And my husband would sit in bed and he's like, why don't you stay in your lane?


It's so much funner when you stay in your lane like you can spread your wings, but don't disregard what you have because some girl who's an actress right now is like, God, I just want to be a goofy girl in a rom com. Somebody is saying that right now and you have that opportunity. Don't shit on that. And like also sometimes he's like, Kristen, you're not as good of an actress as Michelle Williams. So she's going to get the part.


And I'm like, OK, whoa, whoa, whoa.


Your husband said that to you? Yeah, but he's not going to call him.


No, he's right, though. Also, he's just like and guess what else? Michelle Williams can't be as quirky and as funny in a rom com as you can. Like everyone has a lane. And he was he's all about moving into acceptance mode. And, you know, expectations are resentment's waiting to happen. All these little phrases he has that are that are helpful when applied correctly. And I just felt like, oh, yeah, it really is just my ego that I want to be like I don't know if it's acknowledged or be in every category.


And the moment I said, you know what, I have a thing, right? I have a thing. And it's a quirky, weird, funny, bubbly, fun thing that's can be snarky. And I, I love doing it. I do it pretty well. Why not lean into it? And that is when I felt like I started becoming happier, when I stopped trying to be in everyone else's category.


But what's the little piece of you in the corner like? Forget about Michelle Williams. What's the thing? You this a part of you that would really love to do something that you just don't think you'll ever get a chance to do that you really would love to try.


Oh, I mean, something dark and serious, obviously, because I'm a pretty classically trained actor and I would love to do that. And I did that in the beginning. I mean, Deadwood was a little that heavy drama really interests me.


But I also know that I have a five and a seven year old. It is a priority to me how I act when I go home. And it is true that sometimes you can take a little bit of baggage home or you'll just be in a sour mood. But if you're making a comedy with Mike, sure all day, chances are you're going to come home in a pretty good mood, you know what I mean? And I've just kind of prioritized my well-being as Kristin.


Like I always like to say, I like being an actress, but I love being Kristen. So I've prioritized that a little bit more than my, like, desire to spread my wings or prove to people that I can be some dramatic actress. What do you want to do that you haven't done?


Sing on Broadway Girl. You can do that. No, no, no.


Do you like singing? Can you have like a proper more musical theater singing voice if you don't put on an affectation?


I just don't have the vocal chords. I don't have the chops in the breath. It's like, you know, that music and singing and being able to imitate people and impersonate people. There's a fine line between the two. It's an ear. You have an ear and I have a good ear. And I and I love music and I listen to people singing. I go, oh my God, I just to be able to do that. But I don't have the equipment.


But you know what?


That it is a muscle. I mean, look, nobody's going to wake up one morning and sound like Norbert Leo Butz. Right. That doesn't happen to everybody. But I will say it is a muscle. It is like a bicep. Like when I'm out of like when Adina and I get called for to do some concert, we call each other. We're like, oh, fuck, when's the last time you practice? Because the reality is you shave notes off your top, you shave notes off your bottom just like you do a bicep like you can.


If you pump iron every day, your muscle gets bigger, your breath control, your ability to tap into your diaphragm and your simplified your vocal range. It goes up with practice and it is possible if you have an ear for tone, it is possible to expand that muscle.


Well, there's times I will say that. I mean, you know, you relax, you get some sleep, you're rested your voice to your vocal cords, forward to a certain. And there's times that I have, you know, and I'm not being cute about this, but this time that I would sing in the shower and I think, my God, listen to me. My God, can you believe this? I'm like, you know, Charles Aznavour has nothing on.


My husband is going through a singing phase and nothing is cuter to me. So he's borderline tone deaf, but he loves to sing.


OK, and here's what happened. Let me set the scene in my household. My kids could give a shit about Frozen truly and completely. They don't want me to talk about it. They don't want to know I'm in it because you're supposed to rebelling against your mom. Things she does are uncool. So they're into a ton of it. They love boss baby, but like frozen, they're like, it's fine. So I can't even sing to them.


I try to sing them to sleep. They're like once in a while they'll let me do it. And I'm like, I'm, you know, obviously that's a burden on me. So we're doing this new cartoon for Steven Conrad called Ultra City Smiths, and it's a musical. And he asked Xanthi if we'd be involved because we were weirdly like just those people who didn't know Steven Conrad, but were like championing the Patriot when it was out, like, nobody's watching the show.


It's brilliant. So he contacted us. We were super flattered. He's like, it's a musical. He hires us. We're playing this married couple. And then DAX did a recording the other day and he sang for Steven Conrad, like just a little bit of it. He sang some Waylon Jennings or something. And Steven was like, that was great. That was really great.


Texas is going to work out well. DACs came home in the absolute cutest mood I've ever seen him in, and he has been asking me to tape him on my telephone singing songs. And he's been posting things online of him singing songs. He's in.


No. Yes. On an Instagram. Yes. And it's so I'm going to go watch it. Please watch it. It's so cute. The whole time he was driving Big Brown home, he was like, he's got his camera on his little dashboard and he's like on a Greyhound bus.


Yeah, please release me. Let me go.


It's so cute to me.


Now, Veronica Mars is when I first became aware of you, and that was a big success for you. And then you did good place, you know, and you also come from a generation of people which are a lot more self disclosing about some of the things you've gone through in your life. And I'm sure, you know, a long time ago when I was first coming, there were people who they just stayed behind that wall. You were never going to find that anything about their private life.


And also there were publicity arms of studios and networks that worked aggressively to protect the reputations of their staff.


That does not exist anymore, as opposed to Warner Brothers, where you go down one hallway and there's the movie division and you go down another hallway and there's the TV division there going in another hallway. And TMZ is there. Come on.


I know I have such an issue with that as well. I'm like, how do you run all of these organizations?


Why do you want me to work for you? And then you're trying to kill me? I could not agree more. My husband and I disagree on ninety nine percent of things in the world. We argue all the time, but we do not go to bed angry and we have a beautiful marriage and we are able to make it work because we have this mutual respect. We have a desire for vulnerability. When we first started dating, we tried to keep it secret because we didn't want to be.


That was when TMZ was starting, you know, like thirteen, fourteen years ago when they were starting to like, hunt people really on the street with cameras. And it was scary and it just feels predator and prey. But after a while, especially when social media, you sort of started to own it and you were able to post your own things, we kind of went through this little metamorphosis, not with our children, because we keep them very separated and we keep them very private.


But I have a big, big maternal chip on my shoulder and I feel like if I I'm OK being vulnerable and talking about my flaws and my marriage, especially if it can be an example for someone else. So I'm ready to like I guess I'm willing to take that hit like DAX and I talk about what we fight about publicly. I talk about my fears and anxiety about the fact that I suffer from anxiety and depression.


And every time I'm honest and vulnerable, the reaction that I get not from like the TMZ crowd, but the reaction I get from just engagement with fans or on social media or whatever is always positive. And it keeps me going. And a reminder of like, oh, yeah, we're really looking to connect. And I suppose that I've just put the connecting with people above any sort of, like, clandestine existence that I could give you because I wouldn't be good at that anyway.


I'm too much of a talker, you know what I mean? It doesn't bother me so much to be such an open book. I kind of like it.


But I also think that what is the silver lining of some kind of social media like Instagram? Well, it's kept the paparazzi away from my house because I'm posting all the pictures online myself. Yeah, exactly. I preempted that. There's nothing you can get unless my wife is pregnant, unless you get me, you know, slipping on the ice and falling on my ass or something, you know, something that you're after.


But hopefully your wife will post that picture of you falling and they still won't have to get it. You know, my wife would make a movie out of that boy. She loves to let the air out of me. She always said. But one thing about this age of this kind of self disclosure is that it gives me a chance. I'm going to. Tell the story. Mm hmm. I want to talk about how I didn't drink and I didn't take drugs all through high school, very little because I couldn't afford it.


I don't have any money. And when I finally had money in my pocket from working in this business, I had to if I had 100 bucks in my pocket, I was like, well, let's go have that drug and alcohol problem we've been putting on for the last five years, you know, but what do you say to people in terms of how they can seek help? Do you actively try to support people that way and say you got to go and ask for help?


Oh, you mean like if I'm talking about, like, anxiety and depression or anything like that or anything, whatever the issue is? Oh, yeah. Well, I mean, look, I'm also like having just come out of, like, early stage motherhood. I you know, there's so much of I did not experience it, but I know the world of, like, feeling insecure as a new mom and you're not doing this. Right. So I try to be very clear in that there are many different ways to find a solution to a problem.


Let's just start with the basic math, right? Some people we know, people we have people in common that have stopped drugs and alcohol, that have not gone to AA. And we also have people in common that didn't need it, like, you know, my husband does. And there are many different ways to find a solution. So if it's like someone saying I'm depressed or anxious or I'm having problems in my marriage, if I were to respond or if I were to say anything on the subject, it would be there are a variety of resources out there.


If we're talking about anxiety, depression, one is talk to someone close in your family, open up more, start exercising. Exercising is one of the best things you can do for your mental health. You can talk to a psychologist or psychiatrist.


A medication may be in your future. It may not be because that's not the only way. That's how I solve it. I've been on an antidepressant for years, but that's not for everyone and I'm very clear about that. And then I'm also just a big I'm a I'm a therapy pusher. I love therapy. I am.


I think it's talk therapy. Yes. I think it's great.


I mean, also, I'm not opposed to any of the new kinds. I just don't know much about them. But I know when I know I have a therapist who the first time I sat down with him, his name is Harry. He's an excellent human being. I started talking and he said, don't get a hold on one second. I'm just going to tell you, if you want me to take your hundred dollars per session and listen to you vent, I am so here for you.


If you'd like a solution, just let me know. And I was like, who? What does this man think?


He is being so blunt with me. But I was also very attracted to that kind of personality, which is obviously why I married my husband. The blunt cut to the chase talkers, because I'm not that person, I'm a rambler. So when I said that, I, I mean, when he said that I was so intrigued, I was like, well, wait a minute, of course I want a solution. He was like, OK, well, I can tell you this.


You plus this issue equals chaos. Are you in the room or is this issue in the room?


And I was like, oh, OK.


I guess this issue isn't in the room. This person or thing I was talking about. I am. And it just I like the idea that there are solutions out there. I'm a I'm a fixer and I get very excited about, OK, well, that's not working. Pivot, find a new way to do it because there's always a better way to do it.


Kristen Bell. Last year she launched Happy Dance, a CBD bath and body product line designed specifically to offer some self care for other busy moms.


And she recently published her first children's book, The World Needs More Purple People, in hopes of encouraging more conversations in these polarized times about what we have in common.


More on that after the break, if you like. Here's the thing. Don't keep it to yourself. Tell a friend you can subscribe to. Here's the thing on the I Heart radio app, Apple podcast, or wherever you get your podcasts while you're there, leave us a review.


Thanks for listening.


I'm Alec Baldwin and you're listening to Here's The Thing. Actor Kristen Bell has been with her husband, actor DAX Shepard, since 2007.


The two are very open about the good, the bad and the challenges of a long term relationship. I wanted to ask Kristen if it helps to have a partner who was also in the business.


Yeah, I mean, you know, both of us have egos, sensitivity issues, and it sort of depends on how often we've worked.


If one of us hasn't worked in six months, one of us can start to feel low. But again, we're both aware of that because of therapy. I would say for the most part, I see it as a plus, and perhaps that's because of who the man DAX is.


But I know that he like we're not he doesn't get down on me about hours because he knows if I say I'm home at 3:00, the scene could take till 10:00. It's nice not to have to deal with confusion. If you have someone who's working a 9:00 to 5:00 just to be with somebody that gets it, gets it.


And also, DAX is a really good director. He has written and directed a couple movies. He wrote Like A Love Letter to me are his first movie was this independent movie called Hit and Run.


And it was about a guy who was in a witness protection program and his girlfriend finds out they have to go on this chase away from the bad guys. And it's like, does she want to go?


Does she still trust him?


And it literally was a metaphor for our first year of dating. I didn't know what a drug addict was or how they operated. I mean, I grew up in a small town in Michigan, just outside of Detroit, where it was like, well, drugs are bad, bad people do drugs. And that was the end of the conversation. And I didn't understand anything about addiction.


So when he used to sit at the dinner table again and tell me like, oh, this one time I did 70 pills, I lost three days and I didn't show up for Christmas, I would be so terrified. And I didn't I was like, how can I trust you? And he's like, well, but that's not me anymore. Anyways, cut to Harry saying, you know what? All she needs to hear you're saying how it was.


All she needs to hear is how it is now. You need to have that last sentence on the end of your story. And by the way, I didn't show up for Christmas. Wow. I'm so glad I don't do that anymore. Then she won't freak out.


But the the point is, I was really I had a lot of trust issues with him our first year.


And so he wrote this story about this girl who doesn't who finds something out about her partner and doesn't think she can trust him. And the point is, he's a very good director. I trust his creativity implicitly so I can have him read things. He coaches me on auditions, and that's a very safe space for me to be in because he can give me some really hard direction or just saying you're doing too much or you're you're trying too hard. And I know he wants what's best for me.


So I'm able to get really difficult direction and do a better job in my career because of him. Now, one last question.


Tell us about the world needs more purple people with Benjamin Harrison.


I'm not a writer. I am an orator at best, and barely that. But I did write a children's book this year with one of my best friends, Ben Hart. It came from our personal experience of seeing our kids together and seeing it just a very polarizing political culture seep into our kids daily lives of our kids. We're seeing an us and them. And even at our dinner table, we were getting heated when we were talking about things. This is, you know, over the last five years, four years.


And we wanted to create some language and in a children's book to help. And so, I mean, it's not crazy for us to understand that red plus blue equals purple, but it's just we didn't want our kids looking around and seeing enemies. We wanted them to see constructive conversations even within disagreements. We wanted a social identity that positions them towards their fellow humans. And so we tried to come up with five great pillars that no one could argue with on any side.


And being purple means asking really great questions, laughing a lot, using your voice, being a hard worker, but also being totally and uniquely you and attentive to your own experience.


So we really just we didn't want any of this corrosive political divide to seep into our kids. We want it. It's it's not about anything other than looking towards your fellow human beings, listening to their experiences and telling them yours. And we like to say the only way to be purple is to just be you, because you're the only you we've got.


And it's not you know, it's not a secret that we wrote it for kids because if we wrote it for adults, the kids wouldn't read it. But if we wrote it for kids, the adults would have to read it to them. So it's just a polite reminder that there's not an us and them and we can still disagree and we can still use our voice.


But we got a little we got to live together. And it's OK if you disagree with people and it's OK if someone has a different experience and you should want to hear as many stories as possible. But we wanted our kids to have a social identity that positions them towards their fellow human beings.


Are you a good mom?


I think so. I can tell. Yeah, it's one of the things I'm most confident in. Actor Kristen Bell, she's been working on a new movie with Vince Vaughn called Queen Penns during Quarantine. It's about a pair of housewives who run a multimillion dollar coupon scam. I'm Alec Baldwin. Here's the thing is brought to you by I Heart Radio. We're produced by Kathleen Russo and Carrie Donahue. Our editor is Zach McNiece and our engineer is Frank Imp..


Our theme song is by Miles Davis.