Shes the voice of Gossip Girl, the Sarah Marshall that Jason Segel had trouble forgetting, and the love interest of some surprising suitors in her new movie When In Rome.
But Kristen Bell, 29, has some more tricks up her white cotton J.Crew sleeve: she is not afraid to stand up in a crowded restaurant during breakfast to demonstrate her favorite workout moves, and is so knowledgeable about the caloric and fat content of every food item she mentions, she could be an iPhone App!
Over an egg-white breakfast burrito, the Midwest-born vegetariancurrently two years into her relationship with actor Dax Shepardchats with Health about everything from Madonna arms (shes a fan) to the real secret to a happy relationship.
Q: In your upcoming film When In Rome, you fish some coins out of a magic fountain and end up with some unexpected love interests. Have you ever been surprised to like someone you didnt expect?
A: Not really, because looks dont matter that much to me, so I kind of give everybody a chance. When I was single, my eyes were always open. There was nobody off the list. When my gut told me to date, I followed it. And sometimes it was someone I never would have picked out of a lineup. I find weird people really interesting. Theres nothing interesting about a normal person.
Q: What is the best and worst part of having a limited diet as a vegetarian?
A: I dont find it limited at all, I really dont. For some people it will make you feel great, and for me, it works. I think you have to listen to your body. If youre eyeing the cheesecake, just have a little bit. Work on being satisfied with one bite and not blacking out and having the entire piewhich Ive fully done before. I dont believe in depriving yourself. I think life is too short … and so am I. [laughs]
Q: How do you measure health?
A: I never step on the scale, because I dont believe weight is a measure of health. I have too many girlfriends whove been curvy and voluptuous and healthy in every possible way to take any of that body bullshit seriously. Its ironic that I would be saying that, because I was blessed with a very fast metabolism. But women that wear womanly curves like [Mad Men's] Christina Hendricks? She is the epitome of sexy to me. Shes got boobs and a butt for days, and she works it. I just think its beautiful.
Q: Got any healthy snacking secrets?
A: I put everything I can possibly find in the house in a salad. I call them garbage disposal salads. Over a bed of spinach or romaine or butter lettuce, Ill put tomatoes, avocados, carrots, cucumbers, strawberries, raspberries, sesame seeds, pine nuts, Parmesan cheese. Once you have all of these cool fruits and vegetables in there, you dont need dressing.
Q: What is your favorite way to stay fit?
A: Laughing! I work with a lot of actors, and theres nothing funnier to me than when actors are super into themselves. But really, I find
that if I schedule social interaction while Im working out, its so much better. My girlfriends and I hike all the time. On the hike, ankle weights are a bitch, but I do it. Or one day a week, instead of meeting a friend for cocktails, well do 300 sit-ups and 50 push-ups together. Its about working for your goals together.
Q: Youve been dating Dax for two years. What makes him different from the rest?
A: Cause hes mine [smiles]. I have a very high opinion of him. I think he has a lot of integrity. I think he is very much a gentleman. I think hes kind. Extremely funny. And aware. With him, its honestly a toss-up between he is an excellent communicator and the funniest man Ive ever met.
Q: What was it like dating a guy who had a superfamous ex [Kate Hudson]? Was it hard? Did you care?
A: Not really. I think that girls can get tangled up in who the guy was before they met you, but I think that its really important to stay focused on, “I met this man on this day. From what he does from this point on, for however long I know him and am with him, thats whats important.”
Q: Why do you think laughing is so good for your health?
A: Abs, first of all. It legitimately builds muscle and burns calories. It also releases more serotonin, which just makes you happier on a daily basis. Its like affection or touch that lasts longer than seven seconds produces oxytocin. Both are so important to have in your brain and your body all the time. I hug my friends every time I leave them because I want more oxytocin. Im an oxytocin addict! There is so much scientific evidence about our brain chemistry. If theres free oxytocin out there, git it! And free serotonin, git it! You dont need a prescription, dont be a fool!
Q: We saw you make a muscle on the Craig Ferguson show, and you didnt have “Madonna arms” but perfectly toned ones. Whats your secret?
A: Well, I will tell you, I love Madonna arms. I think women who look strong are breathtaking. I think Angela Bassett has always been gorgeous. But I find that if you take a deep breath, look up on one workout Web site what to do for your arms, you can handle it.
I do biceps, I do lifting the buckets [for the shoulders]the shoulder is the key to making your arm look really well-rounded. If I do three sets of lifting the buckets, three sets of biceps and three sets of triceps, thats what works for me. My boyfriend doesnt love it if my arms get too muscular, but if I had my way, I would look like Angela Bassett. I use the lesser weights to look more attractive for him, you know? Of course its also way easier on me. Im ike, “Aw, man, you dont want me to be superfit? OK.” [laughs]
Q: Whats your secret for great skin?
A: Im a big fan of hot washcloths. When I wake up in the morning and when I go to bed at night, I put on a hot towel. It just opens up your pores, and makes you feel so spoiled. I also rely on hyaluronic acid. Ive been using one by Peter Thomas Roth called Viz-1000. Basically it pulls moisture from the air into your skin.
Q: Youre a big fan of sleep, right?
A: Big time. I just think its mandatory to have eight hours. A lot of people say, “Oh, I can totally get by on four hours.” But there are hormones given to your body after a certain number of hours, and youre missing that balance if youre only sleeping four hours a night. I dont have any problem sleeping. Im so bad I could lay down right here and fall asleep. Im borderline narcoleptic.
Q: You sing and dance in the upcoming Burlesque with Christina Aguilera and Cher. Whats that been like?
A: I am not a dancer by trade, and I had to learn all the dances, and the dancers were unbelievably supportive. I have never felt so much good female energy around me. I find that I cant take my eyes off of them. Im 99% sure I will leave this movie a lesbian!
Q: You sing in the film. Do you have a favorite place to sing offscreen?
A: The car. I sing out loud to myself a lot. I love Siriusly Sinatra on my XM radio. Im a big fan of crooners like Mel Torme, Frank Sinatra, and Johnny Mathis, and I sing out loud in my car to them a lot. Sometimes I get weird looks, but I dont care. Im never going to see those jo-jos again!
Q: Youve mentioned liking reality shows. What show would you be on?
A: I would say Jeopardy!, but I would have to have a lot more skill. I was asked to be on the celebrity edition of Jeopardy!, but I got way too nervous. There are two ways that could go: I could either look like an idiot, or the questions could be so easy, I look like an idiot. Because the questions they ask the celebrities are like, “Is this cat a cat or a dog?” And youre like, “What is a cat!” I just think, “Wait a minute, guys, do we really have to dumb it down that much for the celebs?”
Q: How would your friends complete this sentence: “Kristen is the kind of girl who always ________.”
A: Trips. Or maybe, Kristen is the kind of girl thats like a Granny that always offers you a sandwich when you come over. I love to have my friends over, make them lemonade, and force them to eat my food. I have those instincts.
Q: What philosophy or phrase would you say guides you in life the most?
A: Eleanor Roosevelt once said something amazing that I took to heart: the three requirements for happiness are knowing youre honest with yourself and to others, knowing youve done the best job you could in your personal life and in your work life, and your ability to love others.
Q: When are you happiest?
A: At the bottom of a puppy pile at my house when I get home at night. There is nothing better.