Kristen Bell: On Her Racy New Role And “Weird Gender Barriers” In Movies

It’s always fun to chat with Kristen Bell, the charming star of the upcoming Veronica Mars movie and — most recently — The Lifeguard, a dark drama about a 30-year-old’s early midlife crisis. In the film, her character quits her journalism job, moves home, snags a lifeguarding gig and romances a local 16-year-old boy. It’s a raw look at those life choices that are wayyyy wrong but we sometimes make anyway, shoving best interests aside for impulse and lust.

Kristen told us that she grappled with her character’s very poor love choices. “This is a very bold choice for her to hook up with someone younger. But as I kind of decided who she was, it makes perfect sense to me,” she said.

As for the double standard of male characters in movies often being with younger female counterparts without anyone batting an eye? “There are weird gender barriers that we as a culture just decide not to challenge,” said Kristen. “Like, it’s so cool that Al Pacino has a 20-year-old wife every movie,” she joked sarcastically. “Big deal, none of us challenge it. It’s weird but no one talks about it and we all accept it.”

Hmm. Do you accept it, readers?