OnlyOnAOL: Kristen Bell admits she has 'a darker, sassier' side

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Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone On "The Boss"

By: Donna Freydkin

Like any working mom, Kristen Bell knows how to keep many balls in the air.

She calls during a break from shooting her upcoming NBC sitcom "Good Place," which films near her home in Los Angeles. First and foremost, she's a mom, to daughters Delta and Lincoln (with husband Dax Shepard).

The same held true while she played the straight banana to Melissa McCarthy's maniacally egocentric business titan Michelle Darnell in "The Boss," opening today. Bell's single mom is Michelle's assistant-turned-unwilling-roommate. The key to keeping a straight face while working opposite the "Spy" and "Bridesmaids" comedienne?

"I bit the inside of my mouth. When you're working with someone like Melissa, you hope there's a good editor that can edit all your mistakes and giggling," says Bell.

See more: OnlyOnAOL: Please don't ever email Melissa McCarthy, warns Ben Falcone

McCarthy co-wrote the story with her husband, director Ben Falcone, and Steve Mallory. "They had been looking to cast this character for a while. I said I was unavailable for anything because I'd just had a baby. They kept calling and inviting me. I went in and tested with Melissa. I dropped my guard because I'd always wanted to work with her," says Bell.

Once she got the part, the entire family decamped to Atlanta. The set was kid-friendly, given that McCarthy and Falcone also have two daughters; Bell said efficiency was key because everyone wanted to be home for dinner when possible.

"We had a wonderful time shooting. My husband has known Melissa for 15 years. They were in The Groundlings together. We rented a house. It was wonderful," she says.

Premiere Of USA Pictures' "The Boss" - ArrivalsTo anyone who's met Bell, it's hard to not geek out over her. She's smart, decisive, funny and completely self-aware. Yes, she played a single mom in "The Boss," but Bell hastens to point out that she herself is not as stressed or unhappy as her character, who loathes her job.

"I have an excellent support system. I can't take the credit. I have children who are fairly easy in their current developmental stages. I have a job where I can bring them. I can bring them to work and they can play in my trailer. In between scenes, I spend time with them. I'm very particular in what I do. My number one priority is how much it will take me away from them," she says. "I say it's rough because I imagined being a single mom for two months. I hope I did it a little bit of justice. Single moms are superheroes."

And unlike her character Claire, Bell gets fulfilment from all aspects of her life.

"I've learned I'm happier when (my daughters) are my ultimate priority, and my main priority is to make sure my hours away from them are not overwhelming. When I'm not working, I'm with my kids completely by choice. My work gives me autonomous self esteem. My work provides me with a lot of social interaction. I don't feel the need to get a drink after work," she says.

Premiere Of USA Pictures' "The Boss" - Arrivals

Of the many spunky, smart women she's played -- "Frozen" heroine Anna comes to mind here -- Bell says one character in particular is the closest to the real her.

"Veronica Mars. Without question. I despise bullies. I have a strong instinct to fight for the underdog. As bubbly and as nice as I come across, I have a darker, sassier narrative running in my head," she says.

And she doesn't back down. The actress and her husband championed the "no kids policy," to stop the publication of paparazzi shots of celebrity offspring. The proof is in the pudding: most outlets do not run unauthorized pictures of children anymore.

"People are terrified to take pictures of my kids now and I'm happy about that. Being B-level celebs, we never got it the way others did," says Bell. "I have heard from friends of a higher profile that it has changed the attitudes of their children when they walk out of the house. They don't feel hunted anymore. Michelle Williams, Gwyneth Paltrow, all the people who have kids who are so exploited -- I have heard from them that it's changed the way their children behave."

Meaning, they're no longer terrified of having their photos taken. Nor do they feel ambushed when they leave home or school.

Premiere Of USA Pictures' "The Boss" - ArrivalsBefore we let Bell get back to shooting her show, we had to ask about the sequel to "Frozen." The animated juggernaut launched millions of wannabe Annas and Elsas.

"Yes. It is happening. It is very exciting. They haven't booked my start date," she says.

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OnlyOnAOL: Kristen Bell admits she has 'a darker, sassier' side
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 01: Actors Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell arrive at the Los Angeles Premiere of 'The Judge' at AMPAS Samuel Goldwyn Theater on October 1, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 01: Actors Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell arrive at the Los Angeles Premiere of 'The Judge' at AMPAS Samuel Goldwyn Theater on October 1, 2014 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 15: Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell arrives at the 'This Is Where I Leave You' - Los Angeles Premiere at TCL Chinese Theatre on September 15, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 15: Actor Dax Shepard and actress Kristen Bell arrives at the Los Angeles Premiere 'This Is Where I Leave You' at TCL Chinese Theatre on September 15, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - SEPTEMBER 15: Actor Dax Shepard (L) and wife actress Kristen Bell attend the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'This Is Where I Leave You' at the TCL Chinese Theatre on September 15, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
Actor Dax Shepard and actress Kristen Bell attend the Los Angeles premiere of 'This Is Where I Leave You,' at TCL Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, California, September 15, 2014. AFP PHOTO / Robyn Beck (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 04: Actors Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell, Vincent D'Onofrio and Carin van der Donk attend 'The Judge' premiere held at at Roy Thomson Hall on September 4, 2014 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/WireImage)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 04: Actors Dax Shepard (L) and Kristen Bell attend 'The Judge' premiere during the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival at Roy Thomson Hall on September 4, 2014 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
Actor Dax Shepard, left, and actress Kristen Bell attend the Bloomberg Vanity Fair White House Correspondents' Association (WHCA) dinner afterparty in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Saturday, May 3, 2014. The WHCA, celebrating its 100th anniversary, raises money for scholarships and honors the recipients of the organization's journalism awards. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 04: Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell attend the 2014 CMT Music awards at the Bridgestone Arena on June 4, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 03: (L-R) Ronan Farrow, Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard attend the Bloomberg & Vanity Fair cocktail reception following the 2014 WHCA Dinner at Villa Firenze on May 3, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/VF14/WireImage)
WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 03: Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell attend the 100th Annual White House Correspondents' Association Dinner at the Washington Hilton on May 3, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 05: Actor Dax Shepard (L) and actress Kristen Bell attend the 2nd Light Up The Blues Concert - An Evening Of Music To Benefit Autism Speaks at The Theatre At Ace Hotel on April 5, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Imeh Akpanudosen/Getty Images for LUTB)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 05: (L-R) Matt Asner, Kristen Bell, Dax Shepard and Liz Feld attends the 2nd Light Up The Blues concert an evening of music to benefit Autism Speaks at The Theatre At Ace Hotel on April 5, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: Actors Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell arrive at the 86th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: Actors/husband & wife Dax Shepard (L) and Kristen Bell attend the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter on March 2, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: Actors Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell attend the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ethan Miller/WireImage)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: (EXCLUSIVE ACCESS, SPECIAL RATES APPLY) Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell attend the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Graydon Carter on March 2, 2014 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/VF14/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: Actors Dax Shepard (L) and Kristen Bell attend the Oscars held at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 2, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
SANTA MONICA, CA - MARCH 01: Actor Dax Shepard and actress Kristen Bell attend the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards on March 1, 2014 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic)
SANTA MONICA, CA - MARCH 01: Actress Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard attend the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards at Santa Monica Beach on March 1, 2014 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - MARCH 01: Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell attend the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards at Santa Monica Beach on March 1, 2014 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 04: Actors Dax Shepard (L) and Kristen Bell attend a benefit for Gorilla Doctors of Africa hosted by Kristen Bell at Ace Gallery on November 4, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Gorilla Doctors)
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 05: Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell attend the 2013 CMT Music awards at the Bridgestone Arena on June 5, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 27: Dax Shepard (L) and Kristen Bell attend a hockey game between the Detroit Red Wings and Los Angeles Kings at Staples Center on February 27, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 13: Actors Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell arrive at the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 13, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 13: 70th ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS -- Pictured: (L-R) Actors Bradley Cooper, Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell arrive to the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 13, 2013. (Photo by Christopher Polk/NBC/NBC via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 13: 70th ANNUAL GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS -- Pictured: (L-R) Actors Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell and Bradley Cooper arrive to the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 13, 2013. (Photo by Christopher Polk/NBC/NBC via Getty Images)
SANTA MONICA, CA - AUGUST 19: Actors Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell arrive at the 2012 Do Something Awards at Barker Hangar on August 19, 2012 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/WireImage)
SANTA MONICA, CA - AUGUST 19: Actors Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell attends DoSomething.org and VH1's 2012 Do Something Awards at Barker Hangar on August 19, 2012 in Santa Monica, California. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 14: Actors Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell and Jason Bateman attend the after party for the premiere of Open Road Films' 'Hit and Run' on August 14, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 14: Actor Dax Shepard, producer Andrew Panay, Open Road Films CEO Tom Ortenberg and actress Kristen Bell arrive to the premiere of Open Road Films' 'Hit and Run' on August 14, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 14: Actors Bradley Cooper, Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard arrive to the premiere of Open Road Films' 'Hit and Run' on August 14, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 14: Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell arrives at the 'Hit & Run' Los Angeles Premiere on August 14, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 26: (L-R) Brian Brooks, Kristen Bell, and Dax Shepard attend Apple Store Soho Presents: Meet The Actors: Dax Shepard And Kristen Bell, 'Hit And Run'at Apple Store Soho on July 26, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 27: Actors Dax Shepard (L) and Kristen Bell participate in a Q&A at GenArt Screening Series Presents 'Hit & Run' Powered By Vikingfjord Vodka at Downtown Independent Theatre on June 27, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/WireImage)
LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 27: (L-R) Actors Joy Bryant, Kristen Bell, and Dax Shepard arrive at GenArt Screening Series presentation of 'Hit & Run' powered by Vikingfjord Vodka at Downtown Independent Theatre on June 27, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/WireImage)
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