“You know I’d be shot!,” the lively, friendly actress muses to Zap2it of giving away the big reveal of Monday’s (Dec. 17) two-hour finale of the CW series. Throughout the six-season run, Bell has been the literal, amusingly snarky voice of the title blogger who has remained unseen while spilling juicy tidbits about privileged Serena (Blake Lively) and others on New York’s Upper East Side.
Especially since she went after it so proactively, Bell is sorry to lose the gig. “When ‘Veronica Mars’ was canceled,” she recalls, “the following season of pilots for The CW had been announced, and one was ‘Gossip Girl.’ I read it, and I knew I was sort of old to play any of the kids. I called Dawn Ostroff — who was the head of The CW at the time — and said, ‘Hey, I did so much narration on “Veronica Mars,” can I narrate this show?
“And she said, ‘Hey, that’s a very good idea.’ I also politely reminded her that she’d canceled my show a few days previous to that, and I somehow tricked everyone into my doing it. They knew I had a younger voice, they liked me and they knew I’d show up for work, and I guess that was all I really needed.”
Actually, Bell also needed the right sound, and she maintains she immediately knew what that should be: “It was so clear to me how sassy and catty she needed to be, and they let me do whatever I wanted with it. I suppose that from their perspective, they thought they could get an actor who could be a powerful existence in the show. From my perspective, I just wanted to work.”
“Gossip Girl” surely has been among Bell’s most convenient jobs, since in recording voiceovers only, she’s had some flexibility. “I’ve worked in an extremely small alcove of the show,” she reports, “with two of the post-production supervisors. I’ve seen them once every 10 days or two weeks, and we’ve gotten to see the hard work everyone else has put in. And we’ve added the icing on the cake, which has been fun and lovely and easy.”
The same adjectives could well apply to Bell’s current pregnancy. As she continues working with current Golden Globe Award and NAACP Image Award nominee Don Cheadle on the Showtime comedy series “House of Lies” — with Season 2 launching Sunday, Jan. 13 — she and significant other Dax Shepard (“Parenthood”) are expecting their first child together.
“I feel great,” says Bell. “Everyone is wonderfully caring on the set about anything I might need, but surprisingly, it’s not affected anything. The only thing is a camera angle, where my purse might need to be in the way, or I’ll be holding something.
“We’ve made slight adjustments in that department, but I’m being dressed to look like I’m not pregnant. And I’m spending a lot more time by [the food at] the craft-service table.”