This week NBC Universal held a press conference with "HEROES" Creator, Executive Producer, and Writer Tim Kring and Kristen Bell who will be joining the show next week with the episode "Fight or Flight". Here is a transcript of the interview.
Coordinator: Hello and welcome to the Heroesí conference call.
With us today are Kristen Bell and Creator, Executive Producer, Writer, Tim Kring. Also on the call are David Gardner and Carol Janson of NBC.
Carol Janson: Heroes as you know, is a series which has received accolades from all over the world. And itís on Monday evenings at 9:00 pm.
So letís get going. And to ask a question, please press Star 1 on your touch-tone phone. I donít think that Tim has joined us yet. So right nowÖ
Coordinator: At this time we do have Tim Kring joining us.
Carol Janson: Oh perfect. So you can address your question either to Tim or to Kristen. And star 1 to ask a question. And weíre ready for our first question.
Coordinator: Thank you. Our first question does come from (David Martindale) of Hearst Newspapers. You may ask your question.
(David Martindale): Oh my I get to start. Hi Kristen. Hi Tim.
Kristen Bell: Hi.
(David Martindale): Thanks for doing the call. Kristen, how did it work out that youíre doing this wonderful show to begin with? Did you reach out to Tim Kring? Did the show reach out to you? And were you a fan of the show even before the opportunity came up?
Kristen Bell: I was a huge fan of the show. I watched it from its premiere episode. And I joked with the writers that Heroes was the water cooler conversation that Veronica Mars on set. And they had said that in many individual writer circles, Veronica Mars is the water cooler conversation now when they were working at Heroes.
I think it was - Iíve certainly put feelers out there during ComiCon and let them know what a fan I was of the show I think with the secret hopes that one day I could be a part of it. And then I was just - it was ultimate flattery when they (came forward) and said we might have something for you to do.
(David Martindale): Okay, thank you very much.
Coordinator: Our next question does come from (Joe Delaberto) of Soap Opera Weekly. You may ask your question.
(Joe Delaberto): Hi there. Thanks for doing the call.
Say Tim, I wanted to ask you our readers are really responding to the Matt, Mohinder, Molly kind of family dynamics. So I wonder if you could talk about the importance of the relationships for the rest of the season. Maybe you can touch on that family and West and Claire.
Tim Kring: Well, you know, in our show the sort of secret of the show is that it really is about the relationships and really about the character. So we always try to focus all of our stories through - filter it through that idea.
But, you know, in our show things change and things morph and become very complicated and different as you watch. So one of the hallmarks of the show is that nobody is really who they seem to be.
So in terms of West and Claire, Iím sure thereís lots of questions that the audience has as to whether West is ultimately good for Claire or not. And weíll just have to stay tuned.
As for Mohinder and Matt and Molly, we wanted to sort of do a, in a way, our version of My Two Dads, a kind of domesticated life for these two characters who, you know, we saw circling each other all last year.
And one of the interesting things thatís happening this season is the joining of different characters that we never saw last year. And Mohinder and Matt is certainly one.
And, you know, Matt and Nathan last night, Suresh and HRG, Claireís father is another one. And so itís a continual sort of quest to try and shake things up.
(Joe Delaberto): Great, thanks.
Coordinator: (Abbie Bernstein) of (Treemont) and (Herald)ís Magazine, you may ask your question.
(Abbie Bernstein): Hi. Thanks for doing the call. I wanted to know, was Kristen Bellís written with her in mind or did you create the character and then go, you know whoíd be good for this?
Tim Kring: The character was created before we cast Kristen. And we had been talking about the character for a while and thinking about the character for a while.
But when you do cast an actor, especially one that youíre familiar with their work and has as much personality as Kristen has, you try to tailor the character a little closer to who the actor is.
So itís hard to know when one starts to influence the other. But certainly the character was created and conceived long before we cast Kristen.
(Abbie Bernstein): Thank you.
Coordinator: (Valerie Bishop) of the Battalion, you may ask your question.
(Valerie Bishop): Hi. This is for Kristen. Was it difficult or maybe intimidating for you to join a cast that had already been working together since the showís beginning and kind of had already gelled and kind of had their dynamic? Was that hard to jump into that and be a part of it?
Kristen Bell: There was anxiety and nerves certainly, but nothing about it has been hard. They are some of the nicest people Iíve really ever worked with.
And having had social relationships with a few of them, Iíve sort of heard through the grapevine what a great job it was, not just an excellent show, but actually really fun to be a part of and an ensemble that really supports each other.
And I think that, you know, to find that many good people in one setting is really hard to find. But clearly that speaks to what comes down through the grapevine like starting with Tim.
And every time you join a different job or a different show I feel like it kind of feels like youíre changing schools like when youíre in high school. Itís that kind of anxiety, like is everyone going to like me? Is this going to be fun? Am I going to do well?
And the warmth that I was greeted with, it felt like I was starting a school that all my friends already went to.
Tim Kring: Iíll - let me just add to that, that, you know, one of the interesting things that should be noted here is that there was a kind of circle of people that - around Kristen and the show Heroes of the - all these common relationships.
Kristen had known several of the cast members and some for years and years with real long-term relationships with people. And not only that but with some of the writers on the show.
And so it was an odd - she was sort of already a - kind of a part of the family by the time we cast.
(Valerie Bishop): Thank you.
Coordinator: (Mike Hughes) of Gannett News Service, you may ask your question.
(Mike Hughes): Yes Tim, I just wanted to ask you about the danger of overpopulation. And if youíd never kill anybody if people start to wonder, you know, if - you know, crying wolf too often particularly with even Peter surviving a nuclear explosion.
Is there a danger that you have too many characters and that you really need to kill people more often?
Tim Kring: Yes, on a show like this, you have to be able to fold people in and fold people out. So the audience should fully expect to see characters leaving in the near future.
(Mike Hughes): Okay, thank you.
Coordinator: (Frank Nester) of Columbia Daily Spectator, you may ask your question.
(Frank Nester): Hi. Thank you again for doing the call. This question is for Kristen. Has it been fun playing this new mysterious character?
Kristen Bell: Oh itís been so much fun. I have been, I think crossing my fingers in hopes that Iíd get a job soon where I could play someone who was as Tim likes to call it, a little off or perhaps didnít have the brightest and shiniest of intentions.
And I think the depth at which theyíve written Elle, this character, sheís so conflicted and sort of comes across as such as vixen, itís so much fun to play with.
(Frank Nester): Great. Thank you. I look forward to watching her.
Coordinator: (Brenda Duran) of US Weekly, you may ask your question.
(Brenda Duran): Yes, this question is for Kristen Bell. Can you tell us is - do you have any connection to Peter Petrelli and whether or not your character works for the company on the show?
Kristen Bell: Well Iíll probably have Tim guide me through this one as well.
Tim Kring: Yes, you can answer that. ThatísÖ
Kristen Bell: I have a lot of information about Peterís past.
(Brenda Duran): Okay.
Kristen Bell: And do you want to help me out with this oneÖ
Tim Kring: Yeah no, you know, the - we introduced the character and she is looking for Peter Petrelli. And I think one can assume that she finds him.
(Brenda Duran): Okay, thanks.
Coordinator: (Natalie Zutter) of Washington Square News, you may ask your question.
(Natalie Zutter): Thank you. I was asking a question for Tim Kring. What exactly inspired the show? And in that vein, did you every have any favorite super heroes or super hero stories that might have acted as inspiration?
Tim Kring: Well no. It wasnít really any super hero stories that inspired the show. The show was inspired by wanting to do a large ensemble drama that tackled some issues that I felt were on everybodyís mind.
And that was this idea that the world is a very complicated and dangerous place and in need of help and in need of help from us who are all ordinary and trying to think about what it was that could speak to that.
And in many ways, a regular cop show or medical show just didnít seem to have - to answer those questions in a large enough way which led me to the idea of super heroes. And thatís sort of where it came from.
(Natalie Zutter): Great. Thank you.
Coordinator: (Michael Sheridan) of New York Daily News, you may ask your question.
(Michael Sheridan): Yes, Tim I wanted to ask, looking at some of the credits that youíve done -- and you started doing like the Night Rider episode and that sort of (misfit) to science, but then everything else is pretty much drama.
So do you see yourself as a science fiction person or like a (fan) or are you trying to develop a show that you thought was good that happened to be science fiction?
Tim Kring: Yes, I was not particularly a science fiction writer, although I co-created a show called Strange World a few years ago.
But what draws me to an idea is almost always the character and the idea of how to put a character into a certain amount of drama that makes it compelling.
So the SciFi elements of the show were really just a vehicle to tell dramatic stories about characters who were going through extraordinary things and on an extraordinary journey.
Clearly the SciFi elements are very enticing to a certain audience. And that was intriguing to me as well is to try to capture that audience.
(Michael Sheridan): Okay, thank you very much.
Coordinator: Natalie Newrouter) of (Fordham Ram), you may ask your question.
(Natalie Newrouter): Hi. Thank you. My question is for Kristen Bell. And itís one that Iíve thought about and wondered about for a long time.
How on Earth did you get to be so cool?
Kristen Bell: Oh my goodness. I donít think Iím that cool. I just - I try to be nice and enjoy what Iím doing I guess. Iíve been really lucky. Iíve been really, really lucky and I stay grateful for that every moment. And I think that that may - I hope that comes across cause I love what I do and I want to keep doing it.
Tim Kring: And you also hang out with really cool people.
Kristen Bell: I do. You know what? Thatís how Iím cool, because I have such cool friends. I have the coolest friends ever.
(Natalie Newrouter): Well thank you so much. Thatís what I hear.
Coordinator: (Jeri Miller) of Scholastic, you may ask your question.
(Jeri Miller): Hi Kristen. Do you have any predictions for 2008 either for yourself or in general -- could be anything that comes to mind for the next year?
Kristen Bell: Oh, predicationsÖ
(Jeri Miller): Something that youíre looking forward to particularly in the world or in your life.
Kristen Bell: Well I - one thing I try to stay with is not think too far ahead. And I think thatís what - I try to live moment to moment just in general.
And Iím very - Iím fairly spontaneous and impulsive. And I donít really know what inspires me until I read it as far as projects go.
So itís sort of difficult for me to say that. I mean I just hope - I hope Iím happy what Iím doing. I kind of hope that Iím still involved with Heroes because Iím having such a great time right now and I kind of canít get that off my mind how much fun itís been.
I mean I certainly hope - I have two films coming out, one in January and one in May. I certainly hope that those are wildly successful and that people enjoy them and, you know, that itíd just be fun, fun.
(Jeri Miller): Anything else youíre looking forward to in general in the world in 2008?
Kristen Bell: In general in the world? I donít know, peace maybe. Kind of always hoping for that.
(Jeri Miller): Okay, thanks.
Coordinator: (Rita Cheryl) of Tulsa World, you may ask your question.
(Rita Cheryl): Yes Kristen, thanks for doing the call. I wanted to ask, can you tell us a little bit more about your character? I mean is there any other details that you can reveal, her secret origin, her secret power, you know, anythingÖ
Kristen Bell: I canítÖ
(Rita Cheryl): Öher name, you know?
Kristen Bell: Her name is Elle. I canít reveal her secret powers. Youíll have to watch next Monday. But itís a very cool power.
She has ties to HRG and to Claire. And thereís going to be a very interesting dynamic I think, between her and Claire as far as what is and what is not.
And I think thereís going to be a deeper relationship there than people are expecting. Theyíre going to see some - maybe some parallels.
But she also has ties to a little bit to Suresh. And sheís a little messed up in the head which makes her really manipulative and always out to get what she wants.
She doesnít have many boundaries which I think is the really interesting part of playing this character on this particular show because the whole first season has been about these, you know, fairly good-natured people in trying to embrace these confusing abilities and being very (conflicted) as to how they should be using them.
And Elle is not that way at all. She very much enjoys her power and enjoys the emotional power it gives her over other people.
Tim Kring: Well let me sort of add to that a little bit. The - this - the one thing that we will say is that, you know, we are tying this characterís side to this company that we have, you know, talked about for the last year on the show that Claireís father was involved with.
And so one of the ideas was that this character, Elleís character is actually raised within the company. And itís in some ways a cautionary tale of what would happen to any of our characters had they lived with their powers their whole life the way Elle had.
(Rita Cheryl): Thank you.
Coordinator: (Tara Delillo) of FX Magazine, you may ask your question.
(Tara Delillo): Hi Tim. This is (Tara). I wanted to just ask a little bit about the reconstruction that youíve done with Matt Parkmanís character, especially with the change now and his family dynamic and his wife.
Will she ever come back into the story or is he really - has just gone through a reconstruction of who he is?
Tim Kring: We will see the wife again shortly. But there is clearly a mystery as of now -- there wonít be in the next couple episodes -- to what happened in these intervening four months of the end of the season, season one to the beginning of season two.
But clearly he went from a man who was - whoís wife was pregnant and expecting a baby to - and living in LA to a man whoís living in New York and no longer with his wife. So something happened in those - that intervening time. And we will find out about it. But yes, we will see the wife again.
(Tara Delillo): Great. Thanks.
Coordinator: (Fred Topel) of (Craig) Online, you may ask your question.
(Fred Topel): Hi Kristen. We know - and Tim. Kristen, we know that Heroes is a show where even the actors donít get to know a whole lot about where the characterís going.
It sounds like you actually do have a lot of information. But coming from Veronica Mars, which was another mystery show, do you have a way of approaching these characters where you might not know the ultimate point of the arch?
Kristen Bell: Yes. Actually thatís one thing that on the first season of Veronica Mars we struggled with a lot -- all of the actors. And Iíve come to the conclusion that itís just all about trust.
I was -- and Iím giddy when I say it -- a little lucky that when I was picked for the character, Tim let a few cats out of the bag which is exciting and certainly something that I would never repeat.
But ultimately I think working on a show that centered around a mystery and that itís of such vile importance that you have to trust as an actor that as long as youíre asking what details do I need to know, what should I be showing as far as like me being an actor and being able to tell the story adequately and foreshadow and things like that.
And other than that, you just have to trust your creator and your writers and your director that if you werenít giving enough or if they needed to allude to something they would tell you. Itís just got to be all about trust.
(Fred Topel): Well thank you both.
Coordinator: (Jenny Cooney) of TV Week Australia, you may ask your question.
(Jenny Cooney): Yeah hi. This questionís for Kristen. I wanted to talk a little bit about your relationship with the cast before you joined.
I spoke to Hayden recently and she said sheíd known you since you were eight years old. Can you talk about that and if that informs the way you and the character of Claire get along?
Kristen Bell: Yeah, I mean I have known Hayden since he was eight. We met in New York. We had the same agent. I was substantially older than she was, but I was just starting college and met her. And she came to some plays that I did in New York.
And she was - I mean she was a lovely little girl. And even then you could tell that there was something so alarmingly special about who she was and what she was going to be able to accomplish as a performer. Even at eight years old you could tell. It was right before she was - like Remember the Titans that she was so great in.
And Iíve sort of kept up a relationship with her just socially. And having joined the cast now itís been really nice because I think really good girlfriends are so rare to find in LA. And sheís a really cool honest girl.
And so weíve sort of become closer because of the show. And we always used to joke about trying to play sisters or friends in a project.
And so, you know, we might not be either of those in this show, but itís still fun to get to work together.
(Jenny Cooney): Thank you.
Coordinator: (Eric Sarnig) of Birmingham Bloomfield Eagle, you may ask your question.
(Eric Sarnig): Yes, this question is for Kristen Bell. You just achieved another pinnacle of success moving to Heroes. Looking back on your current position, where is the one thing you finally remember or miss about doing Stage Crafters review theater back in high school?
Kristen Bell: Oh (wowzers). What I miss the most about live theater in general which Stage Crafters was certainly in there, the audience as a participatory member of the production I think when I miss - when we were at Stage Crafters we would make the set and it was a very comfortable circle of friends. Because growing up in the theater, I was never much for sports because I was always about 50 pounds.
But when I joined that theater group, I found my first really good core group of friends. And I really miss being on the live stage and sort of getting the immediate gratification of seeing the audience, you know, laugh or cry or, you know, emote at all.
(Eric Sarnig): Very good. Thank you so much.
Coordinator: (Jennifer Biller) of TubeTop, you may ask your questions.
(Jennifer Biller): Hi Kristen. I just want to say congratulations on the Heroes role and ask if you have had a chance to catch your former co-star Jason Dohring in the new show Moonlighting (sic) and if you get to keep in touch with any of the former Veronica Mars cast mates?
Kristen Bell: We do actually keep in touch a lot. I just came back from breakfast about 20 minutes ago with Ryan Hansen who played Dick Casablancas and (Wakmi Tadeo) who was our DP. We went to breakfast this morning.
I had not caught Jasonís show, but I have been Tivoing it. And Timís been keeping me pretty busy so I havenít caught up on all my Tivo yet.
But itís funny how many people from Veronica Mars are working on Moonlight right now. Thereís a substantial of the crew and Jason, some of the ADs and stuff.
And everybody got along really well on that show as well. And so weíre all pretty supportive of each otherís careers. And weíve maintained those friendships.
(Jennifer Biller): Great. Thank you.
Coordinator: (John Cuvasik) of (Buddy TV), you may ask your question.
(John Cuvasik): Hello. Thank you very much. Since I only have one question, I just wanted to ask a more specific question about last nightís episode for Tim with the photo of the 12.
Tim Kring: Yes?
(John Cuvasik): Will we be seeing more of the five that we arenít aware of yet? Have we already met some of them? And will you be using the same actors from the photograph for those roles if they show up?
And as sort of like a sub question, if you could confirm whether or not Joanna Cassidy was one of the actors that was standing there?
Tim Kring: Yes on almost all of those accounts. We will be seeing the people who - in the photo. I think all of them will be playing - will be the same one which I just have to tell you, the photo has got a life of its own.
Because logistically it was so difficult to actually come up with this photograph thatís used now and refers to things that are shot well in the future here, it was very difficult to get that all lined up.
But yes, the photo is as accurate as we can make it. And it did look an awful lot like Joanna Cassidy in there.
(John Cuvasik): Thank you.
Coordinator: (Charlie McCollum) of San Jose Mercury News, you may ask your question.
(Charlie McCollum): Tim, this is for you. And itís a somewhat serious question. But with the possibility of a writersí strike later this month as certainly the contractís lapsing possibly of a writersí strike, what kind of an impact has that had on the writing and production for you guys?
Tim Kring: Well to be really honest, it has not had a lot of impact. We like everybody else, had assumed that a strike would be well after our season ended. So we never really prepared for it.
The fact that we were a little ahead of other people, we started production a month earlier than most people has been mistakenly interpreted as that we were doing it because of the strike. But in fact it was that we were doing 24 episodes this year.
And since our show is so much more complicated production-wise than almost any other show on TV, we just needed the extra time.
So once that train starts rolling, thereís not a whole lot you can do about it. You canít speed it up and you canít really slow it down.
So in reality the strike doesnít have a lot of effect. It clearly will have a tremendous effect if it happens.
(Charlie McCollum): Right.
Tim Kring: But in terms of what weíve done up until now, no not really. I wish there hadnít - I wish there could have been - could have done more. ButÖ
(Charlie McCollum): Youíre not banking scripts or anything like that at this point orÖ
Tim Kring: No. You can only write them as fast as you can write them. And weíre already moving at such a pace that we canít really accelerate the process much (unintelligible).
(Charlie McCollum): Thank you very much.
Coordinator: (Monica Suttlemayer) of Wireless Flash News, you may ask your question.
(Monica Suttlemayer): Kristen. Hi Tim.
Tim Kring: Hi.
(Monica Suttlemayer): My question is for Kristen. I know that Heroes has kind of like this mysterious element and thereís so many hardcore fans that always want to know leaks to the story lines.
How do you kind of try to keep quiet about the storylines and then people have had to like come up to you and ask you to leak anything?
Kristen Bell: Yeah, of course. I mean everybody - I mean even amongst the cast, everybodyís always asking everybody else who has more information.
And unfortunately going into it, maybe I just had a big old smile on my face or maybe you could just sense it, but I had a substantial amount of information and sort of all the other cast members were trying to (pick) it out of me.
But I think I did a pretty good job of just smiling through it and knowing that I was lucky enough to have been told a little bit where my character was going or at least know her first arch.
And itís - you know, itís hard because when you have secrets, of course you want to spill them. But you have to realize how important it is and how vital it is to keep them secrets and that it keeps your job and that itís actually kind of fun when you know a little bit more information than everyone else.
(Monica Suttlemayer): Right, youíre not accepting bribes or anything.
Kristen Bell: Right. Oh, I didnít say that.
(Monica Suttlemayer): Thank you.
Coordinator: (Kyle Fegli) of Wizard Magazine, you may ask your question.
(Kyle Fegli): All right, excellent. Whatís going on guys?
Kristen Bell: Love Wizard Magazine.
(Kyle Fegli): Kristen, you know, when I watched the preview yesterday for the new episode I had a weird flashback to when you were on Deadwood. Because when you show up on Deadwood you were this sweet innocent little girl and then we had that great ĎIíve got a f-ing knifeí scene.
And there - I was thinking about how, you know, so many of the fans of Veronica Mars have seen you for three years as, you know, the good guy, the go-getter whoís really fighting for the little guy.
And then weíre going to have you as Elle as this new character whoís a lot more sinister.
What do you expect a lot of your fans and the Veronica Mars fans, how do you expect them to react when they see this character? Do you interact with them a lot?
Kristen Bell: Well one thing I will say about Veronica Mars fans, they are extremely interactive whether it is on a street corner or whether it is on a blog. They are definitely interactive.
I hope everyone will have fun with it. I mean honestly, Iíve been having a blast with it. Itís kind of - itís a little deeper character work when you have to really figure out someoneís intentions.
Because I donít even think evil characters are evil. They always think theyíre doing something right. And itís to get to that sort of conflicted whatís the difference between right and wrong kind of point which is fun and which is cool to work on as an actor.
I mean I hope everybodyís going to have fun with it because I love rooting for the underdog but itís also - stop. Sorry, speaking of underdog. But itís also, you know, a lot of fun to play someone whoís a little crazy.
(Kyle Fegli): All right, radical. Thanks guys.
Coordinator: (Victorian Ahern) of the Canadian Press, you may ask your questions.
(Victoria Ahern): Hi. Thanks for taking my call. My question is for Kristen. It was widely reported that you were offered a recurring role on Lost as well. Why did you decide to be on Heroes instead?
Kristen Bell: Well I think that the facts of the situation are that the media might have gotten a little ahead of themselves because I was not - I had been spoken to about possibly doing a role on Lost, but I was never actually offered one.
That certainly would have been, you know, a wonderful opportunity. But I think I have been such a fan of Heroes from the very beginning that this sort of - this would have been the dreamiest situation I could have possibly thought up as my next job. So when Tim came forward I sort of pounced on it.
(Victoria Ahern): Okay. Great. Thank you.
Coordinator: (Bill Harris) of Toronto Sun, you may ask your question.
(Bill Harris): Hi. This is for Tim. Tim, I was wondering how you guard against the kind of - a little bit of fan frustration setting in if the plot seems to be getting more and more complicated and there seem to be - we seem to be further away from any answers than we were, you know, three episodes ago.
And also at what point in the season can we expect the foray to Canada that youíve spoken of before?
Tim Kring: Well, you know, we actually are not a show that tries to keep answers away from the audience. Our sort of feeling is that no answer is so precious that we canít tell the audience what it is.
That being said, thereís a certain amount of fun with drawing things out enough that it keeps your interest. But our show changes and morphs all the time.
One of the things that we did this season that weíre - we didnít do last season, last season we had one volume. It was called Genesis. And it was - happened to be 23 episodes long.
And so one of the things that we found is that by the end of the year we were dragging a tremendous amount of story behind us that had to be paid off in that final episode which made for an episode that the expectations are so high that, you know, itís hard to meet everybodyís expectation.
So this season weíre going to have multiple volumes. The first one is called Generation, started with Episode 1 of this season and ends on Episode 11 where everything that - every answer that - or every question that is raised will be answered within these 11 episodes so that itís one complete volume that then slingshots us into another Ė know, cliff hangs us and takes us across the break into another volume.
So, you know, if people are feeling the frustration of wanting answers, you know, usually I think people say they want answers, but they really enjoy the idea of following the mystery and watching it twist and turn.
And as for Canada, the show takes that turn in I think two episodes from now.
(Bill Harris): Iím sorry, what was that? How many episodes from now?
Tim Kring: I think two episodes.
(Bill Harris): Okay, thank you.
Coordinator: (Will Harris) of (BoFi).com, you may ask your question.
(Will Harris): Tim, the storyline about Micahís new family unit focused more on him and Monica than on Nichelle Nicholís character.
Tim Kring: Yes.
(Will Harris): Does she get more play as the story progresses? And has the cast now become jaded to meeting StarTrek cast members?
Tim Kring: Well, you know, one - I - Nichelle Nicholís character will be in the sort of support of Dana Davis character for a while. But I think we can look for around mid-season for that character to start to emerge in its own right.
As for the jaded to the StarTrek, you know, itís not really our intention to bring characters on from that show. It in a strange way has been an odd coincidence. The best people who walked in to read for both the character of Kaito Nakamura and for the - for the character of Monicaís grandmother just happened to be former cast members of that show.
And itís been a lot of fun for a certain segment of the audience to see that. But clearly there are not many others that we can tap into to. But, you know, as of now this is where we - weíre leaving it at these two.
(Will Harris): Okay, thank you.
Coordinator: (Jason Leco) of Television (Aring), you may ask your question.
(Jason Leco): Hi guys. Thanks for doing this. Most of my questions have been asked. But Kristen, I do have one final question.
With the rise of shows like Chuck and a sudden emphasis on geek sub culture, Iím wondering as a female geek icon who is beautiful and brainy what your geeky, guilty pleasures are?
Kristen Bell: Oh wow, my geeky, guilty pleasures? (I bet) my ComiCon would be a geeky, guilty pleasure. I think the geekiest of all my pleasures at ComiCon is Iíd definitely try to go around and get pictures with every single person who dresses up. Because the people come in full costume. They just fascinate me, absolutely fascinate me.
And whatís even more fascinating is that if I were to come in costume like dressed as a Storm Trooper, I would kind of expect the fact that people are going to want pictures of me.
And most of the time when I ask them for pictures theyíre like so Ďoh, all right, just make it quickí like itís like so frustrating for them. And itís so fascinating to me because Iím like well youíre the one that came in costume so donít get angry at me.
My geeky, guilty pleasures, I donít know. I mean certainly having done Fanboys, anything Star Wars is now sort of wonderful and fascinating to me and then the - and the fact that Iím sort of still learning. And I have like all my friends are Fanboys.
So itís not so much that Iím like typically going out on my own and - as much as I am learning from them and have just been so embraced by this community that I love it.
And now Iím sort of coming into my own as a Fangirl and seeking things out like the New Beverly in Los Angeles had a double feature the other night of Tron and the Last Starfighter. So I was like I kind of need to see that at least just once in my life because that seemed like an awesome double feature, you know?
(Jason Leco): Fantastic.
(Jason Leco): What TV shows are you watching right now?
Kristen Bell: Itís on my Tivo. Pushing Daisies I love. I do of course support and watch our NBC line up of Chuck and Journeyman.
Iíve watched the Office since it started with - I love. And I love the BBC - I watch a lot of BBC shows, donít watch all of that many American shows. I really like Little Britain. Iím excited that thatís coming out on HBO and even (Gentlemen).
Although, Iím always kind of into reruns of Americaís Funniest Home Videos. Thatís sort of my number one. Thatís my geekiest, guilty pleasure. Iíll tell you that right there.
Kristen Bell: And I donít feel guilty about it because itís an awesome show.
(Jason Leco): Great. Thanks so much Kristen.
Coordinator: (Eric Goldman) of IGN, you may ask your question.
(Eric Goldman): Hey there Kristen. First of all, I was at that Tron/Last Starfighter double feature. So that amuses me.
Kristen Bell: It was so good right?
(Eric Goldman): Oh yes, it was awesome.
Kristen Bell: How about that wig he wore in the Last Starfighter was unbelievable. I donít remember him wearing that wig, but the wind scene caught me totally off guard.
(Eric Goldman): Maybe it was a re-shoot.
Kristen Bell: It was phenomenal.
(Eric Goldman): I just wanted to ask, how long can we expect to see you on Heroes? And would you be up for it being more of a long term commitment or something where you could come back periodically?
Kristen Bell: Oh funny you should ask. I would be up for that. I think that this has been a great relationship so far. And there was no hesitancy with entering as far as becoming a main part of the show, just more like well from both ends it was like letís feel each other out and see how you fit into the show and if youíre happy.
And itís been a great relationship so far. And so, you know, Iíll be one of the ones that (keeps messages that) gets cross but that I wonít get (killed).
(Eric Goldman): Do you have any idea how many episodes will be on this season?
Kristen Bell: Right now I think that I am signed on for 13 which, you know, certainly to the discretion as how it fits into the major plot lines they could use me or I could just sit on the sidelines.
But I - quite frankly, I hope they use me because Iím really having a good time. And then at the end of the 13 we decided to have a pow-wow and sit down and see if it make sense for me to continue.
(Eric Goldman): Well thanks a lot. Looking forward to seeing you on the show.
Coordinator: (Joshua Maloney) of Niagara Frontier Publications, you may ask your question.
(Joshua Maloney): Good morning. Kristen, youíre really a fantastic actress. You can pick and choose to work in any platform. What is it about doing television and Heroes in particular that is attractive to you creatively?
Kristen Bell: Oh wow. Well what attracted me to Heroes was the fact that when I caught the season premiere it was just so engulfing itís like I couldnít think about anything else.
I mean when Iím telling you it was the water cooler conversation, Iím not kidding. Like we would come into Veronica Mars and like the entire camera crew would stand around. Itíd be like, Ďyeah, but did you see what happened last night and did you see who Claireís father isí.
Like there are hooks that people are able to sink into you when telling a story that I think Tim has mastered and I think Rob Thomas mastered for the, you know, the much smaller but certainly avid viewers that we had on Veronica Mars.
It makes you want to be involved, you know. And I think theyíre also really smart shows and theyíre a little harder to follow which I really expect. Because when you treat the audience like an intelligent member, theyíre - you know, you tend to attract intelligent viewers.
The mediumís for me the difference. I mean I certainly love and miss theater. Film is so much fun as well and itís a little bit more like camp because youíre usually on location and you have a couple months of people that you get really close with and then itís always sort of like end of the summer syndrome.
With TV I really like the security. And I like the sense of family. I mean I like knowing who I work with.
I work in this business because I like performing and I also really like the creative relationships. And I think coming to work with people that you love and being able to see them on a daily basis is a really special thing.
And not that many people get to absolutely love what they do. And Iím lucky to be one of those people.
(Joshua Maloney): Thank you.
Coordinator: (Catherine Owl) of Ninthwonders.com, you may ask your question.
(Catherine Owl): Hello. I - my question is for Tim. You mentioned to ComiCon that you had an announcement wherein you wanted to harness the power of the Heroes fan base towards something good and you would be making an announcement in future months.
Do you have anything more to add to that?
Tim Kring: Well, you know what? I do, but itís a - itís just a hair premature. Weíre working towards this. Just to sort of clarify, it is - became very important to me to try and tap into what I saw was a very large fan base of people who were not used to be tapped by any - for any philanthropic or charitable ideas and just because of the demographic.
And so I just saw a tremendous opportunity there with people who felt a connection to the show and a connection to the message of the show, a message of inter-connectivity and a message of hope and a message of healing and healing the world.
And there are a few things that we are looking at internally here of aligning ourselves towards with some various organizations that I think we could really have a unique way of doing an Internet-based Web-based movement based on the fan base of Heroes.
And I promise you that in the very, very, you know, near future weíre going to start to talk about it. But I canít really talk about it this second.
(Catherine Owl): All right, thanks.
Kristen Bell: Can you see (why itís so cool to) work for him?
(See thatís what) Iím saying.
Coordinator: Our next question does come from (Alexandra Britton) of (Elle Universal). You may ask your question.
(Alexandra Britton): Yes, hi Kristen. How do you feel now that youíre the voice of the Gossip Girl? How does that work for you?
Kristen Bell: Gossip Girlís been great. I mean Iíve known Josh Schwartz for a little bit and was sort of happy when they wanted me involved in it. And itís sort of an easy deal for me because itís not on camera. And Iíve always dreamt about having a job where I could go and show up in my jammies.
And thatís kind of what it is. But, you know, I think I love and support Josh and itís been a lot of fun.
(Alexandra Britton): But are you going to be the Gossip Girl in fact?
Kristen Bell: I donít think that Iíll - no. Iíll never make an on camera appearance.
(Alexandra Britton): On camera. Okay, okay thank you.
Coordinator: (Rick Porter) of Zap2It.com, you may ask your question.
(Rick Porter): Hi Tim. This is mostly for you. Seems like with this past episode especially, youíre starting to really kind of move the plot forward and sort of narrow the focus to a few key storylines.
Can you talk about balancing the desire to, you know, kind of catch people up or bring new people in at the start of the season to kind of getting on with it and movingÖ
Tim Kring: Well, yeah. I mean I think you very much hit the nail on the head. You know, one of the problems with starting a season is that you have to start everything at the - pretty much at the same time, or at least thatís the impulse.
And on a show like ours where thereís a lot to cover, it can get a bit cluttered. But we have now settled into a pattern of telling fewer stories and I think which allows for a more - a deeper sort of experience with the show with each one of these stories.
But one of the pressures becomes the balancing act of people coming in and people sitting out. So not everybody can be in every episode.
And part of what happens on any show is that you enter a relationship with your viewers where you teach them how to watch your show and they teach you what they seem to be responding to.
And so for us, we I think are in this process right now of teaching the audience how to get used to the idea that not everybody is going to be in every single episode.
Last nightís episode was a great example of it. We had - we didnít have Hero, Masiís character or Miloís character, Peter Petrelli in last nightís episode and others. But those were two big storylines that we followed from the very beginning of the season.
And you watched that episode last night and itís compelling and intriguing. And I donít think that you really miss seeing them for one episode because you know that their stories will pick right up where they left off last time.
(Rick Porter): Okay, thanks.
Coordinator: (Kelly Maragis) of Maxim, you may ask your question.
(Kelly Maragis): Hi Kristen, this oneís for you. Youíve played Veronica Mars, considered joining the cast of Lost and are now on Heroes. In other words, you seem to be attracted to cult shows. Can you comment a bit on that and also if youíve ever had any funny or bizarre run-ins with what I assume are some pretty nerdy fans?
Kristen Bell: The thing about cult shows for me is that I would so much rather be on a show that people are wildly obsessed with and watch because they canít not than on a show that people just turn on because itís on Prime Time television.
I think that the whole reason that as a performer and as a creator of a TV show, you want people to invest in your project. You know, you want people to love it, not just like it.
And as far as the coolest fans ever which are some of the ones that Iíve run into, I mean it can get really intense. Iím not going to lie.
The one thing that is different about those kind of fans because they are so invested more times than not when they see you, thereís much more like thereís tears coming and they donít really know what to do with themselves because itís not just like Ďoh, thatís the person I watch on the television show. Itís like that the person I follow and am deeply invested iní.
And thereís a lot of shaking and sweating palms and tears. But itís precious, you know. Itís precious.
(Kelly Maragis): Can you think of any particular episode, the funniest or the most bizarre (unintelligible)Ö
Kristen Bell: With a fan?
(Kelly Maragis): Yeah.
Kristen Bell: Oh wow. Not really. Theyíre all kind of funny and bizarre, but, you know, at the same time lovely because theyíre coming up to you because they support you. So, you knowÖ
(Kelly Maragis): Thanks much.
Coordinator: (Lynn Barker) of TeenHollywood.com, you may ask your question.
(Lynn Barker): Hi Kristen.
Kristen Bell: Hi.
(Lynn Barker): Soon youíre going to appear before millions of people worldwide and youíre not playing a teen, yeah. Is that relief?
Kristen Bell: Yeah.
(Lynn Barker): Is that a relief for you? And do you hope that your Veronica Mars stance will move along with you, move on with you?
Kristen Bell: Yes, I certainly hope so because I think that - hold on a second. Hey guys, come here. Come here. (Dogs) are getting out.
I have always played about ten years younger than I am which is a major blessing just even in real life. My familyís very petite and I have a young looking face and good genes I guess. Iím thankful to my parents.
That being said, as an actor there are certain things that Iím going through in my own life in my late 20s that, you know, Iím experiencing. And, you know, thatís what you draw upon in your acting.
And so I hope that Iíll be accepted as playing closer to my age. I know that I still look a lot younger. But Iím thankful to sort of be out of teenageville a little bit. Because I donít dislike it at all. Iíve just had my fill of it. Iíve had a lot of it.
(Lynn Barker): All right. Is that your dogs youíre talking to?
Kristen Bell: Yes.
(Lynn Barker): Oh thatís cool. Okay, thank you very much. Yes, thank you.
Coordinator: (Kathy Escari) of Givememyremote.com, you may ask your question.
(Kathy Escari): Hey guys, Kristen, question for you. Youíve obviously said youíve been a fair - fan of Heroes for quite some time. So just wondering of all the characters on the show, which would you like most to see Elle interact with? And if you could steal one of their powers, which one would it be?
Kristen Bell: Oh, good question. I would like to most interact with -- and this is for two different reasons -- for on and off camera reasons -- with Zachary Quinto. Because Zachary Quinto has been a good friend of mine for almost ten years now.
And Iíve always wanted to work with him and besides the fact that heís pretty much the coolest thing because heís so unpredictable and so downright evil. And itís almost hard for me to watch because itís the polar opposite of Zachís personality because heís just the kindest, gentlest most giving person.
I would love to see him and Elle face off one day. I think that that would be unbelievable.
As far as stealing power, I donít know about stealing anyoneís power. But the one power I would like to come up with -- because thatís the question that the cast, I think, gets most often like Ďwhat would your super hero power beí -- I thought long and hard about that.
And I think mine would be multiplicity. Because I think it would be great to be able to multiply myself and cook myself dinner. Iíd just be like Ďhey, clean that upí, you know? Because I always feel like if there were more of me, I could get so much more done. Iíd be so much more happier.
(Kathy Escari): Thanks so much.
Tim Kring: Hey guysÖ
Carol Janson: Tim?
Tim Kring: ÖIíve got to jump off.
Carol Janson: Tim, you jump off.
Tim Kring: Okay.
Carol Janson: Okay. Then letís continue. And Kristen, when you have to leave, you just say I have to leave now okay?
Kristen Bell: Okay. Yeah, letís do it.
Carol Janson: All right, next question.
Coordinator: Thank you. (Kyle Bruan) of UGO.com, you may ask your question.
(Kyle Bruan): Hi Kristen. So weíll make this fast and - as fast as possible. Can you talk a little bit about working on Fanboys and forgetting Sarah Marshall in your film career?
Kristen Bell: Oh wow. Two of the best experiences over the last few years of my life. Fanboy because it was a lot of my friends involved in it. And that sort of - it really introduced me to the world of Fanboys which I now love and respect so much.
It was a bunch of Star Wars obsessed guys that - and I was the only girl in the movie. And we had so much fun, I kind of canít wait for it to come out.
And plus we get to work with like a lot of people cameoed from Star Wars like (Terry Fisherbin) and Billy Dee Williams. So it was a great experience.
And then certainly to be a part of when (Jed Appa) tells me at this - (really) that this point in his career is kind of a dream come true. And now Iím really happy to call those people my friends. And I hope to be one of the people that they - one of the improv artists they draw upon in the future that can be a part of (unintelligible).
(Kyle Bruan): All right, thank you very much.
Coordinator: (Carol McPherson) of (Buzzsugar.com), you may ask your question.
(Carol McPherson): Hi Kristen.
Kristen Bell: Hi.
(Carol McPherson): I was just wondering, because you were, you know, you were Veronica Mars for so long, I wonder do you feel - do you really miss her? Do you miss playing her or were you just sort of ready to move on?
Kristen Bell: So badly, so badly.
(Carol McPherson): Aww.
Kristen Bell: I do. I miss - I mean I miss the crew. I miss the writers. I miss actually playing the character because there was a certain ease you get when you - like, you know, when youíve been at a job for a while and you just feel like it clicks?
And you have a character like that that youíve worked with for so long, thereís a certain part of you that is a little bit her and sheís a little bit you. And it just - itís not only easy after a while, but itís really fun.
(Carol McPherson): Yeah, thank you.
Coordinator: (Renee Burrell) of the Scifiworld.net, you may ask your question.
(Renee Burrell): Hello Kristen. Youíve spoke of Elleís moral ambiguity and her mental health status. Can you tell us what some of her strengths will be?
Kristen Bell: Oh wow, determination. And sheís a very fierce and intense personality. When she wants something, she wants it and she wants it now which I think is good when youíre working with the good guys and is really bad when youíre working with the bad guys. And I think thatís what sheíll kind of ping-pong in-between.
She has an inability to decipher between right and wrong. Thatís what makes her so interesting. She always thinks what sheís doing is right.
But itís because she was raised by the company and not by a normal family that youíll sympathize with her. I certainly hope youíll sympathize with her in trying to understand how her childhood really messed her up. And then hopefully, you know, she can get a little bit of redemption.
(Renee Burrell): Thank you.
Coordinator: (Liz Lacy) of (Mevee).com, you may ask your question.
(Liz Lacy): Hey Kristen, thanks for sticking in with us so long.
Kristen Bell: Sure.
(Liz Lacy): Iíll be quick. Is there a particular upcoming episode that youíre very excited about that we should watch out for good Elle stuff in?
Kristen Bell: Oh wow, yes. Unfortunately it might be a little bit of a tease because I start in Episode 5, and then I donít - Iím not in 6 or 7 which I guess is sort of part of the mystery and at least thatís what Iím saying.
Episodes 8 and 9 are - have a lot of Elle. They kind of - they expose her storyline. A few of the storylines completely revolve around here. So shooting 8 and 9 was really great for me. I had a lot of stuff in 8 and 9.
And so I sort of have to hold out myself to be able to see 8 and 9 and sort of really see how the character reads as far as interacting with all the other storylines.
(Liz Lacy): Awesome. Thanks.
Coordinator: (Troy Brownfield) of NewsOrama.com, you may ask your questions.
(Troy Brown): Hi Kristen. Thereís been talk of Rob continuing Veronica Mars in comic book form. Between that and the environment youíre in now, any aspirations to get in there and maybe write an issue or two yourself?
Kristen Bell: If he invites me - if Rob invites me to go mow his lawn, Iíll consider it.
I have heard rumors of that, yes. I certainly hope it - I hope it comes to fruition. I know Rob is a very busy man and rightfully so. But yeah, I wouldnít - I would not be opposed to being involved in that at all.
(Troy Brown): Thank you.
Coordinator: (Jay Cochran) of Entertainment News International, you may ask your question.
(Jay Cochran): I just - well most of my questions have been asked. But just real quick, would you say your character on HEROES will be a character that fans will love or will it become a character that fans will love to hate?
Kristen Bell: I think sheíll go backwards in that area. I think that they will love to hate her initially while theyíre confused about her intentions.
But I think that the more you find out about her the more - well I mean, I donít know because I donít know how itíll read.
I hope that the more you find out about here and the deeper you go into her, the more youíll sympathize with her.
(Jay Cochran): Okay, thank you.
Coordinator: (Frank Nester) of Columbia Daily Spectator, you may ask your questions.
(Frank Nester): Hi Kristen. Just really quick, for fun, who is your favorite super hero?
Kristen Bell: Oh wow, my favorite super hero? Man, I like the little Pixie Girls I think because I can relate. I mean itís great to love like She-Hulk or anything thatís like big and dominating.
But for me it would be like a Harley Quinn or like Lost from Avengers -- something like that.
(Frank Nester): Very cool.
Kristen Bell: Something I can relate to, something that I can feel I can accomplish.
(Frank Nester): Thatís very cool. I like that. Thank you.
Coordinator: We can go to the next question. (Victoria Ahern) of the Canadian Press, you may ask your question.
(Victoria Ahern): Yes once again itís me. Itís just a follow-up question. You were saying on the Veronica Mars set, Heroes was the talk around the water cooler.
Iím just wondering if any of your former cast mates from Veronica Mars has prodded you about your new role and how muchÖ
Kristen Bell: Oh my God, every single one of them -- every single one of them. They - we were talking about it this morning because I was having - or breakfast with Ryan Hansen whoís (unintelligible). And he of course has asked me all the questions.
And we watched last night and they were all - everybody sort of texted me, was really excited because the editors and (Kim) sort of made it a really big deal at the end of the show that I was coming on.
And I was so flattered, so flattered. But our whole crew watched the show. So I get a lot of text. And I kind of like to hold it over their head, Iím not going to lie.
And itís kind of exciting to go like Ďwell, why donít you just watchí. And theyíre like oh Kristen.
(Victoria Ahern): So they havenít seen anything?
Kristen Bell: No.
(Victoria Ahern): Of your new role? Oh great.
Kristen Bell: Just - no, just the preview of last night.
(Victoria Ahern): Oh wow. Great. Thanks a lot.
Carol Janson: Thanks very much everybody for being with us today.