The forking hilarious Kristen Bell has captivated us on screen in everything from The Good Place to the throwback Veronica Mars — and also off screen, like that one time she burst into tears after her ultimate dream came true: meeting a sloth. Now, she's continuing her reign, this time in the new Netflix comedy Like Father, in which Bell's workaholic character gets dumped on her wedding day and winds up on her honeymoon cruise with the estranged father she hasn't seen in 25 years.
In celebration of the new Netflix dramedy, and as a way to get to know Bell on a much deeper level, we sat down with her for our new series, Falling in Love With . . . . A study on interpersonal closeness by the psychologist Arthur Aron (and others) — which went viral in The New York Times's article "The 36 Questions That Lead to Love" — offered up 36 questions that could potentially deepen the connection between two strangers. We decided to put the questions to the test with some of your favorite celebs to see if a few simple questions could truly make you feel closer to them. Here's what we learned about Kristen Bell.
POPSUGAR: What would constitute a "perfect" day for you?
Kristen Bell: Well, it would start the night before, getting a full 10 hours of sleep. I'm a different human being with 10 hours of sleep; it's crazy — I feel so much better. And then I would probably wake up, do a little exercise — some light exercise — see my family the whole day, binge-watch a really new tasty television show in the evening, and then listen to, like, the Dear Evan Hansen soundtrack while playing with a bunch of puppies.
PS: Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
KB: Michelle Obama. I think everything she has to say has added such value to my life. And I wouldn't necessarily even want to talk much, I'd just want to listen.
PS: What do you value most in a friendship?
KB: Comfort and safety. The safety of feeling that I don't have to try to be anyone other than myself, and myself has a lot of different flavors. Sometimes I'm very chatty, sometimes I wanna be silent and just listen, sometimes I'm smiling a lot, sometimes I'm feeling a little more serious. And the friendships in my life that I value the most are the ones that don't judge me for whatever flavor I'm feeling that day.
PS: Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
KB: Yes. I mean, I rehearse before I call Postmates. I am a very nonlinear thinker, and my stories tend to be a roller coaster of sometimes nonsense, and it's important for the clarity of the other person and of the information that is being divulged that I take a moment to make my thoughts concise and figure out exactly what I need to say. I'm a very nonlinear thinker. My husband teases me about that a lot.
PS: If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
KB: Thirty is when I feel like my life started making sense. I definitely know more now that I'm 38, and I'm so much more comfortable having wisdom as opposed to just, like, unbridled passion that I don't know how to harness. But I also really subscribe to that your body doesn't matter; it's your mind that matters. If I've lost my mind and I can't remember anyone's name, then I would want the mind of my 30-year-old self back so that I can be present. But if I'm stick-sharp as a tack, then I would want the body of my 30-year-old [self] because I would have the wisdom of the 90-year-old in the body of a 30-year-old. And I would get a lot of sh*t done.
PS: If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
KB: It would be a better memory. I have, like, a sort of in-and-out flow system here, and it truly, truly, embarrassingly takes me two or three minutes to recall the simplest of answers. "What did you have for breakfast?" And I'll just look at someone and go . . . "Probably eggs?" And even then, I'm not sure it was eggs! I'm just trying to get out of the discomfort of not knowing where that file is. It allows me to memorize really easily, because I can look at a script, memorize my scenes for the day very, very quickly, and then the next day have no recollection that I was even at work. So it serves my art, but it doesn't really serve my daily life, when I have to remember, like, preschool play dates and things that are actually important.
PS: If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future, or anything else, what would you want to know?
KB: I would wanna know will I ever actually beat my husband at Scrabble. I still think the answer would be no, but at least then I could process it and move into acceptance mode.
PS: For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
KB: Without question, my emotional security. And not having to worry when I'm gonna see my kids next.
PS: When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
KB: I sing to myself all the time. I was singing working out yesterday, and when I came in from outdoors, my sister even said to me, "I was very impressed with that breath control, that you were actually singing yourself a song while you were working out, because it takes a lot of lung control." And I was flattered! I love to sing, and I hear a lot of sounds that happen throughout the day as music. Like a subway chime or the ring of someone's cell phone — it makes music in my head. And to someone else, I try to sing to my girls every night, and sometimes they dig it, but most times they don't. They don't love it when I sing.
PS: Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
KB: I would save my youngest daughter's tiger, Michael. Because without it, she can't sleep, and that means that I can't sleep.
Watch it all go down in the video above, and check out Kristen Bell in Like Father, available now exclusively on Netflix!
Special thanks to Arthur Aron, Edward Melinat, Elaine N. Aron, Robert Darrin Vallone, and Renee J. Bator for the use of their questions from The Experimental Generation of Interpersonal Closeness: A Procedure and Some Preliminary Findings.