This year Lake Bell will tame Colin Farrell and—with Cameron Diaz—discover that what happens in Vegas stays in...well, you know. For now, she’d just like to spit in your mouth. Really. Any takers?
At 28, Lake Bell has had plenty of practice playing it straight: the eager young attorney on Boston Legal, the marine biologist on NBC’s Surface, and offscreen, the homebody whose surprise tabloid relationship with Colin Farrell was supposed to rein in the infamous rake, until it didn’t. And so when she begins a lunch interview by asking if the tape recorder is on, you believe her claim of stage fright. But as the conversation goes on—and Bell keeps checking on the tape—you realize she’s actually making sure you’re getting the wacky, raunchy spew that’s coming out of her mouth. She wants you to laugh. And we’ll oblige her.
You play Colin Farrell’s wife in Pride and Glory. Had you, um, seen his sex tape beforehand?
My godmother had seen it and sent me a link before we started filming. She was like, “Did you see this? You’re playing his wife.” It’s so strange, that first moment when you say, “Hi, I’m Lake,” and he says, “Hi, I’m Colin,” and you think, Yeah, I know. Like, I really know.
And then you started dating him.
Yeah. It was nice, mild hanging out that suddenly became “They’re getting married.”
I thought he was buying you a dream house.
I read that, too, and I was like, Awesome! When they said we were married, I was like, We are? I thought we had just broken up. My attitude was sort of, Whoa, what the fuck just happened? At first you’re crying like any other sissy idiot, but then you’re like, Wait a minute, that was incredible. He’s such a friggin’ awesome dude, and I’m friends with all of my exes. I’m not a hater.
You hook up with Rob Corddry in What Happens in Vegas. What’s on his sex tape?
Well, his sex tape is so raw and so naughty that it’s just hard to get through. You know what did it for me? It was that Swiffer. I found that offensive, because I’m a Swiffer user—I mean, I recently had to stop because of the tape. In the movie, Rob and I have a scene where we make out in a “creepy and humpy” fashion. That’s literally the stage direction.
Dog-on-your-leg type of stuff?
I told Rob I wanted to spit in his mouth. And then we’d make out.
How did you get into comedy in the first place?
My dad’s a Jew and my mom’s a WASP, so that should pretty much say it all. It was a comically dysfunctional family. I even wrote a movie about it: NOCD. In WASP culture—you’ll know about this, right? I can see that shirt is all buttoned up—they say, “Not our class, dear” when something is gauche. It’s a comedy about an 18-year-old boy, the perfect WASP in training, who finds out that he might be the product of an affair his mother had with a Jewish shrink.
Since you’re a writer, maybe you can help. We called this piece “You Can Ring My Bell.” What pun should we have used instead?
“Lake Titicaca,” of course!
You’ve thought about this. Is it bringing up bad memories?
I grew up with so many insulting puns thrown at me. If this were my stage name, it’d be fine, but I had this shit when I was young, yo! Kids would be like, Lake Erie. Or, Lake has no waves—that all changed after puberty, of course. Then I took geography and my comeback became Lake Superior, muthafucka! You could have gone with “Great Lake.”
We could have.
Hey, did you like that I spit a little bit there?
I just spit a little bit.
I didn’t see it.
I was trying to save it for Rob Corddry, and then all of a sudden it happened to you. Oh well. Open wide. I’ll spit right in there.