How Kristen Bell's 'iZombie' Role Turned Dax Shepard Into Veronica Mars

Turns out executive producer Rob Thomas' first stab at writing erotica for The CW caused a little havoc on the set of Shepard's new movie.
Courtesy of Diyah Pera/The CW; Warner Bros./Photofest

Kristen Bell had no idea the commotion she would cause with husband Dax Shepard when she recorded her voice cameo for iZombie.

The Veronica Mars alum is reuniting with series creator Rob Thomas on his new series by lending her voice for Episode 11, titled “Fifty Shades of Grey Matter.” In the episode, Liv (Rose McIver) eats the brain of a poisoned librarian, voiced by Bell, who was also secretly an erotic fiction writer.

"[Thomas] said, 'Just record it on your phone, send it to me and we'll lay it into the episode,'" Bell said in a conference call with reporters. "I was sitting in my husband's trailer while he was shooting [his new movie] CHiPs while both my kids were sleeping in the bedroom of the trailer, and I was like, 'Oh, I have a moment away from them! I'll get it done.' So I wrote out my lines, which was a paragraph or two of erotica. I recorded it on my phone and sent it to Rob."

It wasn't until Bell and Shepard were home later that night when she realized she accidentally set something in motion.

"Dax starts to tell me that the weirdest thing happened to him at work. Somebody slipped him a piece of erotica into his trailer, and he was confused as to who did it," Bell said. "He was trying to find out who wanted him to read their stuff, because he's a writer and he passes stuff onto other writers. He was utterly confused, and thank God he told me about it, because otherwise he would have thought someone on the set of CHiPs was writing erotica and slipping it into his trailer in the hopes that he was enjoying it or give notes or become his protégé? I don't know. He was like, 'One of these PAs or other writers on the set, someone slipped me some of their work… and it was really sexy!'"

Bell reveals she briefly considered letting him believe someone on set was slipping him their provocative writing before eventually owning up to it.

"As he was telling me, I was like, 'Should I let him know that was me, or should I let him think that some gorgeous PA was inspired to write erotica and slipped it under the door of his trailer?'" Bell said with a laugh. "The funniest part was that he went all Veronica Mars trying to figure the origin of this erotica. He said, 'I'm looking at it, it's written on a piece of paper, it's just sitting there in my trailer, and I noticed that it's written in shorthand. The person who wrote it used the number two instead of the word 'to,' and the letter 'B' instead of the word 'be.' What I'm going to do is look over the shoulder of anyone who's writing on a notepad on set for the next couple of weeks and see if I can find who is writing in shorthand.' He turned into Veronica Mars to try to figure out the origin of this erotica. It was very funny."

Both Bell and Shepard were impressed with what Thomas was able to put together for the episode. "It was particularly amusing, especially knowing that my friend Rob had written things like, 'heaving breasts pressed against the cold plastic of the airplane door,'" Bell said with a laugh. "It was bizarre."

Bell knew that it was only a matter of time (and scheduling) before she became involved with iZombie in some way, although she laments that she only had the time to do a voiceover cameo for the episode. "Friendship is something that's permanently on the books for Rob and I," Bell said. "There's a constant dialogue about projects and when we can work together again."

That could even include another installment of Veronica Mars, which most recently spawned a movie in 2014. However, it sounds like Veronica's next act will bring her back to the small screen.

"We're definitely still looking for the windows where we could allow Veronica to exist again, whether it's a miniseries or a short-run cable series," Bell said. "The business of this business twists it all a little bit when you are only allowed to do one television series at a time. It's tricky. But we haven't dropped the conversation. It just might end up being a Murder, She Wrote where I'm 80."

iZombie airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on The CW.

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