11:55am PT by Lauren Huff
SXSW: 'The Good Place' Star Kristen Bell Previews Season 2 "Reset"
[Warning: This story contains spoilers from the first season of NBC's The Good Place.]
A big season one cliffhanger was just the beginning for NBC's The Good Place, according to star Kristen Bell, who teases that the upcoming season will be just as forking crazy.
"You will see a complete reset of Eleanor," Bell told THR following a keynote talk at Create & Cultivate's pop-up program in Austin during SXSW. "It will be fun and just as explosive."
The actress, whose character Eleanor is mistakenly sent to a Heaven-like afterlife known as the Good Place, said she just recently received story pitches for seasons two and three. (The comedy was renewed for a 13-episode second season in January, but no decision has yet been made about a potential third season.)
Though she didn't say much about what's in store for her character, she hinted, "It is crazy. I just kept asking, 'How are you even going to show that? How did you think of that?' I'm so impressed with our writers room."
The comedy ended its first season with a shocking reveal that Eleanor and her neighbors Chidi (William Jackson Harper), Tahani (Jameela Jamil) and Jianyu/Jason (Manny Jacinto) were actually in a version of hell known as the Bad Place that Ted Danson's Michael had designed to trick them into believing they'd gone to the Good Place. While series creator Mike Schur disclosed the twist to Bell and Danson before they signed on for the project, the rest of the cast were clued in later during production. Bell said she filmed their "slack-jawed" and "completely stunned" reactions and plans on eventually releasing the video.
She kept the secret not just from the cast but from her husband, actor Dax Shepard. "My husband said throughout watching the season, 'I think Ted is underutilized. He's kind of just one-note,'" Bell recalled. "And I was just biting my lip, because he kind of has to be one-note."
While Eleanor was self-centered during her time on Earth, Bell has made a point of giving back. In addition to her work in film and TV, Bell is also the co-founder of This Bar Saves Lives, which makes snack bars and donates a nutritional packet to a child in need with every purchase. She was in Austin to speak about female entrepreneurship for the Create & Cultivate conference series.
“I think women thrive on communication and nurturing one another," she said. "It’s in our DNA. Women are not to be overlooked. We make change where we want to see it. We will stop at nothing."
Will her work with This Bar Saves Lives give her enough points to get into the Good Place? Bell certainly hopes so. “I'm trying to get to the Good Place," she said. "In truth, do any of us know anything? No, but I’m trying to."
The Good Place will return to NBC sometime next season.