The trouble with being multi-talented is that you can't be in more than one place at once. And so it is with Lake Bell. The actress has been a reliable scene-stealer over the last decade or so, but she's been mostly absent from our screens of late, having spent much of the last few years prepping her thoroughly enjoyable directorial debut "In A World..." (she was even missing from much of the last season of the excellent "Children's Hospital," although she directed a couple of episodes).
But with "In A World..." having premiered at Sundance to strong reviews and on its way to theaters later this summer, we should be seeing more of Bell on screen before too long, with the actress signing on to a big studio movie that's currently prepping to shoot. We caught up with Bell over the weekend at Sundance London, where "In A World..." was getting its European premiere, and the actress revealed she's joining the cast of Disney's baseball movie "Million Dollar Arm."
Bell told us, "I'm starting a big studio movie, as an actor for hire, for Disney. It's called 'Million Dollar Arm.' It's cool, it's unlike anything I've ever done, which is always the goal, to keep things fresh and interesting." The film, written by Tom McCarthy ("The Station Agent," "The Visitor") and to be directed by "Lars and The Real Girl" helmer Craig Gillespie, follows a sports agent (to be played by Jon Hamm) who sets up a reality TV show in India to find cricket players to bring over to major league baseball in the U.S. Bell didn't spill the beans on the nature of her role, but she'll join "Life Of Pi" actor Suraj Sharma, Alan Arkin and "The Daily Show" vet Aasif Mandvi in the project.
We'll be seeing her back on screens before then, though, as the upcoming fifth season of "Children's Hospital" sounds like it'll be heavier on Dr. Cat Black than the fourth. "I am in a ton of the new season of 'Children's Hospital,' and I directed two that I'm really proud of. And I'm in one of the ones I directed, 'cause they were like 'You just made a whole movie, I think you can handle it.'" And she's planning on using her downtime on "Million Dollar Arm" to get going on work for her second feature, which she described to us as "an ensemble comedy," telling us she likes to write while on other gigs: "When I'm in an acting job, in someone else's machine, you're still part of the energy of the industry, and feeling the creativity around you, but your responsibilities are smaller."
"Million Dollar Arm" should be out in 2014, while Bell said that Roadside Attractions have slated "In A World..." for an August 9th release date. For more on that film, keep an eye out for our full interview with Bell later in the week.