As proven with “In A World…,” her directorial debut and Sundance hit (winning Best Screenplay in addition to distribution from Roadside Attractions), writer/actress Lake Bell possesses a talent for deft, comedic explorations of her passions and the struggles surrounding them, which in the film’s case, is voiceover acting and a male-dominated industry. The film hits theatres soon so Bell is already preparing for her follow-up project and when we spoke with her recently, she dropped a few hints as to its freshly lived thematic direction.
When we chatted with Bell in May during Sundance London, she described her next film as “an ensemble comedy”—similar to the set-up of “In A World,” which stars Bell alongside a supporting cast of Demetri Martin, Rob Corddry, and Michaela Watkins. But while the film did feature a subplot revolving around the marriage between Cordrry and Watkins, Bell’s follow-up effort—currently titled “What’s The Point”—aims to dig much deeper into the meaning of matrimony.
“I started writing ‘What’s The Point’ almost right after ‘In A World’ when I didn’t believe in marriage, and now two years later, I’m married,” Bell says. “So I think I use writing as a form of therapy, along with comedy; I certainly started ‘In A World’ because I wanted to figure out some daddy issues, and this is the next incarnation of what I’m thinking about. I’m massaging out some theories that I have about marriage in a time when we live longer: [Is it] a conceit that is somewhat archaic? Or arguably archaic?”
Bell is quick to express the project’s early stage nature, explaining it’s “still in the womb, so we have to let it blossom.” But its thematic bedrock is intriguing simply from the insight into interpersonal relationships contained within “In A World,” so as Bell’s ensemble follow-up—“an unromantic romance” as she calls it—slowly takes shape, you’d be wise to take notice.
“In A World” opens in theatres August 9th (read our review here), and stay tuned for more from our chat with Bell.