NEW YORK — Kristen Bell is such a fan of "Homeland" that she just had to tell the cast of the hit Showtime drama at a recent party.
"I felt at one point one of them kind of take a step back like, 'She's a little intense,' and then I got insecure like, 'Oh, no, you're THAT person,'" she relates.
Now Bell is sharing a network with her favorite show with her new series, "House of Lies," about a management consulting firm that specializes in damage control. The show debuts Sunday night at 10 p.m. EST on Showtime.
The 31-year-old Bell first wowed critics playing a teen private investigator on the smart series "Veronica Mars," which debuted in 2004 and aired for three seasons. The film industry took notice and began casting her in such movies as "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and "Couples Retreat." She also narrates "Gossip Girl" as the show's title character.
Bell realized she missed TV but wanted to do something edgier than anything she had done before. She also liked the idea of being part of an ensemble cast. She found what she was looking in "House of Lies."
The blistering comedy stars Don Cheadle as a slick, ruthless management consultant. Bell plays the ambitious Jeannie, who loves the high life but can flirt with the low life.
"If he's a great actor he's an even cooler person and I don't think there's a ton of people you can say that about," Bell says about Cheadle. "But he's a really genuine, grounded, nice, funny guy."
Bell, who grew up in suburban Detroit, trained in opera and performed in community theater. She went on to study at New York University where she won a role her senior year in the 2001 Broadway musical "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," which ran less than a month.
Bell says she misses musical theater but doesn't feel comfortable leaving her family and friends in California for a long stretch of time in New York. She is engaged to Dax Shepard, who co-stars on the drama "Parenthood" on NBC. The two recently produced and starred in a film together called "Outrun" which is expected to hit theaters next summer. Shepard also directed.
"We actually grew closer by spending every single minute together for about nine weeks," she says. "We drove to work together and we came home together. ... It's very organic for us to spend every moment together. We're severely co-dependent. It's a disease!"
Alicia Rancilio covers entertainment for The Associated Press. Follow her at http:/