She’ll always be Veronica Mars in our hearts, but Kristen Bell certainly didn’t let her career stop there. She’s now one of Hollywood’s highest-profile leading ladies, and her work across both drama and comedy is beloved by audiences and critics alike. This listicle can barely contain the wide array of highlights from Bell’s career, but it’s a great place to start falling in love with her all over again.
10. Like Father
Kelsey Grammer joins Bell, Seth Rogen, and a hilarious ensemble cast on a cruise in this 2018 Netflix original comedy movie. It’s lighthearted and fun while still touching on very real topics in a way only these charming people can.
9. House of Lies
Character: Jeannie Van Der Hooven
Don Cheadle leads a group of MBA business experts in this Showtime series about management consultants. Bell is a partner at Kaan & Associates, and they have a very complicated relationship that only gets more tangles as the series goes on and she gets pregnant in real life and on-screen.
This overlooked 2009 road trip comedy has all the right elements – Bell, Jay Baruchel, Dan Fogler, and other nerds go on a cross-country road trip to Skywalker Ranch. Star Wars and Star Trek fandoms clash in epic dork battles, and the van alone is worth watching the entire movie to see, much less when they finally succeed in entering George Lucas’s fabled property.
7. When in Rome
Bell isn’t known for romcoms, but she certainly knows how to handle them well…maybe even too well. This 2010 gem finds her stealing coins from a fountain during a wedding, cursing every man whose wishes she stole to fall madly in love with her. So we get to see a bunch of random losers like Will Arnett, Danny DeVito, Jon Heder, and Dax Shepard (her real-life husband) try to basically rape her while she pursues hunky Josh Duhamel.
6. Gossip Girl
Character: Gossip Girl (voice)
She’s not on screen, but Bell provides the narrator’s voice for this uber-popular CW teen drama. She’s a genius for targeting the young audiences who will grow up to love her for the rest of her career/life.
5. Bad Moms/Bad Moms Christmas
This 2016 comedy teams Bell with the likes of Mila Kunis, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Christina Applegate as a group of mothers with very different standards. They aren’t exactly the best moms, but they do care about their kids in a way that made audiences laugh enough for a sequel.
4. Forgetting Sarah Marshall/Get Him to the Greek
Character: Sarah Marshall
Kristen Bell wasn’t an unknown in 2008, but this movie elevated her to a level of super stardom that’s unrivaled by all but the most elite A-listers. It’s one of the funniest movies of all time, and Bell plays the titular character in an awkward love triangle (square?) involving Russell Brand, Jason Segel, and Mila Kunis.
3. The Good Place
Character: Eleanor Shellstrop
This show is ending after season 4, and it’s probably a good thing. That’s not to say anything bad about Bell, Ted Danson, or the rest of the cast – they simply already explored a ton about the afterlife. In fact, of all the shows about the afterlife, The Good Place is the funniest and most watchable, even if it jumps the shark a little.
Walt Disney’s 53rd animated feature film is an instant classic, thanks in no small part to Bell’s Anna. Her relationship with Idina Menzel’s Elsa forms the sisterly bond that captured the hearts of young girls everywhere. Hell, I’m a grown ass man, and I still love Frozen.
1. Veronica Mars
Character: Veronica Mars
Veronica Mars is the role that brought Bell to our attention, and we pushed to get a film and series reboot made. Thanks to a new generation of video streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime, we’ll hopefully get to see a lot more Veronica Mars and other Bell passion projects. She deserves the power she has in Hollywood, and we can’t wait to see what she does next.