Jillian Bell on ‘Brittany Runs a Marathon’ and Chasing Down Roles

Jillian Bell on ‘Brittany Runs a Marathon’ and Chasing Down Roles

Brittany undergoes a dramatic transformation. Did you?

I actually lost 40 pounds doing the role. I wanted to experience what she goes through in her physical journey, and I thought it would connect me to the character more, which it really, truly did. I’d never trained for even a 5K, so to start running for the first time and figure out what it’s like to eat very clean — it sounds small, but it was very big for me.

This is your second film, right after “Sword of Trust,” with Michaela Watkins. How did that happen?

Michaela is one of my favorite people on the planet. I met her through Groundlings. I remember calling her to say, “There’s this thing I’m about to do, and I don’t want to pressure you, but please, please, please do it. It’s very special.” I really want to surround myself with talented people that have great hearts, and she’s got an A-plus in both columns. Then she recommended me for “Sword of Trust.” So now we just keep saying, “Let’s keep the train rolling.”

You famously smoked weed for the first time a couple of years back while shooting “Rough Night.”

[Laughing] The thing my mom is the most proud of. It’s so funny because I’ve done so many projects with people who are very supportive of the marijuana movement, if you will. But, yeah, that was the first time that I just felt like I want to try it. And I got it from Ilana Glazer, which is the coolest story. I mean, I’ve done so many seasons of “Workaholics” and worked with Seth Rogen, and I was like, Oh, it would be really cool to get it from Ilana. And she was like, “I’m honored that you asked me.” She’s a good friend.

So you’re a convert?

I don’t do it often, but now that people know that I finally tried it for the first time at, like, 32 years old, everyone gives it to me as gifts. So there’s a whole section in my closet that’s just pot.

You’ve said that when you wrote for “S.N.L.,” you saved your best material for yourself.

Yeah, which sounds very selfish. I just always thought that if there was a chance I would ever get to host, I would love to do some of my favorite stuff that I did at Groundlings. I was like, I think I might hold onto those.

Was it worth holding out?

I don’t know, because I haven’t hosted. No one’s called. I have a lot of texts from my mother, but not from “S.N.L.”

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