News that The Good Place was going to end in season 4 did not feel like the good place at all. Creator Mike Schur decided he’d reached the end of the story, and the cast supported him. So Kristen Bell has played Eleanor for the last forking time, and that’s some really sad shirt.
Bell was on her final The Good Place panel for the Television Critics Association today. She got emotional and teared up talking about saying goodbye to the show. The Good Place returns September 26 on NBC, but you can find out how Bell felt first right here.
Why Kristen Bell’s last day on ‘The Good Place’ was ‘the best worst feeling’
Saying goodbye is always hard. On a show like The Good Place, it’s even harder. The show is as warm and positive behind the scenes as it is when we watch it.
“It was the best worst feeling you could have,” Bell said. “Usually you’re notified after a show is wrapped that it’s not continuing. We knew ahead of time. We knew why and it was because of the meaning of the show and it was because we were telling a story that deserved its ending. So it felt a little bit like what I imagine sending your kid off to college feels like. It’s a good and bad feeling.”
The Good Place atmosphere also helped Bell stay positive when faced with the bittersweet finale. She teared up describing the ending.
“There’s still a grateful heart behind all of it,” Bell said. “I refuse to spend my final moments being allowed to play with these people in misery. I think that would be pitiful. Although believe me, I have the instinct to cry through almost everything. I mean, I cry at a Folgers commercial but I didn’t want to let that ruin it because it is a gift. It really does feel like we did it for a reason and when you see the ending, you’ll know. I just feel proud.”
Kristen Bell believes Eleanor has earned a spot in ‘The Good Place’
When The Good Place began, Eleanor knew she didn’t belong. She was not a good person. But, through trying to fit in, and through trying to teach Michael (Ted Danson) about creating a truly good place, Eleanor has become more worthy of The Good Place. Bell agrees she deserves to be there.
“Yes, I do,” Bell said. “Based on her emotional development I do.”
Whether the Judge (Maya Rudolph) agrees remains to be seen.
“I do personally believe Eleanor deserves to be in The Good Place, but you’re going to have to watch to find out whether or not that’s true,” she said.
Eleanor learned to speak like Kristen Bell on ‘The Good Place’
The Good Place has its own unique dialogue with swear words replaced with nice words like fork and shirt. One aspect of the way Eleanor talks was pure Kristen Bell.
“I added Eleanor’s casual name-calling to everyone,” Bell said. “Dude, babe, listen chick, come on bud, hey man. The dude and man and chick and babe tangled within each sentence for Eleanor was something I wanted early on and Mike loved. That stayed a consistent part of her voice which I adore.”
Bell doesn’t swear like The Good Place in real life though.
“I don’t, no,” Bell said. “I still love the old swears. I’ll never get over ‘em. They’re f*cking great.”
‘The Good Place’ gave Kristen Bell’s voice a rest
Kristen Bell will always speak out about what’s important to her. She’s been publicly working to reunite families separated at the border. Making The Good Place, however, let her say things she needed to simply by acting.
“There are these opposing theories in my head about ways to be: state my opinion fighting for good or do it with my art?” Bell said. “I vacillate between the two and this is one where I felt like I really did it with my art, where I was a part of saying some things that I wanted to put out in the world. I was really lucky to be able to be offered a job that was both creatively fulfilling and emotionally fulfilling to my sort of maternal instincts towards the world.”
Kristen Bell will take a break after ‘The Good Place’
As much as we’d love The Good Place to last many more years, Kristen Bell deserves a break. She’s also had Veronica Mars and the Bad Moms movies while appearing on The Good Place.
“I think currently, I’m in the mood to take a short break because I have worked a lot the last couple years,” Bell said. “I don’t ever want that to be at the expense to my family. I will mow down anyone in the parking lot that is standing between me and tucking my children in, because I like being an actress and I find a great amount of fun in it and a great amount of responsibility in the platform but I also, it is my ultimate responsibility to be a good mom.”
The Good Place allowed Bell to be a present mom and star on a meaningful show. Maybe it could happen again.
“I hope to be able to have both again, and I don’t know if I will because some jobs are just fun and some jobs you get to say something and it’s fun,” Bell said. “I hope to get both again but this is a pretty lucky experience.”
‘Veronica Mars’ makes it a little easier to say goodbye to ‘The Good Place’
The success of the Hulu season of Veronica Mars has led creator Rob Thomas to speculate about continuing to do followup streaming seasons. Bell is on board, but there’s no rush.
“It’s not really how [quickly] I would want [to do it] so much as holes in everyone’s schedules,” Bell said. “The reality is that this ending opens me up a little bit, but Rob has other pilots that he’s doing as well as the other cast members. So it’s kind of like a puzzle you have to put together to find the timeframe. It’s all logistics.”