Jillian Bell finally gets a long overdue starring role in a major festival release, Brittany Runs a Marathon. It feels safe to call Bell a comedy veteran by this point (not to mention she’s been in two Paul Thomas Anderson movies, which she discusses ahead), but Brittany Runs a Marathon, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this week, feels like an important point in her career – a funny and surprisingly poignant film about self-esteem and body image.
On the day I met Bell off Park City’s Main Street, we had both been out maybe a little too late at the afterparty for her film. (For the record, she had everything to celebrate.) What transpired was perhaps the slap-happiest interview I’ve ever been a part of. There were moments where we were both just incomprehensibly giggling (to the chagrin, I think, of the publicist in the room). So here’s how that all went.
I went to your party last night and I stayed too late and now I’m really tired.
I did the same thing.
Well, you had a reason to do that. You were celebrating your success and I was just there mooching.
Oh, but you did Starbucks this morning, though.
But I poured half and half into it instead of skim milk.
Oh no! I’m not a coffee person.
I don’t know what half and half even is, except I know I don’t like it.
So you’re having what we call a rough morning?
I’m drinking it anyway.
Yeah, it doesn’t look great. I don’t drink coffee though so I wouldn’t know.
I only drink iced coffee.
I made a decision I had to stop drinking Diet Mountain Dew to wake up. But on a day like today people always want to comment on me drinking iced coffee in winter.
Oh, god, they love to comment.
I have this dumb line I always respond with like, “Oh, you wouldn’t drink hot Pepsi in the winter, would you?”
I think if you drink hot Pepsi, you’re a murderer. Correct? You have to see if there are bodies.
No one drinks hot Pepsi.
I hope that’s the title of this article. “No one drinks hot Pepsi.”
“If you drink hot Pepsi, you’re a murderer,” that’s a direct quote from you.
You think there are hot Pepsi fans?
I don’t know. But we are going to find out.
Let’s hope. Hashtag, hotpepsi.
Last night, people were trying to give you accolades and you didn’t seem to like that.
I’m not great with compliments. It’s hard to take compliments. Anyone who takes compliments too well is also a murderer. They drink hot Pepsi.
There’s going to be one person out there reading this who both loves receiving compliments and loves hot Pepsi.
That is so true. I’m offending one very specific group. But I think it’s difficult. Especially because, the people in this movie, the cast, is so incredible. And I just want to praise them as much as I can.
I live right off the New York City Marathon route. It’s one of my favorite days. So, of course, I’m going to love a movie about someone trying to run the marathon.
Do you bring a sign?
I don’t bring a sign.
What would I write?
So you are anti signs?
I’m not anti sign.
There has to be someone you could have made a sign for?
Teri Hatcher ran in it this past year. I guess I could have made a Teri Hatcher sign.
You should just pick a name. Roy.
Yeah. Roy Smith.
Oh, so both names? Like Frank McGillicuddy?
Frank McGillicuddy? Do you think there’s a lot of Frank McGillicuddys?
It’s Lucy Ricardo’s maiden name.
Well, if you make a Frank McGillicuddy sign, how special will that person feel running by?
Did you actually film during the marathon?
Am I allowed to talk about that?
Wait, is this a secret?
I think the film is about a woman who sets a goal to run the New York City Marathon and whether that happens or not…
But it’s literally the title. Brittany Runs a Marathon.
Well, but does she? Maybe she doesn’t. We don’t know.
We should just make up spoilers then.
Did you love the hula-hoop scene? Was that your favorite thing in the film?
Oh, yes, the famous hula hoop scene. My friend who ran the marathon said the worst thing is you train all year, you think you’re doing great, then at like mile 18 someone in a full Chewbacca costume, or whatever, will run right past you.
And you feel like garbage. Those people who get so dressed up like that…