Jillian Bell, 32, will star in a remake of Ron Howard’s classic 1984 movie Splash with Channing Tatum. However, unlike the original film, Tatum will play the mermaid – rather, merman – Deadline reported.
Where the original film had a man (Tom Hanks) fall in love with a mermaid (Darryl Hannah), the new film will have a woman (Bell) fall in love with a merman (Tatum). Marja-Lewis Ryan was hired to write the new version for Disney.
Here’s a look at Bell’s career.
1. She Wrote for ‘Saturday Night Live’ for a Single Season
Bell tried to get into Hollywood through Saturday Night Live after she was a member of The Groundlings and the Straight Jacket Society in Los Angeles. She didn’t join the cast, but she was hired to write. She even earned an Emmy nomination as a member of the writers’ room for the 2009-2010 season.
“I had the interview on a Monday, and Tuesday I was working there,” Bell told Variety.
The Las Vegas-native only lasted a season before she moved back to Los Angeles. She got the part of Jullian Belk on Comedy Central’s Workaholics and a part on Curb Your Enthusiasm. She even landed a small part in Bridesmaids.
2. Bell Has Made Two Movies With Paul Thomas Anderson
When one thinks of writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson, serious art house dramas usually come to mind. But he has a wicked sense of humor and spotted something in Bell in Workaholics. He gave her small parts in his last two films, The Master and Inherent Vice.
In an interview with Esquire, she said she’d like to do some more serious dramatic movies in the future. She explained:
“For right now I’m going to do a lot of comedy, which is great because I love it. But I would eventually like to do something dramatic. I had a very small part on The Master with Paul Thomas Anderson and just getting to watch Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix do what they do is amazing. That is something I would eventually love to do, yeah.”
3. She Stars on the Comedy Central Series ‘Idiotsitter’
Bell and her writing partner Charlotte Newhouse, another Groundlings alum, star in Comedy Central’s Idiotsitter. Newhouse stars as the babysitter who has to look after the adult spoiled woman Bell plays. The series launched on the web before it moved to Comedy Central to air on TV.
“We pitched them a few TV shows, and that was the only one where they were like, ‘Well, that’s kind of interesting. But we’re still not sure,'” Bell told Cosmopolitan when asked about how the show came about. “And we were like, ‘Great! That’s encouraging! We’re going to write it!’ So we wrote it and gave it to them, and they said, ‘This is super funny.’ But we didn’t have anything showing our chemistry and our writing together, so they asked us to do it as a web series and we thought it was a great opportunity.”
4. She Previously Worked With Tatum in ’22 Jump Street
If you’ve seen 22 Jump Street, then you’ve seen Bell’s comedic skills at work. She played Mercedes, a role that proved to be her breakthrough. She later scored a role in The Night Before with Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
However, in an interview with Nerdreport, Bell revealed that Idtiotsitter was in development before 22 Jump Street.
“I had already had my own relationship with Comedy Central through doing Workaholics,” Bell said. “They had asked me for other projects and this was something my brand new partner and I, the first thing we wrote together was Idiotsitter. So we got really lucky.”
5. She Really, Really Loves Justin Timberlake & *NSYNC
Bell is a big fan of Justin Timberlake and *NSYNC. While on Conan in January 2016 (video above), she said that seeing Timberlake in person while working on SNL left her stunned. What followed was one embarrassing moment that involved her yelling out, “Put a penis in that butt.”
In a 2014 Huffington Post interview, Bell said that her AOL username had to be a reference to Timberlake. She said:
I definitely had an AOL account when I was 14, but I don’t remember what my screen name was. I’m sure it had something to do with Justin Timberlake because I was in love with *NSYNC. So probably something like CurlyHeadSingerNumber1Fan. With that said, I would also like to put it out there that I made out with a lot of boys in high school and wasn’t a nerd.