"You don't see as many boob fights in movies as you'd like to," Kristen Bell tells me. She's referring to that scene with co-star Melissa McCarthy in The Boss, in which the two women take turns slapping one another's breasts during a dispute. "I was so happy when I read this scene," Bell says. "When we did the boob scene, I made sure to stretch out the straps of my bra and add a chicken cutlet at the bottom of the cup so they would hang low and [Melissa] would have a lot to work with when she was playing Gepetto with my basset hounds."
The Boss centers around Melissa McCarthy's Michelle, a titan of industry sent to prison for insider trading, and her former assistant Claire (Bell), a single mother trying to juggle it all. Once Michelle is released from prison, she lands on the couch of Claire, who has lost interest in dating. But Michelle has plans to throw Claire back in the dating scene, and in a particularly hilarious scene, Michelle probes Claire's breasts — verbally and physically. "I have a personal philosophy that everything deserves to be loved and everything deserves to be made fun of, myself included," Bell says.
Breasts are a big deal as they are not a big deal: More than half the population of the world have them, yet they carry a huge cultural significance. They not only feed newborn children, but are wildly sexualized in American culture. But to Bell, boobs are just plain comical. "Boobs are funny and underused in my opinion. They are just strange lumps of fat. They're really just circles, and they have this unbelievable power over men, and some women I guess," she reasons. "But they're really just circles. And it's like, really? Everyone is brought to their knees over these lumpy circles?"
In Bell's boobalicious scene, her character Claire is still attempting to leave the house for a date wearing a nursing bra and a baggy sweatshirt. "There's a funny stigma about nursing bras, and anyone who has had a baby can relate to not wanting to give them up, because they are so comfortable and it reminds you of having had your child," the mother of two says. "Usually by the time you're done with them they've been stretched in so many directions, it doesn't give you an appealing shape."
While there were no body doubles used in the scene, Bell says slapping and being slapped by McCarthy was no big deal. "We were both a little sore afterwards," she admits, "but at that point in filming we were both so comfortable with each other. I had already seen her vagina in the tanning scene. I had mopped up her drool and been inside her mouth in the teeth whitening scene, so it felt like no big deal to punch each other in the tits for a few minutes."
Bell's humorous take on her own anatomy is an admirable trait. Her ability to poke fun at herself is something that might not come as easily to every celebrity in the spotlight. "Everyone gets different boobs, and they all look different. The whole concept is funny to me. They are a goldmine for comedy, I think."
I, ahem, support that.
The Boss hits theaters Friday, April 8.
Images: Universal; YouTube/GifIt (2)