When Dax Shepard was writing the screenplay for the big-screen update of the popular late ‘70s motorcycle cop show ChiPs — which he also stars in and directed — it would only be natural to assume that he would write a part for his wife and frequent collaborator Kristen Bell. As Bell told us, however, that wasn’t the case at first:
“He did (say he had a part for me), but then he hesitated for the next few months,” Bell recalled when we spoke with her about the film. “Because he said he needs the character to be very unlikable, and he was worried that I can’t be unlikable. To which I responded, ‘Get ready for the next week of your life, I’m going to be very unlikable.’”
But Bell added that Shepard had another issue: “He had a genuine concern that because we’re a real-life couple, people would subconsciously even want to see us together, and that’s not the plotline of the movie.”
In fact, Bell’s character, the ex-wife of Shepard’s pro-racer-turned-highway-cop Jon Baker, is so mean toward him that you really do root for him to get her out of his life once and for all. Does he or doesn’t he? You’ll have to watch ChiPs — starring Shepard, Michael Pena and the highly unlikable (but still likable no matter how hard she tries) Kristen Bell — when it opens this Friday (March 24).