Sometimes actors have to go through profound physical transformations for a role. On the set of her new movie CHiPS, Kristen Bell opted to undergo one herself. No, she didn’t gain or lose a lot of weight — at least not in the usual sense. Instead, Kristen Bell stopped pumping her breast milk while on set, and her reasoning was hilarious.
In her role as the wife of real-life husband Dax Shepard, Bell had a very specific look in mind for her character. Namely, she wanted to look as if she’d gotten a distractingly obvious boob job. Rather than rely on makeup or computer graphics, Bell decided to go a more natural route. She stopped pumping her breast milk — causing her breasts to become, at times, painfully engorged — and the results were amazingly effective.
In an interview on Late Night With Seth Meyers, Bell explained that she wanted to look dramatically different from her usual physique. “So I didn’t pump for a full day,” she told Meyers. “And I said to the kids, ‘Daddy’s making a movie, go to the fridge, the food truck is closed.'”
Bell laughed off suggestions that her husband, who also wrote and directed the movie, was sexualizing her in the role.
“I’m like, ‘First of all, nobody sexualizes me but me, okay? I suggested it,'” she said in the interview with Meyers.
While putting off breast pumping worked wonders for her role in the movie, Bell didn’t enjoy the experience. She described abstaining from pumping as physically painful, making the whole situation an uncomfortable one. Being engorged like that can be deeply unpleasant for a woman who’s breastfeeding, but Bell thought the results were worth the pain. Now that’s what we call suffering in the name of your art!