ThatsItLA had a chance to talk to Jillian Bell of Godmothered, who plays Eleanor, a bright and optimistic fairy godmother in training. She finds herself saving the fairy godmother practice when embarks on a quest to find Mackenzie Walsh in Boston, Mass. The only snag in this altruistic adventure is that she is still years away from becoming a full-fledged fairy godmother, and Mackenize is not the ten-year-old girl that Eleanor read about. She is now a single mother of two working at a dead-end job at a local news station that ranks dead last in the ratings.
During the virtual press conference, Bell talked about the costumes that she had to wear during the production of Godmothered and how her princess dreams came true!
Though fairy godmothers may help provide those in need with fancy ballroom gowns to impress prince charming, Jillian Bell’s Eleanor does not go through any noticeable changes. Bell didn’t have any costume changes. “Yeah, I didn’t really have a costume change; besides, I’m in PJs at one point, but for the most part, I am in a corset and a ball gown the entire time we shot,” she said. Though it may look uncomfortable, she said it helped with her posture, which helped her get into the character.
Bell recalled a time when they shot in 17-degree weather, and her hands were shaking uncontrollably. But besides that, she loved it. Although, she regrets not asking to keep the costume. “I wish I could’ve kept one because I like to keep one costume for everything I do, but this was a-a pretty massive costume to ask for.”
Still, the costume designer gave the dress mobility and some warmth to make it easier for Bell to move and give her the comfort she needed during the colder scenes. “She made sure that I was warm when we were shooting very cold scenes,” Bell said. “She made sure that I can move around a lot because it was very physical, uh, most of the scenes.”
But one of the surprising facts about the dress is that it was inspired by something you’d find at a bridal gown shop. It helped frame the corset and the ballroom gowns seen in the “Godmothered.” “I actually went to David’s Bridal, and I tried on all different types of wedding dresses. And they were all huge ball gowns,” Bell laughed. “And I remember seeing other women there that were trying on dresses to be married. And they were looking at me, and I was in the poofiest thing falling out of the dressing room, and they were all like congratulations but looking at me.”
And getting a chance to play a godmother in a Disney movie was an absolute dream of Bell’s. “I mean, who doesn’t grow up wanting to be a Disney princess? I mean, that’s the goal,” she said. “I’d always been looking for something, uh, some kind of a magical being to play because my goal in life was to play a witch. And this is the closest I’ve ever gotten to it.”
Bell admits to being inspired by the original godmother in Disney’s Cinderella (1950), but she also wanted to make the character her own by using different beats. The intent was not to make it better.
Aside from all the magic of playing a character like Eleanor, Godmothered was an opportunity for Bell to work with director Sharon Maguire, of “Bridget Jones” and “Bridget Jones’s Baby” fame. She described the work climate and getting to improvise with Isla Fisher for the very first time versus Utkarsh Ambudkar, for whom she worked with twice.
Godmothered premieres on Disney Plus December 4.
Read our review of Godmothered HERE.