Kristen Bell and Kirby Howell-Baptiste star in the new movie
QUEENPINS about criminal couponers
Kristen Bell plays Connie Kaminski in the upcoming movie Queenpins. Connie is, among other things, an extreme couponer who turns into a coupon counterfeiter, an extreme criminal of a different sort.
Connie and her friend JoJo, played by Kirby Howell-Baptiste, take coupon clipping, trying to save a few dollars, to another level by creating a multimillion-dollar scam operation.
Coupons can lead to some prized perks, free food, discount plane tickets, travel upgrades. But so can being a successful actress. Bell said, unlike the character she plays in the movie, she is not good at negotiating good deals for herself in real life.
“I did not get a good deal on this house. In fact quite the opposite. We bought it from flippers,” Bell said. “I don’t think I got a good deal on my car. I got just like what the car costs. I don’t know how to talk about, like, numbers of the car.”
That doesn’t mean good deals don’t fall in her lap unexpectedly. She said one of the perks of being a well-known actress is people like to give away things to her for free.
“I have gotten a lot of good deals,” Bell said. “The good deal is, as an actress, the minute you become a performer, you get everything for free. That’s the reason you gotta be nice and grateful because you’re getting a lot of gifts all the time from companies who do want to show you their products.”
Bell added that she tries not to take advantage of her fame. When she has a chance to help out smaller businesses or brands, she pays for it.
“We were talking about this before and I just want to be really clear, if it’s a small company, you pay full price,” she said.
Howell-Baptiste’s character turns to a life of crime when trying to follow the rules to make a living doesn’t work out well. She was asked if she has ever done anything that might be considered criminal but was ethically the right thing to do, one of the choices her character JoJo in the movie has to make.
“I hold ethics at a higher standard than legality,” Howell-Baptiste said. “Almost everybody breaks the law every single day. If you’re driving, doing 40 in a 30 zone, you’re breaking the law. You’re technically being a criminal. To me ethics are different. I believe very much in ethics.”
Bell said she has been under the microscope for “quite some time.”
“I can’t get away with a lot of illegal stuff,” she said.
But she has a habit of speaking her mind and telling her friends and family how to act in an ethical manner.
“I’m like too verbal diarrhea honest,” Bell said. “I like to sleep at night and I gotta get things off my chest.”
For example, she said if she was driving, say like picking her kids up from school and giving them a snack for the drive home, and she passes a homeless person on the corner, she will take the snack from her kids and give it to the homeless person.
“Even if my kid cries, we’ll use it as a teaching lesson, as you’re going to get food in 10 minutes,” Bell said. “We don’t know when that person can get food. You’ll get food in 10 minutes, so like, chill. Some people might call child protective services. I don’t know.”
“Queenpins” also stars Vince Vaughn and Paul Walter Hauser.
Queenpins, written and directed by Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly, opens Sept. 10 in select Cinemark theaters nationwide. It will be released for streaming on Paramount+ on Sept. 30.