Jillian Bell has been in the entertainment industry for more than a decade, but her first major breakthrough in the mainstream industry came in 2014 thanks to her role in Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill’s blockbuster 22 Jump Street. But even before that, Bell had already established herself among series aficionados with her role as incompetent office assistant Jillian Belk in the Comedy Central series Workaholics.
Since she announced herself to the mainstream, Jillian Bell has established herself as one of Hollywood’s top comic actresses. According to our calculations, it won’t be long before she can be counted among the big names like Melissa McCarthy, Tina Fey, and Amy Schumer. If you have ever seen any of her movies, you know that she clearly has all the comedic skills it takes. Channing Tatum even believes she is already there and believes that there is no one who makes Jonah Hill as hard as Jillian Bell.
Follow us as we guide you through some facts you need to know about Bell.
Facts About Comic Actress Jillian Bell
1. Jillian was raised in a family filled with casino employees
Jillian was born on April 25, 1984, in Las Vegas, Nevada, and had many of her family members working in the casino. No wonder her parents supported her choice of entertainment as a career. The talent for performing and entertaining people is in Bell’s veins.
Her grandmother Nonna, who is of Romanian descent, was the first woman to work at the reception desk of a casino in Las Vegas. As Bell revealed to Vanity Fair, Noona wore leather pants, had a breast enlargement, and dyed her hair red.
2. Jillian began taking improv classes at the age of 8
Jillian was a highly energetic child who never ran out of gas to burn. As a result, her parents enrolled her in ballet classes, but she was soon kicked out (we suspect due to lack of concentration), so they enrolled her in improvisation classes at the age of 8.
When she attended Bishop Gorman High School, the only private Catholic high school in Nevada, Jillian formed her own improvisation team. Overwhelmed by her improvisation skills, her friends voted her “Most Likely to Be Famous”.
3. She had a stint writing for Saturday Night Live
Hoping to use her comedic skills to enter the professional world, Bell moved to Los Angeles shortly after graduating high school in 2002. In Los Angeles, she joined the Groundlings and later did an interview for Saturday Night Live. She got the job the next day, not as an actress, but as a young writer.
Bell wrote for the 35th season in 2009. She wrote a total of 22 episodes before returning to LA.
4. Bell has worked with Paul Thomas Anderson and hopes to appear in drama roles in the future.
When she returned to LA, Bell played a supporting role in Bridesmaids, appeared in an episode of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” before the makers of “Workaholics” who had become aware of Bell at Comedy Cocktail. A monthly sketch show in Hollywood brought her into the series to portray Jillian Belk.
Her portrayal of her workaholic’s character was what attracted the drama-centric Paul Thomas Anderson, who gave her small roles in two of his films; first The Master (2012) and then Inherent Vice (2014). She told Esquire that working with PTA inspired her to try dramatic roles in the future.
5. She is the creator and writer of Comedy Central’s Idiotsitter
Bell has used her fame to create her own show Idiotsitter in collaboration with Charlotte Newhouse. The show was picked up by Comedy Central as a web series before it premiered on the channel on January 14, 2016.
6. Bell pitched the idea of a Splash reboot to Tatum’s Free Association production company and he bought the idea
Bell impressed Tatum at 22 Jump Street so much that he brought her onto the field for his production company. From her many ideas, Tatum threw herself into a gender-separated restart of Splash. Bell will play the character of Tom Hank, while Tatum will play mermaid/man.
7. Bell maintains a very close relationship with her sister Breanna Bell
Jillian is very close to her sister Breanna Bell. In 2016 she lived with her sister and her fiancé in a 5 bedroom house. With the help of her sister, Bell created and launched a T-shirt line, Neon Witch. They also plan to start their own production company.
8. Justin Timberlake was her childhood crush and Keith Morrison is one of her favorite people on the planet.
Bell was a big fan of JT’s NSYNC as a teenager. In a 2014 interview, she told the Huffington Post that her AOL password “had something to do with Justin Timberlake”. She was like a star when she first met him during her time with SNL.
Bell has a special place in her heart for Canadian radio journalist Keith Morrison, Dateline’s longtime NBC correspondent.