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Creating ‘a happy accident’: All-rounder Lake Bell snags stellar cast for latest film

Lake Bell enjoyed her time in New Mexico while filming “Shot Caller” a few years ago.

The drama was released a few weeks ago in theaters and via on-demand streaming services. She was the only female in the film.

“It was interesting to be the only woman,” she says during a recent interview. “But while I was there, I stayed at a lavender farm and it was beautiful. I can’t wait to go back.”

During her time filming “Shot Caller,” Bell was also working on her latest film, “I Do … Until I Don’t,” which is playing at High Ridge in Albuquerque.

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For this film, Bell wore many hats. She wrote, directed, starred in and produced the film.

“This is my second time taking on multiple roles,” she says. “I do enjoy the experience and it’s multidimensional. The experience of it is thrilling.”

The film follows three couples stuck in the web of a jaded filmmaker looking to prove that marriage should be a seven-year contract with an option to renew.

Along with Bell, the film stars Ed Helms, Mary Steenburgen, Paul Reiser, Amber Heard, Wyatt Cenac and Dolly Wells.

“I feel very lucky that some of those people are just my friends,” she says of the ensemble cast. “I wrote the part for Ed and I’ve known him for years. Then it was a matter of me being uber fans of Mary and Paul. I courted them for a while. I didn’t know the chemistry they both had on camera. You could see the musicality of comedic timing. They complemented each other. It was all a happy accident.”

While snagging a stellar ensemble cast seemed easy, Bell began working on the script nine years ago.

She says the script went through many revisions before getting the green light and it took 20 days to film.

“I got notes from people and adjusted,” she says. “It was a very inclusive process. Then I was a producer, as well, and building the team of creatives was fun. That’s when it got exciting. Being a producer is something you can’t phone in. You have a responsibility to all the people that are working with and for you. That’s the hardest part of the movie.”

Bell, who is married with two children, is thankful that the film is sweet spirited.

“The film is a reminder to me not to bail when things get tough,” she says. “Marriage is hard. I wrote this lovingly from the perspective of the relationships that I’ve had. It’s deeply personal for me. Everybody has an opinion about relationships and marriage. This is a look at three different couples and their challenges.”

SEND ME YOUR TIPS: If you know of a movie filming in the state, or are curious about one, email film@ABQjournal.com. Follow me on Twitter @agomezART.

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