The announcement was made by "Heroes" executive producer/creator Tim Kring, who said: "This was not easy to pull off. But since we're an ensemble show, with many arcs playing out through the year, we found a way to jump into a small window in her schedule. I pitched her the idea we have for the character, which she loved, and we're off and running."
"Kristen Bell is a very special actress," said Universal Media Studios President Katherine Pope. "With so many studios chasing her in both film and TV, we're beyond delighted that she chose to star on our show. Viewers are going to love her in this role. The depth and complexity that she brings as an actress is a perfect fit for 'Heroes.'"
Most recently, Bell starred for three seasons in the title role of the Joel Silver-produced series "Veronica Mars," in which she played a smart, fearless apprentice private investigator dedicated to solving her wealthy seaside town's toughest mysteries. For her role, Bell won a Saturn Award for "Best Actress on Television" and was nominated for two Teen Choice Awards: "Choice Breakout Actress" and "Choice Breakout TV Show."
She will be seen next in the title role of Judd Apatow's romantic comedy for Universal, "Forgetting Sarah Marshall"; co-stars in The Weinstein Company's "Fanboys"; and supplies the voice of Marybelle in 20th Century Fox's animated feature, "Sheepish" — all of which will be released in 2008. In addition, this fall, Bell narrates the new series "Gossip Girl."
Bell also recently starred in the sci-fi thriller, "Pulse" released by The Weinstein Company in August, 2006, and she played the kidnapped daughter of the President in the David Mamet thriller, "Spartan," opposite Val Kilmer.
Bell starred in 2004's camp musical "Reefer Madness" on Showtime, which was based on the hit play, in which she also starred Off-Broadway. Previously, the actress was best-known for her recurring role in the HBO series "Deadwood." Her television credits also include a lead role in the critically acclaimed made-for-television movie, "Gracie's Choice," opposite Anne Heche and Diane Ladd for Lifetime, and guest-starring roles on such series as "American Dreams," "The Shield" and "Everwood."
On stage, Bell appeared in the Los Angeles Opera's all-star production of the Stephen Sondheim musical, "A Little Night Music," just prior to beginning production on "Veronica Mars." Previously, she starred in the Broadway revival of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" with Liam Neeson and Laura Linney, the Broadway production of "Tom Sawyer," and she played the title role in the World Premiere production of the musical "Sneaux."
Originally from Detroit, Michigan, Bell attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. She currently lives in Los Angeles.