Actress Ashley Bell may be best known for her haunting skills in “The Last Exorcism” movies, but lately she’s bulking up her resume with a variety of projects. She’s starring in a new raunchy indie romantic comedy, and she’s also currently showing off her live theater chops on Broadway. Plus, she’s behind the camera as director and producer of a documentary for a cause close to her heart. The 27-year-old spoke with FOX411 about all of the above.
FOX411: Let’s start with the new movie “Love & Air Sex”
Bell: Air sex is actually a real thing. It was invented in Japan. It's like air guitar meets karaoke meets pantomime sex, fully clothed… The world championships take place in Austin where this romantic comedy was filmed. The title so perfectly encapsulates the film because… there are these interwoven love stories and breakup stories set through the world of air sex.
FOX411: A lot of people are very familiar with your work in “The Last Exorcism” movies, what does it mean to you to mix things up?
Bell: I had been praying to do a romantic comedy forever. My mom is one of the founding members of the Groundlings in L.A. I've grown up watching her perform and in and out of improv classes, and when I read this script and Cathy, the character that I play… I was like “let the fight for this role begin. I want to be a part of this film.”
FOX411: That’s one project. Also tell us about your play.
Bell: I'm currently in “Machinal” on Broadway. This production is so exciting. It's at the Roundabout Theatre, the American Airlines Theater on 42nd street. It's going to be running until March 2… Lyndsey Turner directed it… She has a team of followers, the whole cast will do whatever she asks. She’s brilliant. Rebecca Hall is the lead of it. Her performance is just so exquisite every single night.
The story is based on the real life trial of Ruth Snyder, who was the first woman ever electrocuted in the state of New York… She's an ordinary woman going through this life in the 1920s, in this society, and what circumstances are around her that lead her to commit murder. It’s a fascinating play. It's huge. It's about humanity and isolation and being in a society that's very oppressive, and surprisingly there are a lot of ties to today. So it's fascinating.
FOX411: [And you have another] film on the way.
Bell: Definitely, yes. It's been a passion project of mine for a very long time, a project called “Love and Bananas.” I'm directing and producing a documentary about the plight of Asian elephants, which I know I've talked to you about before… and I just launched an Indiegogo campaign. We're going to go on a full elephant rescue, document it all, and expose the truth about what's happening to these creatures, and what you can do here in the states that directly impact their lives. There's only, I believe, 30,000 Asian elephants left so truly every one matters. There are no wild Asian elephants left in Cambodia and 75 percent of the jungle is gone, it's burnt. You can see clear-cut deforestation. So, this documentary aims to expose those truths and also to inspire the next generation that you need to think compassionately about animals, we can't take them for granted.
FOX411: Is there more to the scary movie legacy that you’ve left?
Bell: I think I've been exorcised. I think number two did it. I think Nell got all of her demons out of her.
For more of our interview with Ashley Bell click the video above!