Interview with Catherine Bell, Voice of "Red"
by Tom McCarthy
October 26, 2005
It seems a shame for someone with the looks of
Catherine Bell to hide behind the image of a cartoon
character, but it's a testament to her versatility
as an actor.
Bell lends her voice to Red in the NASCAR.com's
weekly animated series The Kellys. She
took a few moments to bring us up to speed about
her connection to motorsports, and what's new
in her life since JAG. was ordered to stand
Nine seasons as Maj. Sarah "Mac"
MacKenzie on JAG., bravo zulu. That's a
dream run for any actor. Are you taking a well-deserved
Bell: I am. I am... sort of. I'm with my family
now enjoying some family time, which is fantastic.
We loved you on the big screen in Bruce
Almighty. And by "we" I mean every
red-blooded guy in the world. In the future, are
we more likely to see you in movie roles or back
Bell: I'm thinking a little bit of both. Definitely
features. I have a mini-series coming up on the
Sci-Fi Channel on Nov. 5 called The Triangle.
And then I've also been working on creating my
own sitcom. I'm meeting with some people to get
back on TV in a comedy capacity.
According to your website, you're quite the
jock: an accomplished wakeboarder, snowboarder,
kick-boxer, plus you ride motorcycles. Your agent
must love that.
Bell: Yeah, Paramount was never too happy about
all that stuff eithe,r when I was on JAG.,
but I'm very safe. I don't do anything too crazy.
I always wear the right gear and take the right
precautions and have a good time with it.
appeal of these flirt-with-danger sports?
Bell: I don't know. I've been a tomboy
since I was a kid. I rode skateboards, and
dirt bikes. My cousin had a dirt bike when
I was seventeen and I went, "Ooooh,
show me how to ride that!" I've always
enjoyed challenging myself and if that meant,
"Hey, let's go skydiving!" then
that's what I did. I did that once and got
it out of my system. I've been bungee jumping
a few times. Got that out of my system.
I enjoy having fun. And that includes horsepower,
sometimes. You know?
Speaking of horsepower, what motorcycles do
Bell: My husband and I have a collection that
varies between four to eight or nine motorcycles
at any given time. We have old ones and new ones.
Old Italian scooters and brand-new, shiny, super-fast
Hondas. A little bit of everything.
You also have some racing experience in the
Toyota celebrity/pro event during the 1999 and
2000 Long Beach Grands Prix. Looking back, which
was it: more scary or more fun?
Bell: Both. It was definitely terrifying there
on the starting line getting ready to go... and
when you're all diving into the same turn at the
same time. But man, what a thrill. I just loved
it. Especially coming in third in 2000, the first
year I did ok. It was like, (scream of terror).
But the second year, it was, "OK, I got this.
Let me at it!"
What kind of cars do you have in your garage
Bell: I've been traveling so much lately that
I'm a little light on the cars at the moment.
But I still have a couple of fun ones. I have
a Mercedes CLS 500. And I've got my fun, tricked
out, racy car: a (Nissan) 350 Z Roadster which
I took to Platinum Motorsports which I
do with most of my cars and got it completely
tricked out with 19-inch wheels, a stainless steel
full cat-back exhaust, an air intake system; you
know, stuff like that. The little things that
most girls do to their cars, right?
What car do you currently have your eye on?
Bell: You know, I used to own a Porsche 996 and
I'm eyeing one of those again. That's going to
be my next toy.
With each passing year, FHM ranks you higher
and higher on their list of The 100 Sexiest Women
in the World. It's our opinion that the editors
at FHM ranked you too low early on and they're
scrambling to put you where the rest of the world
has had you ranked all along. What do you think
of your growing popularity?
Bell: It was super flattering, especially since
I've had my baby. Hey, just being on that list
is flattering and I try to take it all with a
grain of salt. But it's all good.
So how did you come by your role as "Red"
on The Kellys?
Bell: It started with a conversation I had with
Nancy Cartwright (executive producer of The
Kellys, and voice of Bart Simpson). We've
been friends for a while and she mentioned the
role and I said I always wanted to do that
to be a cartoon voice and that's how it
On The Kellys, Red and Trish Kelly
have something of an antagonistic relationship.
I don't want to start anything here, but in a
fight, who'd win: Trish or Red?
Bell: It's gotta be Red, come on. But it would
definitely be close.
When spotting for Denny Kelly, Red shows pretty
good insight into racing. Does Red have any racing
Bell: I'm not sure. I hope she does. That would
be great to see Red behind the wheel. I know I'd
The Sporting News made lots of hay about your
Super Bowl prediction back in 2003. Before the
season even started, you correctly predicted that
the Patriots would beat the Rams 20 to 17. What's
up with that?
Bell: I said to my husband, "Honey? What
do you think I should put down (on the survey)?"
He randomly picked those teams and that score.
I emailed them back to my publicist and forgot
about it. Then, at the end of the season, it became
somewhat legendary I guess. It was a total fluke.
So tell me, with four races still to be run
in the Nextel Cup, Tony
Stewart leads Jimmie
Johnson by 15 championship points... who does
your husband say is going to win it all?
Bell: He's not here right now, but I'll ask and
get back with ya.
OK, in the last scene of JAG., you
tossed a coin to determine whether Mac or Harm
would resign their commission. Which was it?
Bell: Come on, Mac won. Mac has got to stay in
the Marine Corps. What would she do if she wasn't
a Marine? Yeah, Harm comes down to San Diego,
wears the apron, cooks and cleans, raises the
kids for her. That's my version of it, anyway.