“The Last Exorcism’s” Ashley Bell thrilled by positive response

By Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith

HollywoodNews.com: Critics may have quibbled with the ending of “The Last Exorcism,” but nobody is complaining about Ashley Bell, who has drawn across-the-board raves for her performance as the problem-riddled girl at the heart of last weekend’s top-grossing film. In London for the U.K. premiere of her movie this week, Bell tells us she’s so thrilled by the response, “I feel like I’m in one of those inflatable jump-jump rooms.”

It helped that she is double-jointed and oh-so-very flexible.

“There’s no CGI in the movie. Daniel nailed my boots to the floor, pushed me over and yelled ‘Action!’” she says, referring to director Daniel Stamm. Then she adds, “I’m kidding.”

In fact, Stamm “asked me the night before we did that scene whether I had any ideas – which is a dream situation for any actor – and I said I’d been working on a backbend and several other physical bits.” The athletically-inclined actress, who is trained in ballet, karate and fencing (she competed nationally in the latter), tells us, “I was banned from yoga class. I’d end up in these weird positions that made people uncomfortable to look at and I was asked to leave.”

She never worried about being pigeonholed ala Linda Blair, she says. “Just because of the way the character is structured in this movie. I really favored the scenes where you got the chance to see who she is before she goes into one of her episodes – while this debate is going on as to whether she’s experiencing a mental break.”

To read more go to BeckSmithHollywood.com.

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About Beck / Smith

Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith are among America’s leading columnists. They’ve covered the Hollywood beat for decades — Elvis and “Easy Rider” through the Jonas Bros. and “Avatar” and all the stars and their triumphs and scandals in-between. Their Creators Syndicate column, Beck/Smith Hollywood Exclusive, is a source of top celebrity interviews and entertainment news in newspapers across the country as well as online. To read more about Marylin and Stacy go to BeckSmithHollywood.com

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