Kristen Bell’s story about her first big fight with Dax Shepard is just incredible

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Kayleigh Dray
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Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard have been together since 2007 – but they’ve always made a point of being honest about their relationship and the struggle that comes with maintaining it. 

Now, in a new interview with Jimmy Kimmel, Kristen Bell has opened up about her first big fight with Dax Shepard. And her tale is, as you might expect from The Good Place star, hilarious.

Explaining that she had just finished filming her 2010 comedy When in Rome, Bell tells Kimmel that she and Shepard decided it was time he met her mother. As her mum lives out-of-state, though, this involved a long road-trip – and, to make it more fun, the pair decided to swap their car for a motorcycle.

At first, Bell says, things were fine – but, when she decided to switch radio stations, things began to get… well, they began to get tense.

“He was not happy,” she tells Kimmel, “because I didn’t ask, we didn’t discuss it. And it was also like we’re both control freaks [in the] beginning of our relationship.”

The stage set for an almighty argument, Bell and Shepard soon began squabbling about pretty much everything else – including, somewhat strangely, helmet laws.

“Dax Shepard believes that if he is in a state that does not have a helmet law he should be ‘observing the local culture’ and not wear his helmet,” explains Bell.

Worried for his safety, she protested and they quickly got into “an even bigger fight”.

“The rest of the road trip, I think through Ohio up to Michigan, we were fighting so bad we both lost our voice because we were screaming at each other on the motorcycle,” recalls Bell.

“And I refused to hold onto him, so I hold onto the back of the motorcycle like a boss,” she adds.

When the couple finally arrived at her mother’s house, Bell’s mum was blissfully unaware of any tension and comically sat the couple down to watch episodes of Alf on VHS.

“Dax describes that moment as he says he sat down, ‘I had an out of body experience,’” she tells Kimmel.

In fact, Bell insists that her husband was close to breaking point, and reveals he thought to himself: “I hate this girl I’m sitting next to, we’re on the verge of a breakup, I think her mom is crazy, and all of a sudden I’m watching Alf.”

Thankfully, though, the experience didn’t break the couple.

“We continued dating, Jimmy,” says Bell. “That’s the moral of the story. We worked through it. It’s about compromise. It’s about understanding the other person’s wants and needs. We weren’t listening to each other back then, but now we listen.”

It is not the first time that Bell, who ended up tying the knot with Shepard in 2013, has spoken about the importance of redressing any toxic behaviour in a relationship.

In an interview last year, she said: “When [Dax and I] first met, we fell madly in love and I love the dramatic exit. There is nothing I crave more.

“We’d get in a fight because we’d fight a lot, and I’d yell something and then slam the bedroom door, then I’d slam the front door, then I’d get in my car and then I’d skid out the driveway and I would sit around the corner in my car and it felt so good and I realised how incredibly toxic it was only after he pointed it out.”

Bell continued: “Three months into our relationship he was like: ‘You can’t leave anymore during fights. I’m not going to do that.’

“[Dax] has a very high standard and a strong code of ethics. He was like: ‘No, I have more respect for myself. I love you, but I’m not going to do that my whole life. Our marriage won’t survive.”

It was at this point that the Frozen star realised that she had to change her bad habit: “Everything he was saying was making so much sense and I was like, damn this guy.”

Images: Rex Features


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.