Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard connect over their love of games! ET’s Matt Cohen spoke to the couple about how co-hosting their new show, Family Game Fight!, has brought them even closer together.
Bell, who tied the knot with Shepard in 2013, said she had “not a one” reservation about teaming up with her husband for the project.
“In a marriage and when you’re raising kids there’s so much compromise — he wants to parent one way, I wanna parent one way; he wants to go to one restaurant, I wanna go to a different — but when we have a shared goal at work and we play off of each other really well,” she explained. “That just makes us feel more connected.”
“You really come to rely on each other in a way that reminds you, ‘Oh right, I have this amazing human in my life and I get to work with her,'” Shepard, 46, chimed in.
“That’s nice,” Bell, 41, complimented. “It’s nice. He’s nice.”
Shepard couldn’t let the moment pass without a joke, though, quipping to ET, “Did I get that line right? That was written for me, I just wanna make sure. Did I say it right? Do we need a second take?”
The couple got the idea for the NBC game show, which will test brains, brawn and family bonds, after playing a game called Taste Buds during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
“I would take a bite of something blindfolded, she’s blindfolded, and I would try to describe it to her. She tried to guess [what it is] and then vice versa,” Shepard recalled. “It was the biggest disaster, an unmitigated disaster, and it was probably the funniest thing we’ve ever done and it was on accident.”
That experience led Bell and Shepard to question how they could “harness” that energy.
“That was good television and we had a good time doing it. That’s what you’re looking for in your job, right? Someone to enjoy your services and also enjoy doing it,” Bell said. “We love playing games at home and we watch game shows, so we were like, ‘Why not do a game show?'”
When the couple settled on the idea, they didn’t want to just host the show, instead opting to compete in it, too, because, as Bell said, “we didn’t wanna seem left out.”
Thus, each episode will feature Bell and Shepard being “adopted” into a family of four as they compete in games, which will feature things like pies in the face and powerful air cannons, to help their team win $100,000.
It’s no surprise that the pair wanted to compete on the show, as they’re both a self-described 10 on the competitive scale.
“We have debates before the game starts [about] what are the agreed upon rules,” Shepard said of when they play games at home. “We play it fast and loose. We make up our own rules all the time… They’re mostly all designed to mitigate fights.”
Still, though, Shepard said, “There’s fights. There’s big, big fights. The police have never come, but that’s a shock, to be honest.”
“We have had to make a therapy appointment because of the fighting over a board game,” Bell admitted. “When you’re calling your therapist [over a board game] it’s sort of like, maybe we should throw that board game out.”
“That board game is Settlers of Catan,” Shepard added. “It has no place in our home. We couldn’t have made it if we kept playing that game.”
Even though things may get testy during a heated game, Bell said that both she and her husband are “pretty good losers.” It’s Shepard, though, Bell said, that takes the whole thing more seriously, a trait he’ll bring onto the show.
“She’s just into the the socialness, the community,” Shepard said of Bell. “… I like when the rules are followed and people pay attention and they’re not checking their phone. Those things will creep into my game.”
Family Game Fight! will premiere Aug. 8 at 10:30 p.m. ET on NBC.
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