Jillian Bell 'desperately' wanted to land lead role in Brittany Runs a Marathon

The actress also met with the woman who was the inspiration for Brittany.

Jillian Bell was desperate to land the lead role in Brittany Runs a Marathon.

The comedy-drama follows the story of a thirty-something woman who is inspired to run the New York Marathon after being told by her doctor to lose weight.

And Bell, 35, feels honoured to have been chosen to play Brittany, which is her first lead role in a movie. “I feel very lucky and the project feels very special, very near and dear to my heart. We’re so proud of what we made,” she told Variety. “I feel lucky even when I get to do a small part in anything and to have this be my first title lead role, I couldn’t ask for anything more.

“I just felt like I knew who she was. I hadn’t seen her in a movie before and I really desperately wanted to play her. This was the movie that I wanted to see when I was 13 years old.”

Paul Downs Colaizzo, who wrote and directed the movie, based Brittany Runs a Marathon on the real-life tale of his best friend, Brittany O’Neill.

Lil Rel Howery, who plays Brittany’s brother-in-law, confessed that the film motivated him to change his diet and stop drinking.

“This movie made me not be ashamed if I can’t take the first step right away,” he explained. “Anybody that’s looking to take a first step into whatever they want to change in their life, this movie is going to inspire you.”

And 22 Jump Street star Bell is hopeful that the movie will be a hit with audiences.

“You have no idea if people are gonna relate or they’re going to feel like we missed a mark. And I really don’t think we did. Fingers crossed,” Bell said.

Brittany Runs a Marathon is in U.S. cinemas now.

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