ARTS & ENTERTAINMENTMinistry of Gossip

Actress Lake Bell poses topless for Esquire's dual-cover May issue

Lake BellOprah WinfreyAdult Swim (tv network)Brandy (singer)Tom HardyBill PaxtonJosh Charles

Lake Bell has turned up the va-va-voom dial several notches for her May cover of Esquire magazine.

Well, she got our attention, all right — and is directing it toward her upcoming projects.

The "Million Dollar Arm" star poses topless for the mag, wearing only black pantyhose and blunt bangs. The May issue, on newsstands April 22, also has an alternative cover shot by photographer Derek Kettela that features a topless Tom Hardy sans the pantyhose...

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Bell is pretty proud about the spread, which shows off her assets inside the mag as well.

"It's pretty damn cool, I mean I can’t really deny that," she told Extra. "I saw it and I was like, 'All right, I can show my kids that one day,' but maybe it would weird to show my kids. Maybe they don't want to see their mom doing that."

You might know Bell as a serial supporting actress in several what's-that-rom-coms and another nude spread in New York Magazine's 2013 fall fashion issue.

But the New York native has built up her resume in recent years by writing and directing too. However, she told interviewer Peter Marting that she'd aspired to be a star from young age.

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"I was tirelessly motivated, because I felt very clear about what I wanted to do," Bell said. "I didn’t fully understand what it meant to be an actor, but I knew it was someone who gets to play different characters, gets to pretend to be in different worlds, and gets to make people laugh or feel. I'm sure there was some sort of validation, where the attention is on me and I can make people laugh; that’s normal kid stuff. But then it started to gestate into something more complicated and exciting and very fulfilling."

The actress has tried her hand at directing, helming the 2013 comedy "In a World...," which she also wrote, and a few episodes of the Adult Swim comedy "Children's Hospital." She's working on "What's the Point," a film she's also writing and directing. Bell said she used her experience as an actress to cultivate an education from life on the set.

"If I write something and I'm going to put in all that love and energy, I want to direct it," she said. "As an actor, you have access to the trenches — to a myriad of different sets. You can sponge and learn, or you can go back to your trailer and look at YouTube videos of cute kids falling asleep. There's a time for those videos, but I had a hunger to learn."

The 35-year-old also opened up about married life to tattoo artist Scott Campbell.

"Marriage is traditionally old-school in many respects," she said. "It is highly antiquated, and, that being said, beautiful."

Her upcoming sports flick, "Million Dollar Arm," which she described as a "sweet" and "true story" that'll make us "cry," also stars Jon Hamm, Bill Paxton and Alan Arkin. It opens in theaters May 16. 

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Lake BellOprah WinfreyAdult Swim (tv network)Brandy (singer)Tom HardyBill PaxtonJosh Charles
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