The actress, who voices Princess Anna in Disney’s blockbuster films and stars in The Good Place on television, said she was judged on her appearance rather than her talent in auditions.
“I remember early on getting feedback that I wasn’t enough in either category,” she told Vanity Fair.
“I would get feedback from an audition: ‘Well, you’re not pretty enough to play the pretty girl, but you’re not quirky enough or weird enough to play the weird girl’.
I was like, ‘OK, does that just mean I can’t be an actor? What does that mean?”’ she said. “That’s what I was getting feedback on — on every audition.”
Bell, 39, said Hollywood has changed since her breakthrough in the early Noughties.
She said: “It’s this huge grey area now of all these beautiful stories you can tell... that have dimensional people that don’t have to be one thing.
"It’s not the Eighties where you have to have the popular girl and then the nerd who gets the guy. I’m really grateful for that.
"It opens up a lot of opportunities for everyone to play and pretend, which is the most fun part.”