The actor shared the revelation with Kendrick while speaking to the Pitch Perfect star during an episode of his Armchair Expert podcast earlier this month, when he revealed that his wife “has only had jealousy over a single human”.
Shepard, who began by acknowledging that he was offering Kendrick a “quick compliment,” revealed his wife’s past feelings towards Kendrick after noting that he had received her permission to divulge the anecdote.
“So, I have known Kristen for 15 years. She has only had jealousy over a single human, and it’s been you. I never saw it. It blew my mind,” Shepard told Kendrick.
According to the Without a Paddle star, Bell’s jealousy allegedly stemmed from feelings of competitiveness towards Kendrick.
“Kristen was like: ‘Who is this other short person? Oh, so she can sing like that too? I’m already here. We got another one,’” Shepard continued.
Shepard, who has been married to Bell since 2013, then revealed that, in the “whole 15 years” that they have spent together, the Frozen star has had “nothing but benevolence to everyone,” but that she “monitored” Kendrick.
“She monitored you, recognised how brilliant you were, lost some roles to you, and slowly processed the whole thing. And has nothing but wonderful feelings towards you. But you’re the only person that has ever made her jealous, that I witnessed,” Shepard added.
The admission was initially met with shock from Kendrick, who described the realisation as “bizarre”. However, Kendrick then went on to admit to Shepard that she was never sure whether Bell “liked” her.
The actress then elaborated on her belief, with Kendrick telling Shepard that it was probably influenced by her own “projections”.
“I never felt like she liked me,” she said. “But I do think a massive per centage of that is just genuinely when it comes to really sweet angelic blonde girls.
“I just assumed they think I am weird, they think I’m this weird little troll. And I don’t think of Kristen as short, I think of her as just an angel, and she’s so sweet.”
Kendrick also suggested that, because she thinks of herself as “rough around the edges,” she believed that Bell wouldn’t like her.
Although Kendrick said it was likely her own “projections” that made her feel this way, she also said that there may have been some “energetic thing there”.
However, she then added: “In all likelihood there wasn’t and it was just my typical thing of certain women who look a certain way scare me and I just assume that they won’t like me.”
The exchange between Kendrick and Shepard about Bell’s feelings has since sparked a debate on social media, where fans have questioned why the podcast host shared the “embarrassing” revelation about his wife’s feelings towards Kendrick.
“Now why would you air your wife’s insecurities like that?” one person asked, while another said: “If my husband did this he would be coming home to divorce papers.”
“Why would he even say that? He could have just said my wife loves you or something not embarrassing,” someone else claimed.
According to another critic, it was inappropriate of Shepard to tell the story even with his wife’s consent. “This conversation is so weird, I’ve never liked the way Dax talks about Kristen but this is definitely the worst, why would he tell this story, even with her consent to,” they wrote.
Although many were critical of Shepard’s comments, others defended the actor on the basis that he had received his wife’s permission to share the anecdote with Kendrick.
“Did everyone skip over the part where he clearly stated that bringing this up in conversation with Anna was ran by Kristen and she gave him consent to do so??” one person asked.
Another said: “If you all actually listened to the audio he’s clearly saying that she gave him the permission to say it.”