This is going to sound condescending but I swear I don’t mean it in that way: I’m so proud of Elizabeth Banks. I find her really inspirational. I think she’s funny, talented, smart, cool and unapologetically political. She works constantly as an actress and she’s often the best part of even a bad or mundane film. And now she’s moved into producing AND directing. She produced the sleeper hit Pitch Perfect, and when the sequel’s director dropped out suddenly, Banks stepped into the director’s chair very quickly (and like a BOSS). She’s been promoting Pitch Perfect 2 all week in Europe, and she covers this week’s issue of The Hollywood Reporter. You can read the full piece here – it’s full of quotes from directors, studio executives and producers who love, respect and fear her BOSS-ness. Some highlights:
Getting to be a rare woman directing a studio film: “The list of women who get to make studio-level films is very short. And I’m not quite in that club yet. Until this movie comes out, then we’ll see. This shoot is the test. I like to get A’s.”
Why she goes after what she wants: “Some big actresses told me a few things that inspired me. One said that the biggest challenge for a female actress was to make sure they are not profoundly bored. Another told me to just do whatever you want — do anything. And another told me that her quote hadn’t changed in 15 years. That really lit a fire under my ass.”
Paying attention to the directors she’s worked with: “I don’t stay in my trailer. I like to sit in video village, probably to the annoyance of some producers and directors, because they really love to talk about actors and they can’t in front of me.”
A little shade thrown at Tara Reid: “There was a group of us girls coming up. A lot of us are surviving. Some of us are not. I used to go to auditions with Tara Reid. So, you know, we didn’t all make it. We’re not all still here.” But she quickly adds, “I do love Sharknado.”
She doesn’t want to direct Fifty Shades Darker: She doesn’t want to make indies or female-targeted melodrama — she rolls her eyes at the suggestion of shooting Universal’s Fifty Shades of Grey sequel. “I like entertaining people,” she says. “I want to make big entertainment.”
Her mantra: “I got a lot of balls in the air at all times. But my mantra every day on this set is just one word: Endure.”
It’s crazy to think that at the beginning of Banks’ career (the late ‘90s, pretty much), she and Tara Reid really were up for the same parts. Insane, right? Reid is 39 years old now and Banks just turned 41, so they are contemporaries, which blows my mind. Anyway, I don’t think Banks meant to blast Reid, I think she was just trying to make a larger statement about the women she came up with in the industry.
Banks has been in Europe promoting the film all week – I’m including some assorted photos below. Banks doesn’t get even credit for having really great, interesting style.
Photos courtesy of WENN, cover courtesy of THR.