Elizabeth Banks: Diane Lane told me ‘it’s ok to want to make money’

Elizabeth Banks directed the latest incarnation of Charlie’s Angels franchise, which comes to theaters on November 15th. She also plays one of the Bosley characters (of which there are three). The trailer looks fun – for an idea that’s being brought back to the screen for the third time. Elizabeth did an interview with Fast Company to promote the film in which she discussed why the project appealed to her and shared some advice she’d gotten from fellow actresses, including Diane Lane who told Elizabeth she shouldn’t feel bad about wanting to make money.

On bringing back a TV show from 1976: Growing up, I watched reruns of the TV show, and my sisters and I idolized the idea of Charlie’s Angels: These women went to the police academy, they did all the right things, and still the system did not allow them to truly live up to their full potential. That continues to be an issue, and so it felt like, Why not tackle that again right now? I felt this was a good time to remind people that there’s tons of potential in the 51% of the human race that we are not tapping into.

On updating Charlie’s Angels for today’s audience?: I’m aware of the “jiggle TV” aspect of the television series. That was partly what people were tuning in for. [But] I’m just not one of those women who is like, “Ew, gross, we need to reverse that.” Women can wear whatever they want. My thing is, if you see them in an outfit that you think is shameful, then shame on you. I didn’t force anyone to wear anything in my movie. I think that’s the difference [between the movie and the TV show]. Nobody is shamed in the movie.

On the best advice she’s gotten for other actresses: First of all, you get very few opportunities to even meet interesting, cool women in the industry because you work in movies with 20 guys. I’ve been in very few movies with more than one or two women. So I was just grateful to have a conversation about these things.

Laura Linney told me that you don’t want to get bored. And boredom’s really easy as a woman in our industry. You can get bored pretty quickly just playing the same kind of roles. Diane Lane was very open with me about money. I was grateful to have someone say, “It’s okay to want to make money. It’s okay [to want] things to be fair.” And hearing it from someone who has been doing it her whole life and who is insanely talented and gorgeous, I was like, “Oh shit! If she’s not happy with how it’s going, how the fuck am I going to get there?” I just thought, I’ve got to get some strategies in place.

[From Fast Company]

Like Elizabeth, I was also a big fan of the TV series (Sabrina was my favorite, even if she did get the crappiest car). Elizabeth does a good job discussing the messaging behind the TV show and where it fit in the time at which it was being aired, and how the struggles have not changed as much as they should’ve today.

I love Laura Linney’s advice because boredom kills creativity. It’s incredibly sad that the onus is on the women in the industry to find a way not to become bored rather than the industry to find new and exciting roles for women to play, but hopefully that’s changing. But Diane’s advice is both powerful and sad. It also plays alongside Elizabeth’s comments about the original TV series, “they did all the right things, and still the system did not allow them to truly live up to their full potential. That continues to be an issue.” A woman works her way into the industry, pays the same dues as a man, turns in the same hours/performance yet earns less and is credited second, if not third on the project. I think things are changing, slowly, but it shouldn’t have taken this long. Elizabeth also talked about trying to ensure gender equity on her projects and that as the director she’s seen as “the boss,” but even if she’s directing, if she’s not paying the bills, she actually doesn’t get to make those decisions so it’s frustrating. It’s so depressing that we still need to have this conversation, but I guess the fact that it’s actually being discussed openly is at least something. A very small something, but hopefully the conversation will become bigger.




Photo credit: Instagram and WENN Photos

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13 Responses to “Elizabeth Banks: Diane Lane told me ‘it’s ok to want to make money’”

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  1. Monicack says:

    Slight correction: women work harder than men in the industry because in addition to everything else they have to outrun the hands-y predators.

    And something tells me these women still have to go home and babysit the men in their lives after a long day on set.

    Lastly Diane Lane has been my ever crush since she was Cherry in The Outsiders.

    • damejudi says:

      Showing my age-fan of Diane Lane since A Little Romance.

    • Lightpurple says:

      She has been acting since she was a little girl. Her first film, A Little Romance, is a delight.

      Elizabeth Banks may focus on bringing light, fluffy comedies like Charlie’s Angels or Pitch Perfect, to the screen but she’s telling them from a woman’s point of view, which is seldom seen in Hollywood fare. There need to be more films produced by, written by, directed by and filmed by women and we’ll get better representation and better stories. Elizabeth has been fighting for that for years. Proud of the lady from Pittsfield, MA.

    • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

      Me too! Outsiders and that Street movie. I must have watched it 50 times, wearing out the vhs lol!

      • Turtledove says:

        oMG… Streets of Fire. I loved that movie and soundtrack and wanted so desperately to BE Diane Lane.

  2. Aliyah says:

    Hopefully the movie will be better than the soundtrack.

  3. stormsmama says:

    I worked with E Banks on Heights in 2003 and since then i have referred to her as E Money
    Because she is so driven, she is “so money”
    You can not help but love her. She has hustled and pushed for everything she has. I love her. Brava EMoney!!!

  4. JennyJenny says:

    I ADORE Elizabeth Banks and will watch whatever movies she is in.

  5. dlc says:

    I think that’s great that Diane Lane said that. I have worked in social services and am a librarian now, and my entire adult life I have been told “well you didnt get until this profession for the money”…by men. I’m sure actresses are told they are not pure artists if they consider money. But I don’t think men are shamed in the same way. I like that my job helps others, but I have advanced degrees and should be able to afford a home on my own, a reliable car, and an occasional vacation.

    • Anna says:

      Exactly. I teach (adjunct) so it’s the the same thing. You bust your ass for every little dime and then people act like you should be grateful. Thank god I have a great therapist who basically said to me, what if you’ve already given your entire quota of giving and now you can just focus on you and what you need and want? It’s revolutionary–and also contrary to everything that old world Christianity and patriarchal society tells us we should do/be/want as women. I’m through with it. I get what I want, I take what’s mine including rest, time, joy, and play. To whom should I bow? F that. I’m not killing myself for anyone anymore. And I’m actively working to get out of any industries that specifically prey on women with this supposed (intentionally engineered by men) idea of women as the givers. It’s even sadder when my women friends shame me for this.

  6. Ashley G says:

    In a production it’s not the director who makes the decisions, all of the power lies in the producer. It’s always been that way. Which is why more women started opening their own production companies. The director is still at the mercy of the producer.