Elizabeth Banks: “The main message of the books is that individuals matter”
MovieFone has a great new interview with actress Elizabeth Banks. In it, Elizabeth talks about the books and her portrayal of Effie Trinket.
Had you read the books before getting the part?
Banks: I had read all three books pretty early on, before they were best-sellers. A publishing friend had told me about them. I read something in a similar vein, called The Maze Runner, and someone said, well, if you liked The Maze Runner, you’ll like The Hunger Games. So I read it really early on. And I passed it around and told my sisters and friends, “Put aside three days of your life because you’re going to spend every minute trying to finish the book.”
Did you see yourself as Effie?
I did, yes. I wanted to play Effie. I think she’s an incredibly complicated, interesting character. She’s someone who’s wildly optimistic in the face of horrible circumstances and I love that dichotomy. She’s so affected by the events of the three books. She’s so close to it and yet is trying to remain apart from it, but she’s being sucked in the entire time.
Her look is so wonderfully over-the-top and you can’t even tell that it’s you: Even your voice is different and it looks like they bleached your eyebrows.
Yeah, they bleached my eyebrows. That was the weirdest thing. Suzanne Collins created this world and created this sense of fantasy and the future and we were trying to find something that felt like Effie. That whole look of the Capitol and the accent for the Capitol, we worked really hard to find that. The accent… I didn’t get a lot of help! [Laughs] I tried out a lot of things and [director] Gary [Ross] edited me and said, “No, I don’t think that’s it,” and then I said what about this and then we sort of played with tone and just made it a little more nuanced. It took a while to find it. I’m really happy with how it turned out , though. I wanted something theatrical but not so over-the-top that it felt clownish.
What do you think the books say about our society?
There are a lot of themes. There’s definitely our obsession with reality television, our inoculation to pain and suffering and things like that. But for me, the main message of the books — and I think it’s a great message for young people — was that individuals matter, that you matter. Your actions have a ripple effect and that meek can be meaningful. I think we’re seeing around the world right now that revolutions happen because of a few people. That is the message of democracy, that the one is just as important as the many. I love that this one girl’s actions of kindness and thoughtfulness change the world.
You can read the full interview here, which I recommend you to, since it’s a very interesting one. Personally, I love Elizabeth’s vision of the world of the Hunger Games. I think she really understands it.