Elizabeth Banks is Sundancing it up, promoting her two new films, My Idiot Brother (also starring Paul Rudd) and The Details (with Tobey Maguire).
She talked with The Hollywood Reporter about auditioning, co-stars and her theater training.
THR: Do you think it helps or hurts the acting process to be so comfortable with a co-star?
Banks: Oh, it helps. Tobey and I have never played a couple, so it was interesting to delve into that together. Paul and I are like two peas in pod. I would make every movie with him if I could. We have a great relationship in My Idiot Brother. It’s one of my favorite characters I have ever played.
THR: You studied acting at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco. Has that training stuck with you?
Banks: Yes, absolutely. The tools you get in a program like ACT are all about classic storytelling. You study Shakespeare, Ibsen, Chekhov and Tennessee Williams. You get a much better understanding of how to tell a story. I’m very proud of the fact that I feel comfortable getting on a stage. That’s something that young actors are embarrassingly bad at.
THR: Do you like to see yourself as three parts of a whole? Movie Elizabeth, TV Elizabeth and Theater Elizabeth?
Banks: Somewhat. I think that [kind of range] works well for longevity in a career, but necessarily doesn’t help for branding. For example, nobody thinks Michelle Williams should go do the 40-Year-Old Virgin. She is very specific in what she does and I’m not.
THR: Are you at the point where people come to you and say, ‘I’ve written this role with you in mind’?
Banks: I find yes, more and more. I think it’s just a product of a long career. I’m feeling very lucky. Not auditioning is fabulous! It’s nice to go have lunch with someone and then they’re like, ‘Yeah let’s do the movie together.’ That’s really lovely.