While Hunger Games fans await our next glimpse of Elizabeth Banks as tribute handler Effie Trinket, the actress is busy promoting another role: She plays a police negotiator responsible for talking down the title character in Man on a Ledge, out next Friday (January 27). It’s a tense heist movie, also starring Sam Worthington and Jamie Bell, but we noticed a very big similarity between this movie and the upcoming Games. As Worthington decides whether to jump, 21 stories down an antagonistic crowd forms, eager for gruesome action, just the way we imagine the folks in Panem’s Capitol watching children kill each other on live TV.
“It’s probably a direct line from this audience going ‘Jump, jump, jump,’ to the audience who watches the Hunger Games on those television screens in Panem,” Banks told TheFABlife. “Yeah, ’cause they’re definitely blood thirsty as well.”
But Banks doesn’t necessarily blame the crowds for wanting a good story.
“Just think about your day: You’re walking down the street, and you come upon this scene. There’s a guy out on a ledge … and you look up, the guy’s out there, and after a few minutes he goes back in the window. All right. Or, you go home that night and tell your friends at dinner, ‘You’re not going to believe what I saw today. Oh my god, I was walking down Madison Avenue and this guy was out on a building and then he jumped to his death right in front of me.’ Way more interesting.”
Basically, Banks said wryly, this kind of gladiator-audience mentality is human nature. “I just feel that people want the craziest version of every story. We watch boxing for the knockout; we don’t watch it for 12 rounds of going to the scorecards. We don’t watch NASCAR to watch the cars drive around in a circle.”
We hate to say it, but we think Effie and Katniss would agree.