Elizabeth Banks Is An OG Hunger Games, Maze Runner Fan

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We keep hearing how all the people involved in The Hunger Games movie were fans of Suzanne Collins’ books long before they were actually hired. Well, as fellow fans, we love to hear about how others discovered Katniss and her world. And that’s what we asked Elizabeth Banks yesterday, when she was in town to promote her latest movie, Man on a Ledge.

“I first got the book from a publishing friend,” said the actress, who plays District 12′s tribute handler Effie Trinket. “I had read a similarly themed book called The Maze Runner, also a great book, and someone said, ‘If you liked that, you’ll really like this upcoming book called The Hunger Games.’ ”

*Pause.* So, it sounds like she was a fan before the book was even out, back in September 2008. The Maze Runner, incidentally, is the first in a trilogy by James Dashner about a boy who wakes up in a box with no memory of his past and realizes he’s one of a group of boys forced to try to escape an ever-changing life-size maze. Catherine Hardwicke was attached to direct that movie, but we haven’t heard any news on it since January 2011. (Update: James Dashner just tweeted us that he doesn’t think Hardwicke is attached anymore. Boo!) OK, back to Banks and her Games obsession. *Unpause*

“And of course I loved it and immediately passed it onto my sister and my friends,” she said. “I actually don’t even own a copy of it because I literally gave it away.”

It didn’t take much to reel her in, either. “I think the first one probably took me six to eight hours and the second one I read, like, on an airplane ride across the country. Like done.”

Related: Elizabeth Banks Defends Bloodthirsty Masses Of Hunger Games, Man On A Ledge