I experienced a tiny bit of job envy when I was introduced to the CapitolCouture Tumblr this week. Can you imagine getting enough access to those movie stills to write blogs about Effie’s gold McQueen peep-toe shoes? I’ll have to settle for having met Effie Trinket herself last week. Oops, #humblebrag. After Elizabeth Banks and I shared a little lament over having given away all our copies of The Hunger Games, I asked her if she minds that we ask her more about playing Effie than, say about her movie that’s out this week, Man on a Ledge.
“I’m really happy to talk about The Hunger Games, especially with fellow fans,” she said. (You see that? We are “fellow fans” now!) “It’s going to be a great movie. Anytime you make something that you know is going to be highly entertaining and is about something, it’s a really special experience and something that I’m really looking forward to sharing.”
Twitter fans asked us to ask her about Effie costumes, naturally. But despite our newfound bond, she was pretty vague on the matter.
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*
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.