Elizabeth Banks could never be Uninvited. Banks is the hottest actress in Hollywood. The Golden Globe Awards January 11 proved that fact as Banks served as presenter. Someday soon, she will be a nominee.
Her portrayal of Laura Bush in W won universal raves, Zach and Miri Make a Porno has audiences laughing hysterically, but Banks is not resting on those accomplishments alone. Banks rivets as the source of the thrills in the thriller The Uninvited.
Banks grew up in New England in the colonial hamlet of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. She’s come a long way since leaving home and is unquestionably 2008’s “It” girl.
The Uninvited star took a few minutes for SheKnows while promoting the film that arrives in theaters January 30.
Banks in her own words
SheKnows: What first drew you to The Uninvited? Was it the opportunity to work with the Guard brothers or perhaps the gripping screenplay?
Elizabeth Banks: Mostly it was the prospect of playing evil. I relished the idea of being bad. It was really fun.
SheKnows: Is it an enjoyable process keeping that guessing game for the audience going?
Elizabeth Banks: I think so, I think that’s one of the best features of these types of movies in this genre, is to keep everybody guessing. Throwing in the red herrings and not knowing what’s what. and making sure we don’t telegraph the secret of the movie. There’s a great twist on this film and we don’t want to give it away too early. But, we also don’t want the audience to feel cheated when it happens. That’s what’s fun is putting the puzzle together.
SheKnows: Many actors have told me that portraying the villain is pure joy. Not giving away too much from this picture, but your character is mysterious at the minimum – did you enjoy capturing that menacing allure?
Elizabeth Banks: It’s still all about being in the scene. You want to be menacing (laughs), and intimidating and threatening, those are the more the words you’re thinking about when you’re playing these types of characters. It’s still go to hair and make up, go to set and know your lines. It’s a little more fun and it’s all about the other person too. You can tell if you’re actually threatening someone. They are responding. It’s the same in comedy because you know you’re funny if everyone’s laughing (laughs).
SheKnows: What was it like working with filmmaking brothers, The Guards, on The Uninvited? Elizabeth Banks: They’re really simpatico. They work very well together. They compliment each other very well and I think they know that. It makes it much easier to work with them. It was fun, but every now and then I felt a little ganged up upon because there are two of them (laughs). For the most part, they were great.
SheKnows: A film such as The Uninvited, you’re working so closely with the other actors. How was the experience from beginning to close sharing screen time with Arielle, Emily, David and the rest of the great cast?
Elizabeth Banks: David Strahan is an incredible actor who has been around the block. He was really a calming presence on set, I found. Emily and Arielle (Kebbel) became very sisterly – they were like buddies the entire time making the movie. I thought it was great that they had each other. Emily especially, because it’s a crazy shoot for her. She’s in nearly scene.
SheKnows: You’ve had quite a year. The words “It Girl” is being tossed around. At the end of the day, for you as an artist, what of your work this past year are you most particularly proud?
Elizabeth Banks: It’s a little embarrassing that all these films came out all at once. I certainly didn’t mean for it to happen this way. I actually shot the Uninvited before I did any of those other movies. Before Role Models, W or Zach and Miri Make a Porno. It’s weird that it’s coming out last of that bunch. Yeah, I just hope that people are enjoying the films. I’m really proud of the work on all these movies. They’re all really different. That’s been fun for me and I hope fun for audiences.
SheKnows: It must keep it fresh to have a diverse series of acting choices?
Elizabeth Banks: It’s fun to keep people guessing and also, it feels good not to be pigeon holed yet. I think a lot of actors find themselves repeating themselves. I’m sure I will at some point (laughs), but I’m glad it hasn’t happened yet.