It’s been a banner year for Elizabeth Banks.
The 37-year-old Massachusetts native first caught people’s attention as Miss Brant in the “Spider-Man” trilogy and as the gal who almost deflowered Steve Carell in ‘The 40 Year Old Virgin.” Now, you can expect to see her on the big screen in five movies in the next year alone -- including the highly anticipated “Hunger Games” film adaption.
But right now, it’s all about “Our Idiot Brother.”
In the charming comedy, which hits theaters on August 26, an almost unrecognizable Banks plays one of three sisters irritated by a titular imbecilic brother, played by Paul Rudd. And according to the actress, the movie really hits close to home.
Could you relate to “Our Idiot Brother?” Do you have an annoying sibling?
This movie is actually very biographical for me. When Jesse [Peretz, the director] sent me the script, I called him, laughing, ‘Did you mean to write my life story?’ I’m the oldest sibling of four kids and I have two sisters and one brother. My middle sister was married and is now divorced with two kids. My baby sister lives in Brooklyn with a bunch of roommates and is figuring out her love life and I’m sort of the sister who’s the boss of the family living in the world of high fashion and media. Then I have a baby brother who is 26, lives in the country and works at a pizza place and smokes weed and has sex with girls in the woods at night. So it's really biographical -- the short answer to your question is absolutely, yes.
When you all get together, are your siblings mean to you because you’re the big shot actress?
No, we’re actually all really, really close. I consider my two sisters my best friends. We grew up definitely screaming at each other and pulling each other’s hair out, and that somehow translated into friendship as we got older.
Which sibling do you raise your eyebrows about the most?
For sure that’s my brother ... He’s the sweetest dude in the world but he’s 12 years younger than me. All we have in common is me saying, ‘Why aren’t you living your life to your full potential?’
You became a mother this year (via gestational surrogate). How is it going?
It’s going great. I’m really learning a lot about my capacity for joy.
And capacity for lack of sleep.
Yes, although I have a really great baby who sleeps amazingly well.
Why is it every actress says that about their babies?
(Laughs) I don’t know.
Surely there must be one celebrity who has a baby that doesn’t sleep. By the way, I love his name, Felix Handelman. He sounds like he already has a development deal at Paramount.
(Laughs) I hope he’s never in this business, in all honesty. Well, I hope he does what he wants, of course. I’ll support him in whatever he wants to do but I wouldn’t recommend this business to most people.
You jump from comedy to dramas in your career. Do casting agents try to pigeonhole you?
No, I wish! I would like to be pigeonholed more. It’s interesting, of course. I’m so pleased and I feel like I will have a nice longevity in this world by not being pigeonholed but at the same time it’s really interesting how few people understand … I mean I know people who have seen [“Our Idiot Brother”] and don’t realize it’s me in the movie.
Well you don’t look like you in the movie.
(Laughs) But that’s wrong! Nobody really knows what I look like.
But don’t you think that’s a good thing in the long run?
It’s a total blessing, of course, and it makes for a very interesting life for me. I love that. I never work on the same thing twice.
You’re attractive. Is that a hindrance for getting comedic roles?
No, oh my gosh, just the opposite. That’s why the Reese Witherspoons, Cameron Diazes and Sandy Bullocks can last 10, 12, 15 years [in this business].
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