Banks at the New York premiere of What to Expect When You're Expecting in 2012.
|Born||Elizabeth Irene Mitchell
February 10, 1974
Pittsfield, Massachusetts, U.S.
|Occupation||Actress, producer, director|
|Spouse(s)||Max Handelman (m. 2003)|
Banks made her film debut in the low-budget independent film Surrender Dorothy (1998), and is known for her roles in such films as Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy (2002–2007), The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005), Zack and Miri Make a Porno (2008), Role Models (2008), The Next Three Days (2010), Pitch Perfect (2012), The Lego Movie (2014), and The Hunger Games films (2012–2015). In 2015, she made her directorial debut with Pitch Perfect 2, whose May 15-17 $69M opening weekend gross set a record for a first time director.
Banks was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, the eldest of four children of Ann (née Wallace) and Mark P. Mitchell. Her father was a factory worker for General Electric and her mother worked in a bank. She has Irish and British ancestry and grew up Catholic.
Growing up, Banks played baseball and rode horses. She was in Little League when she broke her leg sliding into third. She then tried out for the school play, which was her start in acting. She graduated from Pittsfield High School in 1992, and is a member of the Massachusetts Junior Classical League. She attended the University of Pennsylvania, where she was a member of the Delta Delta Delta Sorority. She graduated magna cum laude in 1996 with a major in communications and a concentration in theater arts. In 1998, she completed schooling at the American Conservatory Theater and earned an MFA.
Banks changed her name to avoid confusion with actress Elizabeth Mitchell. She made her acting debut in the 1998 independent film Surrender Dorothy, as Elizabeth Casey, appeared in various films over the next seven years including Guy Ritchie's Swept Away before gaining more prominent widespread exposure through the 2005 comedy film The 40-Year-Old Virgin.
In August 2005, at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Banks starred in William Inge's Bus Stop as Cherie, the sexy, blonde, aspiring nightclub singer. Jeffrey Borak wrote that Banks' portrayal was acted "with poise, clarity and a shrewd feel for Cherie's complexities. Her performance is all of a piece and in harmony, stylistically, with the performances around her..." In 2005, she appeared on the series Stella, and in May 2006, she had a role in the season five finale of the NBC sitcom Scrubs as Dr. Kim Briggs, the love interest of J.D. (Zach Braff). The character appeared throughout seasons six, seven, and eight as a recurring guest star.
In 2006, Banks appeared in the American football drama film Invincible, in which she played Mark Wahlberg's love interest. Later, she and co-star Wahlberg were nominated for the "Best Kiss" award at the MTV Movie Awards. That same year, she landed the starring role in the comedy-horror film Slither.
In 2007, Banks played the female lead in the comedy film Meet Bill, alongside Aaron Eckhart and Jessica Alba. That same year, she had a small role in the Christmas comedy film Fred Claus, co-starring Vince Vaughn and Paul Giamatti as Santa's little helper, Charlyne. In 2008, she played a love interest in the comedy film Definitely, Maybe, alongside Isla Fisher and Ryan Reynolds, starred with Seth Rogen as the eponymous female lead in the Kevin Smith comedy Zack and Miri Make a Porno, and played United States First Lady Laura Bush in W., Oliver Stone's biopic of George W. Bush.
In 2009, Banks appeared in the thriller The Uninvited, a remake of the Korean horror film A Tale of Two Sisters. The film was about an intrusive stepmother who makes life miserable for the teen daughters of her new husband. Banks based her character, Rachel, on Rebecca De Mornay's character in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle. "It was very important to me that every line reading I gave could be interpreted two ways," says Banks of her role, "So that when you go back through the movie you can see that".
Banks is a frequent co-star of actor Paul Rudd, the two having appeared in five films together to date (Wet Hot American Summer, The Baxter, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Role Models, and Our Idiot Brother). She is also a frequent co-star of actor Tobey Maguire, the two having also appeared in five films together (Spider-Man, Seabiscuit, Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man 3, and The Details)
Banks was cast as a love interest for Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) in the fourth season of the Emmy Award–winning sitcom 30 Rock. Intended to appear in four episodes in 2010, Banks went on to become a recurring character with 13 appearances by the end of the fifth season, including her marriage in the episode Mrs. Donaghy. Her performance in season five earned her a nomination for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards.
Banks appeared in the movie The Hunger Games, playing Effie Trinket, a woman from "The Capitol" who escorts the District 12 tributes to the Hunger Games. She continued in the role in the 2013 film The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and in 2014's The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1.
Banks portrayed Melinda Ledbetter Wilson, the wife of Brian Wilson, in the 2014 biopic Love and Mercy, which is based on the life of the legendary musician and founding member of The Beach Boys, as portrayed by John Cusack.
Banks appeared in the 2014 movie Every Secret Thing, playing Detective Nancy Porter investigating the disappearance of a young child with similarities to a case she had previously been involved with.
After producing and appearing, as Gail, in the first Pitch Perfect film, Banks directed its sequel, Pitch Perfect 2 (2015), making her feature directorial debut. She also produced the film, and again played Gail.
Banks met her husband, sportswriter and producer Max Handelman, on her first day at college on September 6, 1992. They were married in 2003. She and her husband had their first child, Felix, who was born through a surrogate in March 2011. In November 2012, Banks announced the birth of another son, Magnus Mitchell, also born by surrogate.
Banks went through parts of the process of conversion to Judaism, her husband's faith, and studied with rabbis. In 2013, speaking of her religion, she stated that she practices Judaism, though "I did not have my mikveh, so technically I'm not converted", but that she has "been essentially a Jew for like 15 years", adding "Frankly, because I'm already doing everything [practicing religious rituals], I feel like I'm as Jewish as I'm ever going to be".
|1998||Surrender Dorothy||Vicki||Credited as Elizabeth Casey|
|2000||Shaft||Trey's friend||Credited as Elizabeth Maresal Mitchell|
|2001||Wet Hot American Summer||Lindsay|
|2002||Catch Me If You Can||Lucy Forrest|
|2003||The Trade||Sioux Sever|
|2004||Spider-Man 2||Betty Brant|
|2005||The Sisters||Nancy Pecket|
|2005||The Baxter||Caroline Swann|
|2005||The 40-Year-Old Virgin||Beth|
|2007||Spider-Man 3||Betty Brant|
|2008||Definitely, Maybe||Emily Jones|
|2008||Meet Dave||Gina Morrison|
|2008||Zack and Miri Make a Porno||Miriam "Miri" Linky|
|2008||Role Models||Beth Jones|
|2009||Big Breaks||Starlet||Short film|
|2009||The Uninvited||Rachel Summers|
|2010||The Next Three Days||Lara Brennan|
|2011||The Details||Nealy Lang|
|2011||Just a Little Heart Attack||Woman||Short film
|2011||Our Idiot Brother||Miranda|
|2012||Man on a Ledge||Lydia Mercer|
|2012||The Hunger Games||Effie Trinket|
|2012||What to Expect When You're Expecting||Wendy|
|2012||People Like Us||Frankie|
|2012||Pitch Perfect||Gail Abernathy-McKadden||Producer|
|2013||Movie 43||Amy||Segment: "Beezel"
Directed segment: "Middleschool Date"
|2013||The Hunger Games: Catching Fire||Effie Trinket|
|2014||Little Accidents||Diane Doyle|
|2014||The Lego Movie||Wyldstyle / Lucy||Voice|
|2014||Walk of Shame||Meghan Miles|
|2014||Every Secret Thing||Detective Nancy Porter|
|2014||Love and Mercy||Melinda Ledbetter Wilson|
|2014||The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1||Effie Trinket|
|2015||Pitch Perfect 2||Gail Abernathy-McKadden||Director, producer|
|2015||The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2||Effie Trinket|
|2015||Magic Mike XXL|
|1999||All My Children||Waitress||1 episode|
|1999||Third Watch||Elaine Elchisak||Episode: "Patterns"
Credited as Elizabeth Maresal Mitchell
|2000||Sex and the City||Catherine||Episode: "Politically Erect"|
|2001||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||Jaina Tobias Jansen||Episode: "Sacrifice"|
|2002||Without a Trace||Clarissa||Episode: "Snatch Back"|
|2005||Stella||Tamara||Episode: "Meeting Girls"|
|2006–2009||Scrubs||Dr. Kim Briggs||15 episodes|
|2007–2008||Wainy Days||Shelly||3 episodes|
|2007–2008||American Dad!||Becky Arangino
|2008||Comanche Moon||Maggie Tilton||Miniseries|
|2009, 2013, 2014, 2015||Modern Family||Sal||4 episodes|
|2010–2012||30 Rock||Avery Jessup||15 episodes|
|2012||Family Guy||Pam Fishman||Voice
Episode: "Into Fat Air"
|2012||Robot Chicken||Mrs. Claus / Shana "Scarlett" O'Hara||Voice
Episode: "Robot Chicken's ATM Christmas Special"
|2012||Comedy Bang! Bang!||Herself||Episode: "Elizabeth Banks Wears A Red Dress"|
|2013||Timms Valley||Beth Billings-Timms||Pilot|
|2014||Phineas and Ferb||Grulinda||Voice
Episode: "Imperfect Storm"
Awards and nominations
||This section of a biography of a living person does not include any references or sources. (February 2015)|
|2003||Young Hollywood Awards||Exciting New Face||N/A||Won|
|2004||Screen Actors Guild Awards||Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture (shared with rest of cast)||Seabiscuit||Nominated|
|2007||MTV Movie Awards||Best Kiss Shared with Mark Wahlberg||Invincible||Nominated|
|2009||Women in Film Crystal + Lucy Awards||Face of the Future Award||N/A||Won|
|2011||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series||30 Rock||Nominated|
|2012||Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series||30 Rock||Nominated|
|2012||Teen Choice Awards||Choice Movie: Female Scene Stealer||The Hunger Games||Nominated|
|2012||MTV Movie Awards||Best On-Screen Transformation||The Hunger Games||Won|
|2013||San Diego Film Critics Society Awards||Best Supporting Actress||The Hunger Games: Catching Fire||Nominated|
|2013||CinemaCon||Excellence in Acting||N/A||Won|
|2014||MTV Movie Awards||Best On-Screen Transformation||The Hunger Games: Catching Fire||Nominated|
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- "Monitor". Entertainment Weekly (1246): 24. Feb 15, 2013.
- "Box office: 'Pitch Perfect 2' crescendos past 'Mad Max: Fury Road' to $70.3 million". LATimes.com. 2015-05-17. Retrieved 2015-05-18.
- "Box Office Top 20: 'Pitch Perfect 2' lands at $69.2 million". yahoo.com. 2015-05-18. Retrieved 2015-05-22.
- Jessica Willis (October 21, 2008). "From Pittsfield to the big screen". The Berkshire Eagle.
- James Mottram (2008-11-08). "Elizabeth Banks: from the top-shelf to First Lady in W.". The Times (London). Retrieved 2008-11-07.
- "Elizabeth Banks". Twitter. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
- "About Elizabeth Banks". yahoo movies. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
- "Elizabeth Banks Was A Sexy-Flirty Latin Clubber". TeamCoco. September 24, 2012. Retrieved March 16, 2013.
- "How to Succeed in Business by Really, Really Trying". Penn Gazette. December 22, 2009. Retrieved September 11, 2013.
- Strauss, Bob (2008-10-27). "From first lady to Porno star actress: Elizabeth Banks dishes the dirt". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- Sommer, Elyse. 2005, Curtain Up.
- Borak, Jeffrey 2005. "Love blooms in a Kansas diner", Berkshire Eagle August 20, Art section.
- Elizabeth Banks is Oliver Stone's Laura Bush "Elizabeth Banks is Oliver Stone's Laura Bush - ComingSoon.net". ComingSoon.net. 2008-03-26. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- Barton, Steve (2010-03-01). "Elizabeth Banks to Head Out into the Dark Fields?". Dreadcentral.com. Retrieved 2015-03-11.
- "Elizabeth Banks: The Uninvited". SuicideGirls.com. 30 January 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-30.
- On, Cs (2010-02-27). "Elizabeth Banks Entering Dark Fields?". Comingsoon.net. Retrieved 2015-03-11.
- "Tobey Maguire on New Spider-Man Film". YouTube.com. 2012-05-08. Retrieved 2015-03-11.
- Joyce Eng. "Elizabeth Banks to Guest-Star on 30 Rock". TVGuide.com.
- "Celebrity Wedding: Elizabeth Banks & Max Handelman". In Style. Retrieved 2009-01-06.
- Tiger, Caroline 2010. "How to Succeed in Show Business by Really Really Trying". The Pennsylvania Gazette Jan.-Feb., Vol. 108, No. 3, pp. 46-50.
- Michaud, Sarah (March 31, 2011). "Elizabeth Banks Names 'Miracle' Baby Felix". people.com. Retrieved July 26, 2012.
- Banks, Elizabeth (November 14, 2012). "IT'S A BOY!". elizabethbanks.com. Retrieved March 16, 2013.
- Butnick, Stephanie (January 17, 2013). "Jewish Actress Elizabeth Banks Discusses Her Conversion With Marc Maron". Jewcy. Retrieved March 16, 2013.
- "Episode 352 - Elizabeth Banks". WTF with Marc Maron. January 14, 2013. Retrieved March 16, 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Elizabeth Banks.|
- Official website
- Elizabeth Banks at the Internet Movie Database
- Elizabeth Banks at the TCM Movie Database
- Elizabeth Banks at AllMovie