Interview with Elizabeth Banks
James Gilmore interviews Pitch Perfect 2's Elizabeth Banks
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It’s been three years since the Bellas brought their signature vocals, style and attitude to become the first all-female group to win a national title. But when they get banned after a scandal that threatens to derail their last year at Barden, the three-time defending champs worry that this time they’ve lost their harmony for good.
With just one chance left at redeeming their legacy, the Bellas must fight for their right to win the World Championships of A Cappella in Copenhagen. And as they struggle to balance the pressures of musical domination with their Senior year in High School, it will take the power of sisterhood to find their voice and see what it takes to be the world’s top pitches.
Leading up to the premiere of Pitch Perfect 2, James Gilmore sat down with Director and Producer Elizabeth Banks to talk about the release.
James Gilmore: You manage to balance making fun of the college A Cappella scene whilst also allowing audiences to enjoy it. How do you achieve that?
Elizabeth Banks: At the end of the day we’re really celebrating A Cappella. I think A Cappella is an amazing metaphor for life, it’s like you need all these voices coming together in harmony to make it work; you can’t do it by yourself. I think people don’t even understand that they are subconsciously connected to that idea. But, at the same time, it is silly to make sounds with your mouth! We wanted to highlight the beat boxing this time; we wanted to show people how skilled everyone is. It’s a real talent; it’s almost like a superpower. It’s an underground phenomenon, it’s not like it’s going to take over the pop music scene anytime soon.
James Gilmore: Interesting… This is your directorial debut (taking over from Jason Moore who directed Pitch Perfect 1) – how did you prepare for it?
Elizabeth Banks: The best prep I had for this movie was that I worked on the first film very closely, was there everyday on set and worked very closely with Jason Moore. I learned all the pitfalls and the process of putting the music together especially. I got great advise from other directors, Francis Lawrence who directed the last three ‘Hunger Games’ films, I was working on Mockingjay when I got offered this job and he comes from the music video world and he gave me great advise on directing the music sequences for instance. I really wanted to make them bigger and crazier than they were in the first film.
James Gilmore: Well you definitely seemed to do that very well. I just interviewed Rebel Wilson and we talked about her love story with Adam DeVine’s character – perhaps you could give us your thoughts on that storyline and also the representation of women in the film in general?
Elizabeth Banks: I really just felt like Fat Amy needed a love story. I think you don’t see that in movies. I think everything we do in Pitch Perfect is rare, you don’t often see movies with a giant group of women that’s written by a woman, that’s directed by a woman and that has women of all shapes and sizes and we never talk about what anybody looks like. Nobody apologises for who they are in this film, we just let everybody live and be and I think that’s really inspiring and one of the things I wanted to say in this movie was that no matter what you look like you are deserving of love.
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