Image from Famous Wives.

Image from Famous Wives.

The odds seem to be in our favor. Today, Elizabeth Banks (Effie Trinket in Hunger Games, Producer and actress in Pitch Perfect) premieres in her new movie, Walk of Shame, and The Prospect has your down low from the star herself.

I joined in on a college conference call with Ms. Banks last week, and even got to attend the film’s advance screening Manhattan.

Walk of Shame stars Banks as Meghan Miles, a good girl news reporter at a local LA station, whose one-night stand has her stranded downtown…with the biggest interview of her career that afternoon. The film also features James Marsden (Enchanted) and Gillian Jacobs (Community).

The film’s title suggests humiliation, but Banks tells Samuel Wigness The Dakota Student otherwise, “We’re calling it a ‘walk of shame’, but I actually think she doesn’t feel particularly shameful about what happened.”

The real story at hand, she suggests, is about taking control of your life: “This sort of walk of shame in this twenty-four hour period in [Meghan’s] life is a metaphor for the much larger journey that we’re all on.”

Her character, a longtime “good girl”, finds her girlfriends dragging her out to a bar after her career and love life hit rock bottom. But the film is an analogy to a feeling we’ve all had: “…those nights when we just want our own bed – whether you’re alone, whether you’re with friends…you don’t have the control just to transport yourself immediately to where you want to be. And you know, that’s the feeling I think she’s having is that, ‘God, I just want to be able to transport myself to a whole new life.'”

The Dolby 88 screening room in Manhattan where the advance press screening was held. Image from my own archives.

The Dolby 88 screening room in Manhattan where the advance press screening was held on April 22nd. Image from my own archives.

Surpringly, the comedy is relatable to everyone – not just local news reporters after a one-night stand. Banks tells Nicole Woods from The Vista, “This movie is about finding your way. I think when you’re at that stage in your life when you’re not sure what the rest of your life is supposed to look like, or when you have an idea about what you want your life to be but you hit that crisis point…I think that’s relatable to everybody. It’s certainly relatable to me,  I’ve certainly had some setbacks, and big moments of questions of, ‘Am I going in the right direction?’ …those are all the things that I think are happening for Meghan [in the film].”

As an actress, Banks says, “we’re all doing our best to entertain…of course I think there’s a lot of pressure, there’s always talk in the media about movies for women.” But directing and producing Pitch Perfect and it’s upcoming sequel, Pitch Perfect 2, she has seen that movies featuring female leads do capture broader audiences and become major hits. She tells Sheridan Watson from The Daily Trojan, “I think that when you put out good product, and you give audiences somebody to root for, that can be a winning formula – whether that formula is lead by a man or a woman.”

Image from IMP Awards.

Image from IMP Awards.

Banks showed a more personal side over the interview: a foodie and an adventurer. To The Daily Sun‘s reporter, Erica Hungerford, she says, “My favorite part about making this movie was the good food.” Though she kept to a diet  for the film, she “really enjoyed finding out more about the city” she lives in, and going to hipster bars after shooting and “living this character!”

In Walk of Shame, Meghan Miles is a good girl one day to a daring woman on an adventure the next. I asked which side of the character is most like herself, and Banks confidently says that “life should be an adventure,” going on to say, “I think approaching everyday as, ‘What could happen to me today?’  will be a learning process for me, and ‘How can I get out of my comfort zone and challenge myself?’ I think if we all approach every day like that, life would be a lot more interesting.”

The comedy premiers at theaters and video-on-demand across the nation today, May 2nd. (Rated R for language and some sexual content.) Check out the trailer here.


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the author

Jo is in her first year of studying biology at Fordham University, with interests in the social sciences, business management, and world domination. Recently returned to New York from 12 years in California, you'll most likely find her adventuring around the city. Residences include the science and humanities departments, running trails, and every coffee shop from here to Narnia. Nobody’s quite sure if she has a heart, but she’s got some sort of pump that moves around the black sludge that is espresso through her veins.

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