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40 Fun Facts about Elizabeth Banks: She Directed 'Pitch Perfect 2'

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LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 03: EXTRA interviews actress Elizabeth Banks at Westfield Century City on September 3, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.
(Photo : David Buchan/Getty Images for Westfield)) LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 03: EXTRA interviews actress Elizabeth Banks at Westfield Century City on September 3, 2014 in Los Angeles, California.

Elizabeth Banks is an Emmy Award-nominated film and television actress known for her work in 30 Rock, Modern Family, Pitch Perfect and The Hunger Games.

  1. Her full name is Elizabeth Irene Mitchell.

  2. Banks was born on February 10, 1974 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, U.S.

  3. She is the eldest of four children. Her father worked for General Electric and her mother worked in a bank.

  4. She has Irish and British ancestry and grew up Catholic.

  5. During her childhood she enjoyed the outdoors and was active in sports. She broke her leg while sliding into third base during a softball match and afterwards turned to theater.

  6. She used to do horse riding when she was younger.

  7. In 1992, she graduated from Pittsfield High School.

    Actress Elizabeth Banks attends the premiere of 'Spider-Man' April 29, 2002 in Westwood, CA.
    (Photo : Robert Mora/Getty Images) Actress Elizabeth Banks attends the premiere of 'Spider-Man' April 29, 2002 in Westwood, CA.
  8. Soon after that, she attended University of Pennsylvania from where she graduated magna cum laude (means "with great honor") in 1996.

  9. In 1998, she earned her Master of Fine Arts degree from American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco.

  10. She was a member of Delta Delta Delta Sorority at University of Pennsylvania.

  11. Elizabeth Banks is 5 ft 5 in or 165 cm tall.

    Actress Elizabeth Banks attends the 2002 MTV Movie Awards at The Shrine Auditorium June 1, 2002 in Los Angeles, CA.
    (Photo : Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images) Actress Elizabeth Banks attends the 2002 MTV Movie Awards at The Shrine Auditorium June 1, 2002 in Los Angeles, CA.
  12. She made her acting debut in the 1998 independent film Surrender Dorothy, as Elizabeth Casey.

  13. She then went on to appear 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.

  14. She changed her name after she joined the Screen Actor's Guild she discovered that there was already an actress called Elizabeth Mitchell, and so changed her surname to Banks.

    HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 20: Actress Elizabeth Banks attends 'GQ Magazine Celebrates Their Annual Hollywood Issue' at the GQ Lounge at White Lotus on February 20, 2003 in Hollywood, California.
    (Photo : Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images) HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 20: Actress Elizabeth Banks attends 'GQ Magazine Celebrates Their Annual Hollywood Issue' at the GQ Lounge at White Lotus on February 20, 2003 in Hollywood, California.
  15. Elizabeth Banks met her husband Max Handelman on her first day of college, but when she gave him her number she didn't realize he genuinely didn't have a phone. Fortunately they met again three weeks later.

  16. Before she got famous and was offered lead roles, she did several commercials.

  17. Elizabeth married sportswriter and producer, Handelman in 2003.

  18. Banks went through parts of the process of conversion to Judaism, her husband's faith, and studied with rabbis.

  19. In March 2011, she gave birth to their first child, son Felix (born via a surrogate). In November 2012, the family welcome another child, son Magnus Mitchell (again born via a surrogate).

  20. In 2012, after the birth of her second son, Banks spoke openly about her choice to use a surrogate to carry her children. Banks revealed that she and her husband opted to use a surrogate after Banks was unable to carry a child. Banks stated that once her "focus became the baby and not the pregnancy, it was a very easy decision." Banks admitted that although it was difficult to invite another person to share one of the most intimate moment of her life, she has managed to form a lasting bond with the surrogate who carried both of her children. During an interview Banks said, "our surrogate is so extraordinary, and she's still in our lives. She's like an auntie." Ironically, before having her children, Banks was the executive producer of the 2009 film Surrogates starring Bruce Willis; however, the film had nothing to do with surrogate pregnancies.

    WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: Actress Elizabeth Banks attends the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter on March 2, 2014 in West Hollywood, California.
    (Photo : Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images) WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MARCH 02: Actress Elizabeth Banks attends the 2014 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter on March 2, 2014 in West Hollywood, California.

  21. Her favorite drink is Pimm's and ginger ale. "Makes me very happy," she says.

  22. In 1999, she had a cameo appearance in the American TV soap opera All My Children (or AMC) as waitress.

  23. She co-starred in Definitely, Maybe with Ryan Reynolds.

  24. She loves to work out and hires personal trainer Joselynne Boschen. She has been working with Boschen since five years. When Elizabeth is in LA, she exercises three days a week for about an hour and concentrates on cardiovascular exercises, weight training, plyometrics, medicine balls, and TRX training.

  25. She has a recurring role as Avery Jessup on the sitcom 30 Rock from 2010 to 2012.

  26. Her one of the biggest mistake in life - acting in the independent film Surrender Dorothy. She revealed it in an interview with Slate in 2012.

  27. She is a great fan of David Letterman.

    NEW YORK, NY - MAY 04: Elizabeth Banks attends the 'China: Through The Looking Glass' Costume Institute Benefit Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 4, 2015 in New York City.
    (Photo : Larry Busacca/Getty Images) NEW YORK, NY - MAY 04: Elizabeth Banks attends the 'China: Through The Looking Glass' Costume Institute Benefit Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 4, 2015 in New York City.
  28. Banks has a celebrity crush on German-Irish actor Michael Fassbender.

  29. She is college friends with producer Todd Lieberman.

  30. Banks is a huge fan of fantasy football, she even co-wrote the book Why Fantasy Football Matters: (And Our Lives Do Not) with her husband.

    LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 20: Director Elizabeth Banks attends CinemaCon 2015 Gala Opening Night Event: Universal Pictures and Director Elizabeth Banks Invite You to the Industry Premiere of “Pitch Perfect 2” at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace during CinemaCon, the official convention of the National Association of Theatre Owners, on April 20, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
    (Photo : Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for CinemaCon) LAS VEGAS, NV - APRIL 20: Director Elizabeth Banks attends CinemaCon 2015 Gala Opening Night Event: Universal Pictures and Director Elizabeth Banks Invite You to the Industry Premiere of “Pitch Perfect 2” at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace during CinemaCon, the official convention of the National Association of Theatre Owners, on April 20, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  31. 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".

  32. 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.

    Elizabeth Banks and Jennifer Lawrence
    (Photo : Getty Images) Elizabeth Banks and Jennifer Lawrence
  33. She has a Barbie doll of her Hunger Games alter-ego Effie Trinket that she takes with her around the world and uses to photobomb her co-stars.

  34. 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.

    LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 18: Actress Elizabeth Banks attends the premiere of Lionsgate's 'The Hunger Games: Cathching Fire' at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on November 18, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.
    (Photo : Frazer Harrison/Getty Images) LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 18: Actress Elizabeth Banks attends the premiere of Lionsgate's 'The Hunger Games: Cathching Fire' at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on November 18, 2013 in Los Angeles, California.
  35. Her favorite food is sushi and miso soup.

  36. 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.

  37. Banks has a YouTube channel where, among amazing other things, she answers people's 'Really Important Questions' from Twitter.

  38. Banks is a big fan of Shakespeare and one of her favorite films is Baz Luhrmann's 1996 adaptation of Romeo And Juliet. She says not being in the film is probably her greatest regret.

  39. Her net worth is $16.5 million.

  40. She also has a recurring role on "Modern Family."

    Elizabeth Banks in a file photo.
    (Photo : Getty Images) Elizabeth Banks in a file photo.

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