Elizabeth Banks’ star has been on the rise in 2015, thanks to her Emmy nomination as well as several roles in fan-beloved properties. However, the actress says that, despite her success, she still feels the sting of Hollywood sexism.
Many may know Banks as Effie Trinket in the popular “Hunger Games” franchise. Others may remember her heavily expanded role in Netflix’s recent “Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp” series. In addition, she played Gail in “Pitch Perfect 2,” which she also directed. However, she gained the most critical acclaim this year for her latest guest appearance as Sal on ABC’s “Modern Family.”
The actress reprised her recurring guest role, as the former best friend of Cam (Eric Stonestreet) and Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson). Over the years, Sal has been a bit of a trainwreck party-girl. However, when she arrived in the latest season, she was a responsible mother. The episode explored her character’s ability to come to terms with growing up, motherhood and earned her a highly-coveted Emmy nomination.
Despite her obvious success as an actress, Banks, 41, recently opened up to Deadline about the current state of women in Hollywood, saying that it is very difficult for an older actress to stay relevant in a business where a countless stream of young talent is able to fill the void so easily.
“Oh, I think it drove me to direct for sure,” she told the outlet. “I definitely was feeling that I was unfulfilled and a little bit bored by the things that were coming across my desk."
Banks said roles like Effie "helped sustain" her, but ultimately, she worried about losing parts to up-and-comers in the business. "Just watching my peer group get to still have lead roles in movies and know that more and more, those are going to up-and-comers instead of people who are veterans in the industry. I mean I look at Gwyneth Paltrow who has her Oscar and played fifth banana to Iron Man," she said. "That to me is a great example of the fate of women in Hollywood. Like what more can you do? I didn’t even date Brad Pitt so what more can I do?”
While Banks’ reasoning for stepping behind the camera is quite sad, it’s hard to argue with the results as “Pitch Perfect 2” was mostly enjoyed by the critics and fans of the first movie alike. Currently, the actress says she’s hard at work on “Pitch Perfect 3,” which is scheduled for release sometime in 2017, according to Variety.
What do you think about Banks’ comments on women in Hollywood? Comment below or tweet your thoughts to @TylerMcCarthy.