Elizabeth Banks goes off-script in ‘Hunger Games: Catching Fire’

Josh Hutcherson and Jennifer Lawrence salute those who saw "Catching Fire" this weekend. Credit: Murray Close
Josh Hutcherson and Jennifer Lawrence salute those who saw “Catching Fire” this weekend.
Credit: Murray Close

Hi, could we have a suggestion from the audience? Child murder? Thanks, that’s all we need.

Elizabeth Banks would do great on a Hunger Games-themed improv team. In fact, she says, she improvised most of her character’s lines in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.”

“I get to improv a lot with Effie, which is fun,” she told MTV. “There were really very few words scripted, so I got to have fun with that sequence.”

Banks, who plays fragile fashion victim and reluctant Capitol shill Effie Trinket, famously improvised what might be the best known line from the first “Hunger Games” movie: Effie’s shocked “That is mahogany!” after Katniss practiced her knife skills on the Capitol furniture. That’s why she added the line “The library, all mahogany,” to Effie’s Capitol tour in the new film.

“I did it, and Francis called cut, and I went over to him, and said, ‘You have to keep that in the movie, because the fans will go bananas,’ ” she said.

Yep, that’s what the fans are really in it for. Mahogany jokes. Can’t wait for the sequel, “Hunger Games: Mahoganyjay.” That’s sort of a joke, but honestly I would watch the heck out of an Effie Trinket spinoff. Weirdly, I feel like it would be a sitcom. Like a ’90s-style sitcom with a wacky neighbor and stuff, except the wacky neighbor is a repressive dictator who kills kids for sport.


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