As an actress, Elizabeth Banks is impossible to put in a box. In one fall movie season, she was alternately in a comedy about a homemade porno at the same time that she appeared in W as former first lady Laura Bush. Even now, while currently starring as Jack Donaghy’s love interest in NBC’s comedy 30 Rock, she’s appearing in theatres as a suicidal heroine in the suspense film The Next Three Days, alongside Russell Crowe.
“I feel like I was getting a little bit caught up in being the girl in a bunch of boy’s funny movies and it just becomes less interesting the more and more you do that,” the actress explains while munching on some M&M’s in New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel. “To be presented with something that was going to challenge a whole other set of tools that I have as an actor and also to be able to play with Russell and [director] Paul Haggis, who are just at the top of their game, it was such a no-brainer.”
In the The Next Three Days, her character, Lara Brennan, is accused of a murder that she claims she didn’t commit. When her mental health begins to deteriorate behind bars as it becomes clear that she cannot escape her fate, husband John (Crowe) plans to go to any lengths to save her.
- Banks interviewed some inmates to learn the details of their day-to-day lives for her role.
- She plays the role of a woman on edge behind bars.
- Inmates drained their prison toilets and used the pipes as a phone system. “Whoever is on your pipe system, you can start talking to at night,”?Banks said.