Elizabeth Banks helps us understand Effie Trinket of ‘The Hunger Games’
As Effie Trinket, the escort who preps the kids for “The Hunger Games,” Elizabeth Banks is unrecognizable behind thick makeup and some ridiculous hair and hats. The plucky villainess talks to Metro about the film’s similarities to reality TV, and her thoughts on “The Jersey Shore.”
There’s more to Effie than just being a pink-haired villain. As a career woman, she doesn’t have the best gig.
No, District 12 is terrible. To me, Effie drank the Kool-Aid. She’s onboard because she’s in the 1 percent and she doesn’t want to give that up. I think she thinks, “Revolution would be bad. People will die and I might lose my cupcakes.” She’s not one for change. She likes the status quo. I think she shows up in District 12 disgusted, thinks that it’s dirty, wants to go home as fast as possible. I think of PR people and stylists I’ve worked with who go, “Well, I’ll make the best of a bad situation,” you know? And I think that’s Effie. The main thing about Effie is she’s super-selfish. It’s all about her.
But she’s also thrilled to show off the finer things in life to the kids.
I think Effie’s main thing is she’s ultimately a very optimistic and effervescent, theatrical person. That’s why she has the job that she has, because she’s spinning the job she has positively all the time. They’re most likely going to die, and she’s seen a lot of kids die. So in her mind it’s like, “You won a lottery ticket. We’re all going to die, but you’re going to go out famous, with a big bang!” That’s Effie’s attitude about these kids. They’re almost definitely going to die, she’s pretty sure of it. But they just won a ticket to a great reality show.
The book and the movie do a great job of satirizing that aspect of our culture — reality TV. I don’t know how much reality TV you watch …
I don’t mind the competition shows where people actually have a talent that they bring to bear on something, like “Project Runway,” the chef ones, “Idol,” “Voice,” “The X Factor.” But the message that we reward bad behavior — I personally don’t believe that the 15 minutes of fame is worth your dignity. And I think there are a few people that come to them with something to offer the world, and that’s a little bit more interesting. But I don’t watch “Jersey Shore.” I know people go, “I watch it because it’s so crazy. I would never do that.” But you’re watching it and you’re giving them ratings. You’re rewarding them by watching it.