Elizabeth Banks, who ditches her Hunger Games/Effie Trinket look to play a very tan former stripper in this month’s Magic Mike XXL (oh wait, and who also directed this summer’s hit Pitch Perfect 2 and stars in the Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy), offers her outdoor party must-haves. Let the real Hunger Games begin.
What’s your ideal summer meal?
I mostly would cook, but if I could, I would serve food from some of my favorite places, too. My corn on the cob would be Café Habana for sure. It’s amazing. They have it here in Malibu, too. My drink would come from Lupa in New York: It’s whiskey, honey syrup, and mint, and it’s amazing. It’s very refreshing. Perfect for summer. I’d do fried chicken fromJCT Kitchen in Atlanta.
Did you eat that while shooting Hunger Games?
I have that every time I’m in Atlanta. They sell out of it. You have to have a dinner reservation before 8:30 or you’re not going to get the chicken. I’d get their fried chicken and all of the sides. And I’d want really yummy potatoes and cucumber from Wallse in New York.
I would have watermelon WITH seeds. I think they taste a lot better. It’s sweeter, and it’s fun to spit the seeds out.
Thoughts on potato salad?
How do you make yours?
Red Bliss potatoes—with mayo. My mom makes a very good potato salad. She soaks the potatoes in vinegar overnight before she boils them. There’s definitely vinegar involved, but not in the actual dressing. She just gets the potato to have a brine-y vinegar essence to them. And then it’s all about Hellman’s. Or Best Foods. On the East Coast, It’s Hellman’s.
What about music?
I’m all about hits. I love pop music. What’s Taylor Swift putting out?
You’re in the Brian Wilson biopic Love and Mercy. Would you play any Beach Boys?
I like the really older stuff. “Good Vibrations” is amazing. “Little Deuce Coupe” is one of my favorites. “Help Me Rhonda.” The really upbeat stuff. Once Pet Sounds happened, it got darker. Really cool and funky but not as much Americana.
What are the keys to a good summer party?
A good mix of people. And a bouncey castle, if you’ve got kids. They’re 300 bucks. And no glass around the pool. I have a lot of acrylic.