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What if you had the power to change your life just by saying thank you? It sounds pretty elementary for such a monumental shift — but that’s what gratitude can do, according to director and Emmy-nominated actress Elizabeth Banks.

Banks spoke on the American Greetings gratitude panel Tuesday night, where she explained how the simple act has made a big difference in her own world. The panel was inspired by the company’s ThankList initiative, which is designed to encourage people to express thanks for the people and experiences who have shaped their lives.

“It’s one thing to think about someone or something that means something to you, but you have to actually say it,” Banks said. “You can’t just keep it inside. Write it down, let that person know — because really what this is all about is connectivity and the connectedness that we’re all wanting.”

Moderated by HuffPost President and Editor-in-Chief Arianna Huffington, the panel also included Oscar award-winning filmmaker Barbara Kopple, wellness expert Deepak Chopra, psychologist Randy Kamen and motivational speaker Gabrielle Bernstein. The experts discussed who they’re thankful for and other unexpected sources of gratitude they’ve experienced in their own lives.

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Posted by Claudia on March 27th, 2015

Elizabeth Banks has been named CinemaCon’s Breakthrough Filmmaker of the Year and will collect her honor at the annual exhibition industry trade show in April.

Banks is best known for her roles in “The Hunger Games” franchise, “Zack and Miri Make a Porno” and TV’s “30 Rock.” She makes her directorial debut with Universal Pictures’ “Pitch Perfect 2,” after having a supporting role in and producing the first film.

“Pitch Perfect 2″ hits theaters on May 15 and brings back original stars Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson.

This summer, Banks stars in the Brian Wilson biopic “Love & Mercy” and will make appearances in “Magic Mike XXL” and the crime film “Every Secret Thing.” She will also reprise her role as Effie Trinket in “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2″ and will round out the cast of Netflix’s “Wet Hot American Summer” revival.

Banks’ Brownstone Productions, the company she founded with her husband, Max Handelman, recently signed a production deal at Universal.


Posted by Claudia on March 25th, 2015

Modern Family will once again feature two familiar spices: Sal and Pepper.

Elizabeth Banks and Nathan Lane are slated to return to the ABC family comedy, EW has learned. In the episode, which is slated to air next month, Cam (Eric Stonestreet) and Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) set out to throw a belated baby shower for wild-child-turned-mom Sal (Banks) with the help of master party planner Pepper (Lane).

Banks, the Hunger Games star who directed the upcoming Pitch Perfect 2, and Lane, who has a recurring role on The Good Wife, have popped up on Modern Familymultiple times over the years. Both last appeared in the season five finale, which saw Pepper try to stage a perfect wedding for Cam and Mitch and a very pregnant Sal rush off to the hospital so she could give birth to a child whose father was apparently not her new boyfriend.


Posted by Claudia on January 7th, 2015

On the heels of Elizabeth Banks making her feature directorial debut with the upcoming sequel Pitch Perfect 2, the actress is setting her carolinewilliamssights on television. ABC has put in development The Greater Good, a single-camera comedy, which Banks is executive producing and attached to direct in what would be her TV directing gig. Written by Miss Guided creator Caroline Williams, The Greater Good is described as comedic X-Files, a relationship/workplace comedy set in the world of conspiracy theories. The project hails from 20th Century Fox TV and Banks and Handelman’s Brownstone Prods. Williams, Banks and Handelman executive produce.

Via Brownstone Prods., Banks and Handelman also produce the Pitch Perfect movie franchise, in which Banks co-stars. Banks has extensive single-camera comedy experience on the acting side with high-profile recurring roles on Scrubs and Emmy-winning 30 Rock and Modern Family. She will next be seen reprising her role in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay. Banks is repped by UTA, Untitled and Ziffren; Williams, who recently worked on Arrested Development, is with UTA, 3 Arts and Sloane Offer.


Posted by Claudia on October 24th, 2014

On if she ever had a career low: “There were a couple of auditions…one of them for a slasher film. I was going to be naked and get my neck slashed in a bathtub. I was like, I might be broke right now, but I’ll figure out another way to pay the rent.”

Her response to the question: Which actress has the best career in Hollywood?
“I don’t compare my career to other women’s; I compare my career to men’s. Why would I compare my career to the women’s? They’re not making as much money. And they don’t get to work as much. So I compare myself to Paul Rudd. He’s gotten way more opportunities than I have.”


Posted by Claudia on October 10th, 2014

The full cast of the upcoming Magic Mike sequel, Magic Mike XXL has been officially announced! Returning stars Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Kevin Nash, Adam Rodriguez and Gabriel Iglesias will be joined by newcomers Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games franchise), Donald Glover (“Community”), Amber Heard (The Rum Diary), Andie MacDowell (Footloose), Jada Pinkett Smith (“Gotham”) and Michael Strahan (“Live with Kelly and Michael”). The announcement was made today by Greg Silverman, President of Creative Development and Worldwide Production, and Sue Kroll, President of Worldwide Marketing and International Distribution, Warner Bros. Pictures, just as production begins on the sequel.

The new film will be directed and produced by Emmy Award winner Gregory Jacobs (Behind the Candelabra), who served as a producer on Magic Mike, as well as numerous features in a long-running collaboration with Steven Soderbergh. Magic Mike XXL also reunites Magic Mike producers Nick Wechsler, Channing Tatum and Reid Carolin, with a screenplay by Carolin. Soderbergh, who directed the first film, will executive produce.

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Posted by Claudia on September 29th, 2014

Fans should prepare their vocal chords as the beloved all-girls a capella group, Barden Bellas, will be back for another round of songs in “Pitch Perfect 2.” Elizabeth Banks is taking the helm for the sequel of the film.

However, latest spoilers state that the musical group will break up. Banks spilled the beans about the plot of the second film to Yahoo! Movies, and she hinted that the band members will go their separate ways.

“They’re coming to the end of their time as Bellas and figuring out how to sort of leave the nest and the comfort of each other’s friendship and figure out what they’re going to do with the rest of their lives,” Banks told Yahoo! Movies.

The second film will deal with the coming of age of the characters as the girls’ graduation is impending, and it will affect their relationships and performances. A photo posted by actress Rebel Wilson on Twitter offered a sneak peek of the movie, showing the friendship of the Bellas. The photo showed the girls in the middle of a pillow fight.

In terms of musical influences, it will have appearances of a cappella groups Pentatonix, the Filharmonic, and Penn Masala. “It’s all about authenticity in the a capella world. We really want to honor that and honor the people who are really doing it out there who we’re inspired by when we make the movie,” Banks added.

The first “Pitch Perfect” film is a standalone film. However, the overwhelming fan base of the movie demanded a sequel. It could be less appealing to people who found the first film distasteful, but loyal fans will surely shed a tear when the girls pass the torch to their successors.

“Pitch Perfect 2” stars Becca (Anna Kendrick), Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson), and Jesse (Skylar Astin), and it will show the characters’ senior year in college. The film will hit the theaters on May 15, 2015.


Posted by Claudia on September 27th, 2014

After years in front of the camera, Elizabeth Banks, is finally the boss. The 40-year-old Hunger Games star is making her directorial debut with next summer’s highly-anticipated sequel to Pitch Perfect.

Given all the musical numbers, dancing, and other moving parts required for the follow-up to the cult-favorite acapella singing comedy, she admitted to Yahoo Movies, “it was a very ambitious endeavor for a first timer.

With the cameras freshly finished rolling – production wrapped about a month ago – here’s what we learned as we grilled her on Pitch Perfect 2, due in theaters on May 15, 2015.

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Posted by Claudia on September 20th, 2014

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