Our Idiot Brother star Elizabeth Banks found the plot of the film hit a little close to home. Banks recently visited with Movie Fanatic to discuss the Sundance darling from director Jesse Peretz (The Ex).
Banks was quick to admit that it was almost scary how much the Ned character in Our Idiot Brother, played by Paul Rudd, reminded her of her own brother. Needless to say, Banks needed little prep to portray Miranda.
The actress is the star of a wide array of films from The 40-Year-Old Virgin to the upcoming Hunger Games and we’ve always found her a complete delight. Honestly, we’ve never seen her as joyous as when she was discussing the ensemble comedy, Our Idiot Brother. The comedy about a dysfunctional family whose brother (Rudd) finally comes home features Banks as one of three sisters… something she identified with as well.
Movie Fanatic: Paul Rudd’s Ned is kind of in the family doghouse when he returns. Have you ever had that experience?
Elizabeth Banks: I once forwarded my middle sister — the Liz in my life, who married a not great guy — I can’t remember exactly what happened, but basically I was like, “When we go to the wedding, we’re just going to make the best of a bad situation.” My sister ended up on the email forward and wrote me back, reply-all, “I really wish I didn’t know this was how you were coming to my wedding.” Needless to say, I was not in the wedding at my sister’s wedding, nor was my other sister. It’s all worked out. We’re all best friends — and that dude is no longer in our (expletive) life. So, I was right [laughs].
Movie Fanatic: I’ve heard a little rumor that you saw your own family dynamic in the script and that helped you decide to do the project…
Elizabeth Banks: Yeah, this movie is fairly biographical for me. When Jesse called me about the movie after I had read it, I was laughing like, “Did he somehow go to my home?” I am the oldest, bossiest daughter of a family of four. I have two sisters, one of whom is a divorced mother of two, and one of whom lives in Brooklyn with four roommates. She actually just moved in with her boyfriend, so we’re real hopeful that this is the one. I have a 26-year-old brother who sells pizza and maybe something else while delivering those pizzas.
Movie Fanatic: Wow, so I’d say this movie really struck a chord for you?
Elizabeth Banks: Yes, I really connected to the film in a deep way.
Movie Fanatic: Did you and your fellow cinematic sisters (Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer) from Our Idiot Brother get to spend a lot of time together? Your bond felt so real.
Elizabeth Banks: Well, what made it really easy because Emily came to set with pink eye on the first day [laughs]. It was repulsive and made us not want to touch her. It was really sweet, it was like she did it for us.
Movie Fanatic: Your character is a journalist. Do you now have a new appreciation for what we do in the biz?
Elizabeth Banks: The manipulation of a good reporter — nicely done [laughs]. I understand wholly in this media age why it’s really important for all of y’all to find your nugget or your POV or your special quotes. I still don’t care [laughs]. Even playing this character, it’s an ethical dilemma on a daily basis for y’all, I’m sure. You deal with it in your own ways. Hopefully you’ll have a brother like Ned.