Elizabeth Banks took lessons from ‘Hunger Games,’ applied them to ‘Pitch Perfect 2’

LONDON – “Effie is a bit depressed at this point.”

That's Elizabeth Banks, on the state of being of her “Hunger Games” character in “Mockingjay – Part 1.” Effie is no longer a TV queen in the capital, but a refugee in District 13; she has a drab jumpsuit like everyone else. But she finds a way to apply her brand of fabulous to the rebel cause.

“That's the most important thing to Effie,” Banks told HitFix during press for “Mockingjay,” “…that she feels helpful.”

Banks dug in even further into the “usefulness” of beauty — of high fashion and the right “look.” While Effie may have been a stand-in for the Capitol's decadence, she responds simply to beauty, ultimately.

“Beauty matters. Beauty has been respected since Adam and Eve, since Constantinople, for Rome… I think people dismiss Effie's beliefs as frivolous or superficial, but she actually is getting at something very human,” she said, turning the thought toward “Hunger Games” lead Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence). “People are going to respond better to Katniss if she's a stand-out great beauty, which she happens to be… it's a real truth about us.”

For those who feel like they miss the high fashion and luxury of the first two films, stay tuned for “Mockingjay – Part 2,” as Banks says — SPOILER ALERT! — the rebelling districts “storm the capitol and meet the citizens” of the Capitol.

Banks has been taking the lessons she's learned just from shooting this franchise and applying it to her own: she's directing “Pitch Perfect 2,” after she co-produced the Anna Kendrick-starring 2012 film. She said she wants to harness that the collaborative spirit that came with the “Hunger Games” film shoots, and that “there has to be a central vision or an idea for everything.”

She named some of the film-making elements — hair, makeup, costuming, choreography, song selection — that exist on the long list of decisions she's had to make about this sequel. But for those who are excited about the a cappella-adoring flick: “the singing the dancing is already done, and shot, and in the movie.”

Watch the complete interview with Banks below, on how she can't change the “Pitch Perfect” singing numbers but could shift the soundtrack, and more on the world of “Mockingjay.”

“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” is in theaters Friday (Nov. 21).