Elizabeth Banks has become one of Hollywood’s most sought after and versatile actresses, moving effortlessly between comedy and drama, and now taking on a role as a producer. She will next be seen starring opposite Russell Crowe in “The Next Three Days,” directed by Paul Haggis. Banks portrays a woman jailed for murder whose husband (Crowe) tries to free her from prison. Lions Gate will release the film on November 19th, 2010. Additionally, Elizabeth will be seen starring in the independent film “The Details” opposite Tobey Macguire and Laura Linney. She can currently be seen in a recurring role on the NBC series “30 Rock.”
Banks recently produced Disney’s sci-fi thriller “The Surrogates,” starring Bruce Willis, through her company Brownstone Productions. Upcoming projects for Brownstone, which Banks runs with her husband Max Handelman, include “Forever 21,” a Dreamworks comedy which Banks will star in and produce, “Too Far From Home,” a Universal film about three astronauts who were stranded on the international space station and the comedy “Pitch Perfect,” also at Universal.
In 2008, Banks had four films in theatres “W,” “Zach and Miri Make a Porno,” “Role Models” and “Meet Dave.” Banks received critical acclaim for her role as “First Lady Laura Bush” opposite Josh Brolin in Oliver Stone’s “W”. The impressive cast included James Cromwell, Richard Dreyfuss, Ellen Burstyn and Jeffrey Wright. In Kevin Smith’s “Zack and Miri Make a Porno.” Banks (Miri) and Zack (Seth) play two broke friends who decide to cure their financial ills by making an X-rated movie. Banks also appeared in Universal’s “Role Models,” opposite Paul Rudd and Sean William Scott and the Fox comedy “Meet Dave” opposite Eddie Murphy.
In 2007, Banks was seen in the Warner Brothers holiday comedy “Fred Claus” opposite Vince Vaughn and Paul Giamatti. The film grossed over 70 million dollars at the box office. Banks was also seen reprising her role as journalist “Betty Brant” in “Spiderman 3”. Banks appeared in both of the previous “Spiderman” blockbusters in the role which director Sam Raimi created for her.
In 2006, Banks starred in the Disney blockbuster “Invincible,” opposite Mark Wahlberg and Greg Kinnear. The film opened number one at the box office.
In 2005, Elizabeth made a memorable turn in “The 40-Year-Old Virgin” as “Beth” a sex-crazed book store employee. The same year she also appeared in “Sisters,” an independent film opposite Maria Bello and Eric McCormack. She was also seen in Universal Pictures’ critically acclaimed horror/comedy “Slither”.
In June 2005, Banks was seen starring in the Sony Classics/Ivory Merchant drama “Heights” opposite Glenn Close and James Marsden. Also in 2005, Banks appeared in IFC Film’s “The Baxter”.
Banks’ additional feature credits include her breakthrough roles the award Academy Award winning films “Seabiscut,” in which she starred as “Marcela Howard” opposite Jeff Bridges and Tobey Macguire, and in Steve Spielberg’s “Catch Me If You Can.” She has also appeared in “The Uninvited,” “Daltry Calhoun,” “Sexual Life”, John Singleton’s “Shaft” with Samuel L. Jackson and “Wet Hot American Summer” starring Jeneane Garofalo and David Hyde Pierce. She has also appeared in several independent features including “The Trade” and “Ordinary Sinner,” which won the Best Film Award at the 2002 Slamdance Film Festival in Park City. Her extensive theater credits include many roles in American Conservatory Theatre productions, as well as the Guthrie Theater’s production of “Summer & Smoke” directed by David Esbjornson. In 2006 Banks played Cherie, the female lead in William Inge’s comedy “Bus Stop,” as part of the Williamstown Theater Festival.
On the small screen Banks recently made a guest appearance on ABC’s “Modern Family” and appeared in recurring role as “Dr. Kim Porter” on NBC’s “Scrubs.” In 2007 she appeared in the CBS mini series “Comanche Moon,” which is Larry McMurtry’s popular prequel to “Lonesome Dove.”
Originally from Massachusetts, Banks received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her Graduate Degree at the American Conservatory Theater. She currently resides in Los Angeles.