Elizabeth Banks has an aura about her that’s unmatched in Hollywood. Whether she’s playing a serious or funny role, she owns it with such a presence that it’s hard to keep your eyes off her. It doesn’t help that she’s also drop-dead gorgeous. Check out highlights from the filmography of one of comedy’s hottest female stars.
Character: Tori Breyer
What if Superman were evil? That’s the question this 2019 supernatural thriller hopes to answer. In the end, it doesn’t do a perfect job, but Banks shines as the generic horror version of Martha Kent. She believes in her son, and you almost want him to believe in her too…until she betrays him and he kills her by flying her high into the atmosphere in that familiar Lois and Clark scene and then dropping her to her death.
9. Pitch Perfect 1/2/3
It’s hard to believe anybody could stand out as the craziest people in the entire franchise, but Banks and John Michael Higgins pull it off as the dueling commentators for the ICCA competitions. They do their best to stick to the action but can’t help taking classic shots at each other. One can only hope these two get their own spin-off.
8. Walk of Shame
This 2014 movie is one of few where Banks is the headlining star, instead of just a part of an ensemble or the romantic interest. She plays it to great effect as a news anchor trying to make it home after waking up in a stranger’s bed the morning after a party.
Character: Dr. Kim Briggs
Calling this Zach Braff-led hospital workplace comedy the sitcom version of ER ignores the brilliance of the show. It explores deep themes and becomes almost cartoony in its ambitions. There are few shows that can compare even today. Banks has a recurring role that sticks with us.
6. Wet Hot American Summer
This 2001 movie and subsequent mini-series became a hit franchise on the backs of the hilarious ensemble cast. Banks holds her own (as she always does) in this crowded field by being that perfect mix of sexy, sensible, and shockingly hilarious.
5. Role Models
Role Models is a 2008 comedy film that follows two energy drink salesmen (Paul Rudd and Sean William Scott) who mentor some teenagers for court-ordered community service. Beth is Danny’s (Rudd) ex and the lawyer who convinces the judge to grant them community service over jail sentences. She becomes the heart of the movie, helping the bumbling adults get into LARPing and be real role models.
4. Love & Mercy
Character: Melinda Ledbetter
Beach Boys leader and co-founder Brian Wilson struggles with drug use and mental illness, and Banks holds it down as his second wife. This 2014 biopic portrays the best (or worst, as it were) parts of an iconic career that spawned some of the catchiest songs of all time.
3. The Hunger Games, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games: Mocking Jay – Part 1/Part 2
Character: Effie Trinket
Effie Trinke is one of the only sector chaperones who manages to survive through the Hunger Games series. Not only that, but she even begins to side with the rebellion, making Banks one of the most beloved stars of the series, alongside Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth.
2. 30 Rock
Character: Avery Jessup
Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin) is a conservative business executive whose personal views make it hard to believe he’ll ever find love. Enter Avery Jessup (Banks), a tough-talking Fox News anchor who’s the female embodiment of Jack.
1. Zack and Miri Make a Porno
Seth Rogen and Banks partner with Kevin Smith in this 2008 sex comedy about two friends and roommates who need money and make a porn movie. The suggested porn movie names alone are worth watching the movie (the trailer barely touches the tip).