Growing up, actress Elizabeth Banks saw herself in school as a “goody two-shoes.” Well, the good girl has gone bad in the new Kevin Smith-directed film Zack and Miri Make a Porno. Zack (played by Seth Rogen) and Miri (played by Banks) are two lifelong friends – platonic friends – who are roommates, trying to make ends meet. When they get behind on their bills they decide to enter the world of adult films and make their own homemade porno in hopes of getting some quick cash. They cast the actors, write the screenplay and go on a hilarious journey together that changes their lives forever. With roles in past films that include Catch Me If You Can, Spider-Man and The 40 Year Old Virgin, Banks continues to shine in both drama and comedy.
What attracted you to doing Zack and Miri Make a Porno?
I really responded to the love story in the script. I think Kevin is a giant romantic. It also represented the opportunity to play a really well written, authentic, funny woman, which is very rare. I think any actress in Hollywood is looking for that right now.
When it came to nudity in this film, did you know how much was going to be shown and not going to be shown?
I was prepared to shoot the film naked with the understanding that my bits and parts would be covered mostly by Seth. I wasn’t really worried about it. Kevin had always thought that he was going to focus the moments in the movie on our emotions rather than on the physical. He had an epiphany before we started filming and decided for us not to take our clothes off. I think he felt he was going to be more uncomfortable with us being naked around him rather than us feeling uncomfortable about being naked.
Underneath the funny and raunchy moments in this film, there’s definitely a heartwarming love story.
We set out first and foremost to make a really funny movie. That was the number one goal. The secondary goal was to have a really great love story. We wanted to make a romantic comedy in the best sense of those two words. Anytime the story got really emotional we undercut it with something outrageous – a combination that made this special.
Do you think women will want to see this movie?
It’s a great movie for the ladies. I think Mary is a really great character. When you leave the theater you will have a giant grin on our face.
You have great chemistry with your co-star Seth.
We make each other laugh. We have all the elements that go into a good relationship. We totally trust each other and believe that we make each other look good. I adore him and respect him immensely. I think he’s really talented.
If you had any financial woes in real-life, would you consider making a porno with your friends?
No, I’m very good at making money. I have been making money since I was 11 ½ years old, when I first started working at the Catholic Youth Center in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. I think there are other ways for these guys to get out of this circumstance, but sometimes it’s that outrageous solution that you feel will invest your life with some zest. I think they were looking for something more than just getting out of their financial problems. They were looking for a purpose in their lives.
If you had to choose any celebrity to make a porno with who would it be?
Brad Pitt…and Angelina!