Elizabeth Banks on real-life parenting and What To Expect When You’re Expecting

Interviews with people who shape our culture.
April 17 2012 12:12 PM

Elizabeth Banks Knows What To Expect

The actress opens up about parenting and the upcoming film adaption of What To Expect When You’re Expecting.

Elizabeth Banks
Elizabeth Banks

Photograph by Todd Williamson.

As the mother of a 1-year old, Elizabeth Banks knows firsthand that parenting, for all of its rewards, can be downright annoying. But it’s also fodder for great comedy.

Banks’ experience as a first-time mother dovetails nicely with her role in the upcoming film adaption of What To Expect When You’re Expecting—one of four feature films she will appear in this year.

The 38-year-old actress recently sat down for a wide-ranging interview with Slate’s Jacob Weisberg to talk about mothering, why she loved playing Effie Trinket in The Hunger Games, and how a best-selling parenting handbook is being mined for comedy on the big screen.


In Part 1 of our interview with Elizabeth Banks, she discusses the joys of working with Judd Apatow. In Part 3 Banks answers Slate reader questions, and in Part 4 she discusses how a Hollywood actress can age gracefully.