Elizabeth Banks presses on with ‘Press Your Luck’



Actress-filmmaker calls ABC game show 'one of my favorite jobs'

Elizabeth Banks of ‘Press Your Luck’ Thursday on ABC

Q: Though you’re also an executive producer of “Press Your Luck,” with everything else you have going on in your movie and television careers, are you surprised you’ve stayed with it this long?

A: You know, I have three partners, and they find the best people (to play the game). And I love changing people’s lives. I wasn’t sure about hosting a game show, but from Day One, this has been one of my favorite jobs I’ve ever done.

It’s really because I love dealing with the contestants, and it’s very personal. The very first episode, I was wiping tears off a contestant’s face, and I just knew we were making a special television show.


Q: The “Press Your Luck” set seems to spin around so quickly between rounds, is it ever too fast for you?

A: Yes, I am in danger … especially in high heels! We spin it twice, because we have to move our cameras. The first time, I’m never ready and I just hold on, because I know the camera will cut away. Then, I get really prepared and they give me a “3, 2, 1” (countdown) and I just sort of ride it. And you really are riding it.


Q: The studio audience for “Press Your Luck” was visibly and substantially reduced during earlier stages of the coronavirus pandemic. What are your thoughts on having it back to a fuller capacity now?

A: We were really proud that we were able to do it the way we did and still have contestants’ supporters with us. And our crew loves our show, so at the height of the pandemic, you could hear them screaming and clapping. They’re so into it, it’s amazing, but I cannot deny that to have an audience back is huge.

I forgot how much they influence people’s play, and I was interested in what a player heard first when he or she was in a moment when they were in a panic. The audience really can affect whether someone will press their luck and play on.


Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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