‘Luck’ continues to shine on Elizabeth Banks

Actress-writer-producer-director continues as ABC game-show host

Elizabeth Banks

For proof of how much a television show can influence a young mind, ask Elizabeth Banks.

The actress and filmmaker (“Pitch Perfect,” “Charlie’s Angels”) grew up watching the game show “Press Your Luck,” so the opportunity to host an update was a no-brainer for her. She’s also an executive producer of the revival now in its second season Sundays on ABC, and as she gives players shots at a giant game board — though animated “Whammies” can rob them of their winnings — the spirited Banks is having fun with the contest.

“The stakes are really high for me, too,” she maintains. “I want everyone to win, truly. My heart is in it with them. I get to meet their families and take pictures with everyone, and you’re on that roller coaster of highs and lows right alongside them. Also, we have such great people (as contestants); I get to see a bit of the vetting process, so I learn about them before they show up.”

Banks tried landing a game show a couple of years ago, and though it didn’t pan out, she notes the pilot “was seen by other producers, so they knew I was interested.”

Also featured recently in the FX on Hulu drama “Mrs. America,” Banks says “Press Your Luck” fits neatly into her overall work strategy: “I look around and think, ‘What’s fun for me to do?’ I’m an entertainer. That’s what I got into this to do. I love having fun and entertaining people, and if that’s not what my career is, I don’t want to get out of bed in the morning. I want to enjoy it.”

Birthdate: Feb. 10, 1974

Birthplace: Pittsfield, Mass.

Current residence: Los Angeles

Marital status: Married to fellow producer Max Handelman; they have two sons

Other television work includes: “Mrs. America,” “Modern Family,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later,” “Moonbeam City” (voice only), “The Muppets,” “30 Rock,” “Scrubs,” “Comanche Moon,” “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Sex and the City,” “All My Children,” “Third Watch”

Movie work includes: “Charlie’s Angels,” “Brightburn,” “The Happytime Murders,” “Pitch Perfect,” “Pitch Perfect 2,” “Pitch Perfect 3,” “Power Rangers,” “Magic Mike XXL,” “Love & Mercy,” “Walk of Shame,” “Every Secret Thing,” “The Lego Movie,” “Little Accidents,” “Movie 43,” “People Like Us,” “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” “The Hunger Games,” “Man on a Ledge,” “Our Idiot Brother,” “The Next Three Days,” “Zack and Miri Make a Porno,” “Role Models,” “W.,” “Definitely, Maybe,” “Fred Claus,” “Invincible,” “The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Seabiscuit,” “Catch Me If You Can,” “Swept Away,” “Spider-Man,” “Wet Hot American Summer,” “Shaft”

Jay Bobbin

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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