×

Power of Women: Elizabeth Banks Honored for Her Work With American Heart Assn.

Thesp receives org's Go Red for Women Award

When Banks got involved with the American Heart Assn.’s Go Red for Women campaign, she saw the opportunity to educate women about cardiac disease and heart attacks through gentle humor and real stories from real survivors of the disease. And thus her short film, “Just a Little Heart Attack,” was born.

“I was really interested in directing. I could make something that could reach a lot of women,” she says, noting that it took a little persuasion to get the AHA on board with the humor concept.

In the film, a busy working mom experiences heart attack symptoms and ignores them until her son points out the obvious.

SEE ALSO: Nicole Kidman, Amy Pascal, Amy Poehler, Charlize Theron, Kerry Washington: Variety’s Power of Women

“Most women don’t know the signs of a heart attack,” she says. “They think they have gas, or a hot flash, or cramp from their period. Women don’t call 911 and don’t see a general practitioner. I wanted to highlight that. We need to speak about it and if you get quick medical attention, the damage can be rectified. Most attacks are small and can occur over time.”

As to what drew her to this campaign, she says: “It’s really simple. I didn’t know that heart disease was the No. 1 killer of women in the U.S. — killing more than all forms of cancer combined.”

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • The Ringer Promotes Sean Fennessey, Mallory

    The Ringer Promotes Sean Fennessey, Mallory Rubin to Top Editorial Roles

    Mallory Rubin and Sean Fennessey have been promoted to top editorial posts at The Ringer, the pop culture and sports website and podcast network. Fennessey has been named chief content officer and Rubin has been named editor in chief. Both editors have been with The Ringer since it launched in 2016. Fennessey previously served as [...]

  • RihannaFenty Beauty By Rihanna Launch, Madrid,

    Rihanna's Diamond Ball Will Honor Activist Shaun King, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley

    Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley and civil rights activist Shaun King will receive this year’s Diamond Ball Award at Rihanna’s fifth annual Diamond Ball, which will also feature performances from Pharrell and DJ Khaled. “I can’t imagine a better night than this year’s Clara Lionel Foundation event with Seth Meyers, Pharrell and DJ Khaled,” said [...]

  • Rules Don't Apply

    Warren Beatty and Arnon Milchan Settle Suit Over 'Rules Don't Apply' Flop

    Arnon Milchan and Warren Beatty have settled their two-year legal battle over the disastrous release of “Rules Don’t Apply,” Beatty’s period drama about Howard Hughes. Milchan’s attorneys have filed a notice with the court dismissing his suit against Beatty. Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. Milchan’s company, New Regency, sued Beatty and other investors [...]

  • A Quiet Place

    Why Dynamic Pricing for Movie Tickets Could Be a Tough Sell

    People aren’t going to the movies as much this summer. Are they staying away because the films are duds, or is it because tickets are getting too expensive? AMC is making a bet that cost, not quality, is behind the recent downturn. Last week, the country’s largest exhibitor announced it will be testing a new [...]

  • Yara Shahidi

    Audible Teams Up With Big Names as Audio-Only Storytelling Expands

    Hobnobbing with the likes of Reese Witherspoon, Kate McKinnon and Yara Shahidi isn’t typically the gloss applied to the cerebral audiobook set, but Audible is putting the humble audio story through its own movie-makeover montage, inking high-profile development deals with entertainment names like “The Walking Dead” comics creator Skybound Entertainment, Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine and Lorne [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content