On Tuesday night, Elizabeth Banks will take the podium at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia to explain why she’s backing Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the White House. She spoke to Variety about the history-making candidate, Donald Trump’s surge in popularity and why she won’t direct “Pitch Perfect 3.”
Why do you think it’s taken so long for either party to nominate a female candidate for president?
I think we’ve been waiting for the right candidate. I think we have that candidate in Hillary Clinton. I don’t think anyone has run for the White House who is more qualified than Hillary. I really believe that Hillary Clinton has made the world ready for Hillary Clinton.
How do you explain Donald Trump’s appeal?
I’ll put it in terms that Variety readers will understand. I remember in my career feeling I didn’t have control over what was happening to me or what was going on in my life. The only thing I could control was to fire my agents. So I fired my agents. That’s how you get a sense of control. I understand the impetus for people right now who feel like their lives are a little bit out of control. I felt like that’s what partially happened with Brexit in England. I would remind people to look at the day after Brexit, and to think about what happens if you let this emotional feeling or loss of control lead you to Donald Trump and not Hillary Clinton. I think it would be a very bad decision for our country.
Could Trump could win?
I don’t think so. But I believe everyone needs to vote. Everyone needs to participate in this election.
Do you there will be a day when the United States has a female president and vice president?
I hope so. We are half the population and we do matter. People are figuring that out. We have a long way to go. We are up against thousands and thousands of years of patriarchy. I don’t think a change is happening overnight. Hillary is a great step in the right direction. I have two small children. I think about them having only lived in a world where a black man and a woman ran our country. It gives me great hope for the future of our country.
You’re not directing “Pitch Perfect 3” because of your kids.
I think one of the big systematic issues in our industry that keeps women out of the directing chair is that we don’t want to break up our families. I would love for Variety and everyone to lobby the legislator in California to pass a tax credit that keeps Hollywood in Hollywood. That’s a huge problem for me. I really wanted to be with my kids in LA.
So if the movie had shot in LA, you would have directed it?
It would have made the decision a lot more likely. We shot the last two movies in Louisiana. But my kids were little. I don’t want to decide between my work and my kids. It was a really hard decision, but I don’t think I’ll ever regret not choosing my children.