You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Charlie’s Angels’ Director Elizabeth Banks on Living Up to Franchise’s Legacy: ‘It’s a Lot of Pressure’

Is Elizabeth Banks ready for the world to experience “Charlie’s Angels”?

“It’s a lot of pressure,” Banks told Variety at Monday’s premiere of the film in Los Angeles. “It’s very scary. I’ve seen the movie with an audience, and so I know the movie works, that the audience loves it and goes along on the ride.”

“It’s really funny. I think it’s very surprising for people and that was the job,” she continued. “And so I feel like my part’s done, and now it’s out of my control, which I hate.”

Until now, Banks was completely in control of the latest entry in the 40-year-old franchise about female super spies — writing, producing, starring in and directing the film. “My first memory of the ‘Angels’ was that they were professional women and they had the most incredible job,” she recalled. 

From the original Angels — Jaclyn Smith, Kate Jackson, Cheryl Ladd and the late Farrah Fawcett — to the stars of the 2000s-set films — Cameron Diaz, Lucy Liu and Drew Barrymore (who is credited as an executive producer on this film) — the super spies have become feminist icons, giving the new stars a lot to live up to. Ella Balinska, who stars as Jane, shared how important it was to have the support of those who came before her.

“It’s an incredible legacy to build on,” Balinksa told Variety. “They inspired us to do what they do, and I guess we could turn that around and hopefully say that all the people watching this can be inspired by what we do. And if we’ve done that, then I can sleep happy.”

Popular on Variety

Balinska walked the purple carpet with fellow Angels Kristen Stewart and Naomi Scott at the Regency Village Theatre in Westwood, posing with “RuPaul’s Drag Race” stars Nina West, Peppermint and Farrah Moan, who dressed in tribute to the original icons.

“Seeing women being called to take charge and be the lead was so important,” West said of the impact of Angels past and present. “It so obviously continues to be a message that really has to be nailed home and reminded that women deserve a seat at the table and we all deserve a seat at the table.”

Farrah Moan added, “[The show] let me express my own femininity within my own self and feel powerful in that way. So if I, as a non-binary femme-identifying person, can find power in [these] women, then it’s even better for cisgender women that might not feel as powerful … we get to literally show women that it is the power within you that can kick any man’s ass.”

Noah Centineo, who plays Balinska’s love interest in the movie, also shared the importance of the film from the other end of the gender spectrum.

“To be part of a film that’s breaking the frontier of women empowerment, supporting and growing it exponentially from where the other films and the TV show left off, I mean, I’d be a fool to say no [to the role],” Centineo said. “And the 8-year-old that wanted to be an actor is over the moon… It’s the first time I’ll see myself, like, on the big screen. And just to be involved with these three extremely talented women and Elizabeth Banks, it’s just a huge, huge mile marker for me.”

“Charlie’s Angels” hits theaters on Nov. 15.

Naomi Scott, Peppermint, Kristen Stewart, Nina West, Ella Balinska and Farrah Moan'Charlie's Angels' film premiere, Arrivals, Regency Village Theatre, Los Angeles, USA - 11 Nov 2019
CREDIT: Michael Buckner/Variety/Shutterstock

More Scene


    Donna Karan, Mary-Louise Parker Honored at David Lynch Foundation's Women of Vision Awards

    Donna Karan, Mary-Louise Parker and Deborra-Lee Furness were celebrated for their charitable work at the David Lynch Foundation’s 2019 Women of Vision Awards. “We are all being guided to come together as one. There is so much chaos in the world right now,” Karan said, while accepting her Lifetime Achievement Award at the annual luncheon on [...]

  • Bill Hader

    Bill Hader, Greg Berlanti, Margie Cohn and Cindy Holland Inducted Into Variety Hall of Fame

    Variety’s annual Hall of Fame ceremony mixed comedy, gratitude and warmth at the annual awards ceremony Tuesday night at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. Because the class of 2019 celebrates technical innovation and achievement across film, TV, digital, video games and music. The honorees — Greg Berlanti, Bill Hader, Cindy Holland, Dametra Johnson-Marletti, [...]

  • Billy Porter FNAA

    Billy Porter Explains Why Fashion 'Can and Should' Be Activism

    On Tuesday in New York City, a handful of fashion’s marquee names, including Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilfiger, Steve Madden and Pete Nordstrom, and many of its muses, including Billy Porter, Lena Waithe, Adriana Lima and Paris Hilton, gathered to celebrate the annual Footwear News Achievement Awards — or, as it’s more colloquially dubbed, the “Shoe Oscars.” Activism and the potential for designers to spur [...]

  • Tiffany Haddish Black Mitzvah

    Barbra Streisand Gives Tiffany Haddish Star of David Necklace for Her 'Black Mitzvah'

    Tiffany Haddish rang in her 40th birthday Tuesday night by celebrating her black and Jewish heritage with a star-studded “Black Mitzvah” party. One of Haddish’s famous friends, Barbra Streisand, was noticeably absent from the festivities, but sent the comedian a special memento for the occasion. “She got me this beautiful Star of David,” Haddish told [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content