Banks reinvents Effie in Mockingjay

It's no secret that Effie Trinket will play a more substantial role in the third Hunger Games film, and actress Elizabeth Banks says she relished the freedom it gave her to be creative with her pink-haired character as she navigates life away from The Capital.

Fans of The Hunger Games were left wondering last month why Effie appeared in a poster for the highly anticipated film, Mockingjay Part 1, given the prim and proper escort of District 12's tributes hardly features at all in the last book of the trilogy.

In Suzanne Collins' novel Effie is left behind in The Capitol.

But director Francis Lawrence confirmed that his version will see her join Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence), Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) and the other rebels in District 13.

"In the book, Fulvia basically replaces her. But how can anybody replace Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket in these movies?" director Lawrence said on the Hunger Games website.

"When Suzanne Collins saw Catching Fire, she called and one of the first things she said was, 'There's no way Effie Trinket cannot be in the Mockingjay films'. Effie brings such warmth and fun and levity to these dark stories."

For Banks, that was good news.

And the 40-year-old actress, producer and director said the absence of any restrictions a book might dictate left her more free than the rest of the cast to be inventive.

"Francis Lawrence is amazing, and I had a lot of latitude in creating Effie, because there isn't as much in the book as there is for the other characters," Banks told AAP on Thursday.

"So I really have been able to play with her."

The film's poster shows a markedly toned-down Effie, her usual outrageously bright garb replaced with District 13 greys.

"She'll be a fish out of water because she's never spent any time out of the Capital," Banks said.

"District 13 is a very severe place - they don't even have coffee, let alone what Effie is used to in the capital.

"She still brings her sheekness to that world though, I think people are going to have a lot of fun watching Effie figure out how to make ends meet in District 13."

Lawrence, who also directed 2013's Catching Fire, has previously said Julianne Moore's role as rebel president Alma Coin will also be expanded.

Katniss, of course, will still be caught between her love interests Peeta and Gale (Liam Hemsworth).

But any tension between the cast stays on the screen.

"It's really easy to be in that world when you have such great acting partners," Banks said of the dystopia of Panem.

"There's a lot of outrageousness going on on set in terms of hair and costumes, the way I have to speak, the circumstances we're all under.

"I feel very proud of Katniss and Peeta and Jen (Lawrence) and Josh (Hutcherson). It's sort of like we're all in it together."


  • The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 releases in Australian cinemas on November 20

The West Australian

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