Elizabeth Banks got Hunger Games author's blessing for return

Banks at the London premiere

Elizabeth Banks at 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1' premiere in London

Actress Elizabeth Banks asked Suzanne Collins for her blessing before agreeing to return to 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1' franchise.

Elizabeth Banks asked Suzanne Collins for her blessing before agreeing to return to 'The Hunger Games' franchise.

The 40-year-old actress - who plays Effie Trinket, a flamboyant escort for the tributes, in the film series - didn't expect to return for the third or fourth movies because her character is not in the original novels by Collins, so felt compelled to ask for her permission before re-joining the cast for 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1'.

Speaking at a press conference for the new movie in London on Monday (10.11.14), she explained: "It was really important to me that Suzanne was on board, that the fans felt like we weren't taking too much away from the books."

The star was brought back by producers to replace the character of Fulvia Cardew in an effort not to over-complicate the plot with several new characters, a decision Banks is grateful for.

She added: "Nina Jacobson, the producer of the film, just called me one day and said, 'I think we've figured out a way for Effie to be in District 13,' and they just wanted Suzanne's blessing of course, which I did as well."

Elizabeth - who was talking ahead of the world premiere of the third book last night - added that after re-reading the novel and receiving the OK from Collins, she realised it was the correct decision.

She said: "It made more sense to me once I'd re-read 'Mockingjay' and realised I essentially took the role of Fulvia. We were already introducing so many new characters in 'Mockingjay' that I think it was right to bring Effie along for the ride."

Elizabeth wowed fashion fans when she turned up to the 'Huger Games: Mockingjay -Part 1' premiere in London last night (10.11.14) wearing a dramatic Elie Saab gown.

She was joined on the red carpet by her co-stars Jennifer Lawrence, Jena Malone, Julianne Moore and Natalie Dormer, as well as the singer Alexandra Burke, Daisy Lowe and the 'X Factor' hopeful Fleur East.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

  • 4 stars
  • 2014
  • US
  • 125 min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Francis Lawrence
  • Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore
  • UK release: 20 November 2014

Carving the final book in the Hunger Games series into two movies pays off, giving rhythm to a story that might otherwise have felt rushed. Action and politics are confidently balanced, Sutherland is deliciously vile as ever, Hutcherson is finally given something interesting to do and while Lawrence is rightly the star…


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