LOS ANGELES – With “The Hunger Games” in the rear-view mirror, the ensemble comedy “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” here and a 14-month-old at home, Elizabeth Banks is tired.
“I’ve signed on to being exhausted for the next 25 years,” says the 38-year-old actress.
That’s the price of being a working mom and successful actress in three films this year, a recurring role on “30 Rock,” and burgeoning production company. “I do like to work. I’m very much a sleep-when-you’re-dead person.”
Banks has a personal connection to “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” She read the pregnancy manual while preparing to start her own family and said it kept her sane in becoming a first-time parent.
She and her husband, producer Max Handelman, welcomed son Felix last year, opting to use a gestational surrogate after facing infertility. Banks connected to the film adaptation of “What to Expect” because it’s less about pregnancy and more about parenting.
“When I was going through my battle with infertility, I got wonderful advice,” she said. “Pregnant women would say, ‘Yeah, pregnancy is really great and lovely, but then you go to the hospital and they give you your baby and you have to mother it.’ That’s the part that’s important, mothering the baby, and at the end of the day, that’s what this movie is about.”
Banks plays Wendy Cooper, a pregnancy authority whose own expectant experience isn’t a glowy, blissful one.
The actress will be back on screen next month in “People Like Us.”Next up is “Pitch Perfect,” which she produced with her husband: A comedy set in the competitive world of collegiate a cappella.
The film is due in the fall, when she returns to “The Hunger Games” to film its second installment, “Catching Fire.” Her super-coiffed Effie Trinket has won Banks younger fans and reinvigorated her passion for acting.