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Elizabeth Banks on Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Published October 27, 2008 in Movie Interviews
By Fred Topel | Images property of Dimension Films
When you agree to make a movie called Zack and Miri Make a Porno, you can't plead ignorance. You know what it's going to be about so you just go with it. Of course, Elizabeth Banks is hardly squeamish.

Elizabeth Banks Makes a Porno


"I had no expectations of what it was going to be like," she said. "I try to never have any expectations. Hollywood will beat expectations out of you after about three jobs. I will say this, that Seth and I would get along gangbusters because we always have and I knew that we would improvise a lot which we did. I knew that Kevin [Smith] would be amazing to be around which he is. He just runs a really friendly and relaxed set full of his friends and has everyone that makes him comfortable around. So I knew all of that was going to work. I knew that it was going to be really f*cking cold in Pittsburgh and it was. Other than that I didn't know much. I knew we were making a really funny movie. It's actually funnier than I realized."

The title characters are lifelong platonic friends who decide to make amateur erotica to help pay the bills. No platonic friendship ever lasts in a romantic comedy, but Smith's revelation is more drastic.

"I think it's built into the script, that the turning point is when they're doing it and they think it's just going to be f*cking and that's all we talk about. It's just going to be f(cking and it's not going to mean anything and then you get there and you make love and it does mean something. So it was kind of one of those situations where it didn't meant anything until it did. I personally think that we present a very realistic couple onscreen for the entire movie. We just hadn't had sex until we did."


Zack and Miri Make a PornoZack and Miri Make a Porno


Zack and Miri Make a PornoZack and Miri Make a Porno

Actually, their friendship was better than many sexual relationships. "To me the idea of them just peeing in front of each other and making coffee for each other and paling around and driving each other to work, those are all things that regular couples do, couples who have already admitted that they're in love. So I don't know. It just flowed very naturally from that."

Banks mentioned improvisation earlier, but actually she stuck to the script a lot. "He wrote an amazing script. He really indulged us because frankly he's editing the movies and he could've taken out anything that he wanted to. You integrate it very organically. You shoot what's on the page and then you just go from there and you have to stay in the moment and you have to stay in character. The improv has to make sense for what we're talking about and doing and some of it just flowed from starting to go up on your line and you'd make something up. Some of it flows from the fact that by the fourth take of saying the same joke it starts to feel not as fresh. So to freshen it up and get back into the moment and feel more present you start running with it."

Zack and Miri Make a Porno opens to theaters on October 31st.

For the trailers, stills, posters and more movie info, go to the Zack and Miri Make a Porno Movie Page.

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Compiled By (Sources)
Fred Topel
Sources: Images property of Dimension Films
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