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Elizabeth Banks on Directing 'Charlie's Angels' & Casting Kristen Stewart | MTV News

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{an8}- I wanna inspire studio executives to hire women, right? {an8}Like, I wanna just be like, "I did the job, {an8}"the job can be done by a woman" {an8}If anything, that's the legacy that I wanna start to leave {an8}with this movie and hopefully in general with my career

{an8}Just trust us {an8}- Just trust us {an8}(laughing) {an8}- It's so sad, – Yeah {an8}- of a statement but more than 80% of all movies {an8}are still directed by men, so – Yes

{an8}- I am just like begging people to trust us {an8}- [Josh] Is first and foremost on your mind {an8}like, what this will mean to people, {an8}particularly to young women, {an8}I mean this is a property that does mean a lot {an8}- Honestly, I don't wanna say I took that for granted {an8}but I felt pressure as a first time action director {an8}who's a lady {an8}to really up my game when it came to the action set pieces {an8}and really make sure that I delivered a great action movie {an8}I knew it'd be funny and I knew I had the most amazing cast {an8}and that it would feel fresh for a new generation {an8}And that we were imbuing it with sort of themes {an8}of comradery, sisterhood, sorority, {an8}teamwork that like, I love in things

{an8}- [Josh] Right {an8}- I felt like we sort of had that stuff {an8}and it was really about, how do I make the action in {an8}this movie really specific to a 'Charlie's Angels' movie {an8}Like, you can't see this in 'John Wick,' right {an8}- Right, right {an8}- Right? Like, you can't see this– {an8}In 'Mission: Impossible,' {an8}they don't hug, you know? {an8}(laughing) {an8}Like, things like that– They might hug actually

{an8}I feel like Ethan Hunt has– {an8}- Ethan Hunt and Ving Rhames have probably– {an8}- Yeah, they've probably hugged, they bro'd it out {an8}- Yeah {an8}- They bro'd out, yeah, so we bro'd out {an8}(laughing) {an8}- Here's something I did find curious, {an8}I mean, I dunno what this says about {an8}where we are generally in filmmaking, {an8}I think what, you have like half the budget basically, {an8}of like the last 'Charlie's Angels' movie? {an8}- Yeah {an8}- And, you still have to like live up to– {an8}- Yeah, I still have to make an amazing action movie

{an8}(laughing) {an8}- So, I don't know, what does, I don't know– {an8}- You know I, sometimes when you get parameters {an8}they make you really creative – Sure {an8}- Right, and I wanted to ground this movie {an8}I really felt like we needed to distinguish ourselves {an8}from the sort of superhero action genre stuff {an8}that's out right now {an8}You know you have to remember that 'Charlie's Angels' {an8}has always been revolutionary in its moments

{an8}So, in the 70s it was about women doing detective work {an8}which was almost solely done by men {an8}And, so that was really revolutionary {an8}When Drew Barrymore made the movies in the early 2000s, {an8}you know, pre-9/11 the first one by the way {an8}Everything was sort of John Woo {an8}and 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' {an8}- [Josh] Super-stylized

{an2}- Super-stylized, slow-mo was kind of just starting out {an8}So you know, it was about that {an8}They were kind of superheroes {an8}Because, Angelina Jolie had not happened yet {an8}'Captain Marvel,' 'Wonder Woman,' even 'Elektra,' {an8}even Halle Berry's 'Catwoman' had not happened yet

{an8}Like, they were literally at the forefront {an8}of women in action movies {an8}So, we've had all of that now, so I had to figure out {an8}how do I kind of back up, reground it, {an8}and make these woman feel relatable {an8}- [Josh] Yeah {an8}- And like, you wanna go on a journey with them {an8}and like you could be an Angel {an8}Of course I would have loved to have {an8}a huge budget, everyone would

{an8}But, it meant that, the fight sequences were more real {an8}I did not have a lot of wire work {an8}Everyone did their own stunts, which is really incredible {an8}And, the danger and the stakes of the movie {an8}kind of just feel more real {an8}- We have to talk about casting, {an8}I mean you've assembled a really great ensemble {an8}in this one and it started with Kristen

{an8}- Yeah – Which is an inspired choice {an8}We've seen her do virtually every kind of a role, {an8}but not this, clearly – Yeah {an8}- [Josh] Like, what gave you the confidence {an8}to know that this was even in her? {an8}- Well first of all, she is one of the best actresses {an8}of any generation

And second of all, {an8}exactly what you just said {an8}I wanted to surprise the audience {an8}I knew that in her I had a real opportunity {an8}to showcase a side of Kristen Stewart {an8}that you have never seen before {an8}And, I think she is so funny in this film, so at ease, {an8}her character is the real sort {an8}of grounding force of the entire endeavor {an8}And, she's Kristen Stewart, she's a global superstar

{an8}- You know it's important for every, {an8}particularly young woman to see themselves {an8}in some aspect of these women – Mm-hm {an8}- And, there's like a, the fun like, {an8}little nod to her sexuality in the gym scene {an8}At what stage did that come in {an8}and was that something that was important to you {an8}and to Kristen in the development of this? {an8}- Honestly, we didn't wanna label anyone in the movie {an8}We're so happy to have a queer Angel, {an8}but we also really didn't wanna label anybody {an8}and by the way we didn't wanna put limits {an8}on Naomi's character of Elena {an8}or on Jane's character either, like– {an8}- Where was Noah Centineo when you cast him, {an8}had he already started to explode a little bit? {an8}- Noah had, he'd done a couple of, {an8}he'd done two of the Netflix movies

{an8}- [Josh] Yeah {an8}- We were looking for like just charm, you know {an8}and again like a fresh face and he really took me {an8}by surprise and sort of charmed me {an8}And I thought, "Well then let's go, he's gonna, {an8}he'll charm the audience as well" {an8}- You've obviously directed before and directed big {an8}ensembles before, but this is a big jump, {an8}do you want this to lead to bigger franchise opportunities? {an8}Like, is there a genre {an8}or a property in particular that you love? {an8}- There's many things that I'm interested in, Josh {an8}- Okay, okay

(laughs) {an8}- I would like to, I would also like to not be pigeon-holed {an8}into only being able to direct women {an8}- Fair enough {an8}- That would be, that would be nice, too {an8}for women to be able to direct like anybody {an8}- We should also mention, I mentioned some of your cast {an8}but the cat's outta the bag a little bit, {an8}you've revealed some of the cameos of some of the {an8}- Yeah – additional Angels

{an8}- That's right {an8}- So, can you tell me a little bit about Hailee and Lili? {an8}- You know Hailee's one of my favorite actresses {an8}and we had such a great experience on 'Pitch Perfect' {an8}Partly what I wanted to do was put the idea into the world {an8}that like, this is bigger than these three women {an8}- Yeah {an8}- That the universe that they live in {an8}is bigger than these three women

{an8}And, that we are everywhere and we're coming for you {an8}(laughing) {an8}- Felt like a threat for a second {an8}- It is a little bit {an8}(laughing) {an8}- Is the idea that, {an8}if you get the opportunity to do a sequel, {an8}would you wanna see Hailee and {an8}Lili for instance be full on Angels? {an8}- Yeah, absolutely, all those women {an8}I would love to bring back anyone {an8}that we've introduced in this film

{an8}- Amazing {an8}- And anyone from the entire canon {an8}- I do wanna mention one sequence in particular, {an8}the dance sequence {an8}- [Elizabeth] Yes {an8}- Was kind of like, "Okay we gotta do this, {an8}we gotta make this work in a day

" {an8}- They came to set like two hours early, {an8}four days in a row to learn that dance sequence {an8}I mean, they had no time to learn that sequence {an8}We were shooting a giant fight at the same time {an8}that they were learning that choreography {an8}And, for me it was, {an8}I need to get a, fly a choreographer from London {an8}He needs to hire dancers, he needs to choreograph the thing, {an8}I need to see it, we need to make sure the music can clear

{an8}- Oh my god {an8}- And, and we're shooting this all {an8}in one night on a Friday night {an8}after we've done night shoots four nights in a row {an8}- Well, last thing I wanna hit is "Don't Call Me Angel" {an8}- [Elizabeth] Yeah {an8}- [Josh] Which has this amazing group of women as well

{an8}- But, so many other great songs on the soundtrack too, {an8}which is out now {an8}- Of course (laughing) {an8}But, I'm curious how that trio came about? {an8}- That was all Ariana {an8}- Yeah {an8}- She got involved really early on

{an8}She, I think she was inspired {an8}by the 'Black Panther' soundtrack {an8}And I think, really excited about being able {an8}to take risks musically on something {an8}that was not gonna be a solo album for her, right {an8}- [Josh] Right {an8}- And that she could collab with really cool people {an8}which is exactly what happened {an8}She's good friends with Miley, {an8}that came together really quickly

{an8}And then, that third part, there were {an8}a few names being thrown around {an8}and Savan Kotecha who wrote the song, {an8}he was like, "What if I did it like this?" {an8}And, it was Lana And it was like, "Yes!" {an8}- That'll work {an8}- Yeah {an8}(laughing) {an8}- Congratulations on this achievement {an8}Trust this lady, guys

First, see the movie {an8}- Thank you {an8}- And then her make even like {an8}a bigger, badder, crazier movie {an8}- Yeah {an8}- Throw 200 million dollars her way {an8}- Sure

{an8}- What's the worst that could happen? {an8}- I mean I'd, it will lose a lot of money {an8}- No that's– I'm trying to help you! {an8}(laughing)

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