Elizabeth Banks Offered Condoleezza Rice a Movie Role, and Here’s How it All Went Down

Elizabeth Banks is known for her comedic talent both on camera and behind the scenes. And as a director, she has demonstrated a knack for making brilliant casting choices. With that in mind, Banks recently stopped by Good Morning America and shared some little-known details about her attempt to work with Condoleezza Rice. Here is how the former Secretary of State responded to Banks’ offer.

Elizabeth Banks
Elizabeth Banks | Stefanie Keenan/Getty Images for The Business Of Fashion

Elizabeth Banks is a show business veteran

Since her on-screen debut over 20 years ago, Banks has showcased her versatility as an actress with nearly 100 acting credits in various genres. Her impressive dramatic range shines in films such as the horror mystery Brightburn and the dystopian film franchise, The Hunger Games. Fans will also recognize Banks’ impeccable comic timing in movies, including Wet Hot American Summer and The Happytime Murders, not to mention her scene-stealing role as Beth in The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

From leading roles to the director’s chair

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Movie buffs will note that Banks’ cinematic instincts, as seen on screen, also kick in big time when she is behind the camera as a director. Banks directed the 2015 musical comedy, Pitch Perfect 2, which holds a Fresh Rating and a positive Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes.

The rave reviews from critics and moviegoers are due, in part, to Banks’ vast expertise in the arena of humor. The film maven also directed the 2019 reboot of Charlie’s Angels, which was slightly less popular with the critics but won the approval of fans who saw it.

Elizabeth Banks has a habit of casting unique personalities

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Banks’ unexpected directing choices typically work in her favor, like when she decided to cast not one but two Good Morning America anchors in her films. Robin Roberts portrayed a former Barden Bella in Pitch Perfect 2, and Michael Strahan popped up as a Bosley in Charlie’s Angels.

Although a bit surprising, both performances were spot-on and generated positive responses from theatergoers. Banks hit the target with booking Roberts and Strahan, but there was one particular casting hopeful that slipped through her fingers.

Elizabeth Banks and Condoleezza Rice considered working together

In her interview with Good Morning America, Banks revealed that when preparing to shoot Pitch Perfect 2, she offered Rice a role in the film. Here is how she said it all went down:

You know, Robin was [the] top of the list for the former Bellas in Pitch Perfect 2, but we reached out also to Condoleezza Rice, who is the former Secretary of State. And, I remember, we actually got a hold of her office, and she was interested in doing it. And of course, we were casting it maybe, three [or] four weeks out. And she said, well, I’m available in seven months.

You have to get on those people’s calendars really early on. She was speaking at some global conference in Africa or something actually important and was not available to actually play a role in my silly movie. But it was really fun to even have the opportunity to talk to her office about something like that.

Elizabeth Banks on Good Morning America