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Elizabeth Banks Couldn't Do Anything but 'Sit Like a Monk' in Her 'Power Rangers' Costume

Will Lerner
·Producer, Yahoo Entertainment
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It might seem hard to believe for an actress who has played Effie Trinket over four Hunger Games films, but Elizabeth Banks might be playing her most outlandish role yet — the evil and powerful Rita Repulsa — in the upcoming Power Rangers. Of course, the character, made famous by Machiko Soga in the original series, was no wallflower to begin with, which is what attracted Banks to the role.

“We were very much about her essence, you know, really finding the playfulness and the unhinged, wild-eyed crazy quality of her that I think people will love about her, and which I love about her,” Banks told Khail Anonymous at the press junket for Power Rangers.

Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa in ‘Power Rangers.’ (Photo: Kimberly French/Lionsgate/Courtesy of the Everett Collection)
Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa in ‘Power Rangers.’ (Photo: Kimberly French/Lionsgate/Courtesy of the Everett Collection)

However, while she had fun playing the part, wearing the costume wasn’t quite as enjoyable an experience. With the long nails she had to sport, amusement from a smartphone wasn’t coming. “I couldn’t text,” Banks said. “Also, I was wearing contact lenses, which I’ve never done before. They rendered me nearly blind so I couldn’t read or do anything.”

“I basically just sat in a chair like a monk for the entire shoot,” she joked. “I did, every once in a while, put my earbuds in. But I was wearing some fake ears and stuff too so I couldn’t mess with that too much. Don’t cry for me — it’s not a big deal.”

Holding the faces of Power Rangers was easier than using an iPhone for Elizabeth Banks’ Rita Repulsa. (Photo: Kimberley French/Lionsgate/Courtesy of the Everett Collection)
Holding the faces of Power Rangers was easier than using an iPhone for Elizabeth Banks’ Rita Repulsa. (Photo: Kimberley French/Lionsgate/Courtesy of the Everett Collection)

The costume has changed quite a bit from the series, and with it comes more information about Repulsa. “You know, I felt like we were really delving into her mythology in this movie in a way that I don’t think anyone’s really talked about,” Banks shared. “Like, who Rita was or where she was from or how she was related to everybody. So, for me, that was the most exciting thing about it. Without giving everything away, I felt like the costume was the clue, and that was really fun to put out in the world. It was fun to give people a little taste.”

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