In her first-ever film role, Banks played Vicki in a little-known 1998 release called "Surrender Dorothy." The film is about a heroin addict who is forced into compromising behavior.
"Dorothy" was set to start filming when the leading man, as Banks recalls, bowed out. "I just remember I had met the guy who was going to be the lead in the movie and then, right before we started shooting, that guy got a 'real job' [stated while signaling air quotes], and went to do some real job," Banks recently told Slate.com during a filmed interview.
The 38-year-old film-and-television star revealed that "Dorothy" writer-director Kevin DiNovis was forced to take on the role because "there was no one else to do it!... He wasn't a real actor." (To his credit, DiNovis has gathered a few acting credits since and has more recently worked as a segment writer on "Conan" on TBS.)
Banks admitted this all happened while she was still in college and had yet gone to drama school. "I'm really grateful for those kinds of experiences," Banks went on to say, adding that they "teach you a lot about the business."
[EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Banks and 'Hunger Games' cast answer fan questions]
DiNovis was not happy to hear Banks' seemingly disparaging comments: "I'm shocked and deeply hurt by Ms. Banks' comments, and confused as to how she could consider her first break -- in Hollywood or anywhere -- as a career mistake," DiNovis shot back in a statement, released to The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday.
Banks' star is definitely brighter these days with the overwhelming success of "The Hunger Games," in which she plays the colorful and outrageously-costumed Effie Trinket. Since her first film role in '98, Banks has gained parts in both film and television productions including "Wet Hot American Summer," the first three "Spider-Man" films, "Seabiscuit," and "30 Rock."
In her personal life, Banks has been candid about her struggle to have a baby, recently opening up about her choice to be a mother via surrogacy during a filmed interview on SheKnows.com. She'll next be seen as a mom-to-be opposite Cameron Diaz and Dennis Quaid in the upcoming romantic comedy "What to Expect When You're Expecting," in theaters May 18.