Mickey Rapkin

Elizabeth Banks talks 'Hunger Games,' a cappella, and more from the set of 'Pitch Perfect'


If Elizabeth Banks took a day off in the last year, we’re not aware of it. In the past 12 months, she’s wrapped the first installment of The Hunger Games (love the accent, Effie), shot a movie with the blue guy from Avatar (the Sam Worthington-starring Man on a Ledge), and snuck in What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Speaking of which, she also had a baby.

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Which actors need coaching to seem like sports pros?

When you announce you’re casting a sports film, suddenly every pretty-boy actor with a Crunch membership claims he’s the next LeBron James. That’s because ”actors are full of s—,” says Brian Robbins, exec producer of the WB hoops drama One Tree Hill. So when Chad Michael Murray needed a can’t-miss jump shot for Hill, Robbins called on ReelSports Solutions, a South Carolina-based consulting firm that’s become the McKinsey of sweat-stained celluloid.

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''SNL,'' ''MadTV'' import talent from Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a funny place – and we’re not just talking about its famous hash brownies. The city’s Boom Chicago, an improv theater founded in 1993 by three high school pals from Evanston, Ill., has joined the ranks of Chicago’s Second City and L.A.’s Groundlings as a feeder for Saturday Night Live, Mad TV, and Late Night With Conan O’Brien.

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