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What career women can learn from actor-filmmaker Elizabeth Banks

Frustrated by sexism in the movie industry, Banks started her own production house, became successful, and has now become an investor in another business.

May 28, 2021 / 09:44 PM IST
Actor Elizabeth Banks started Brownstone Productions, and made 'Pitch Perfect 2' which earned millions (Photo by David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons 3.0. Image cropped).

Actor Elizabeth Banks started Brownstone Productions, and made 'Pitch Perfect 2' which earned millions (Photo by David Shankbone via Wikimedia Commons 3.0. Image cropped).

“I felt underused. I just knew there was more for me to be doing,” the actress Elizabeth Banks once said about the Hollywood system.

A lot of women feel this when sexism or office politics derails their careers. They can draw inspiration and specific pointers from Banks, who used her disenchantment as motivation to start her own production company in 2007 – Brownstone Productions. It took on women-focused projects, and Banks, a mother of two, also became a director and producer.

Brownstone tasted success. In 2015, the Banks-directed Pitch Perfect 2, made for about $30 million, reportedly earned $280 million worldwide. She also wrote, produced, directed and acted in 2019’s Charlie’s Angels. Her coffee mugs began to carry the honorific ‘Badass’.

This month, Banks diversified her financial bets. She became an investor in a woman-led wine venture – Archer Roose. The label will serve quality vintages in environmentally friendlier aluminium cans, so that wine becomes as portable and easy to enjoy as beer.