In a world hungry for reboots and revivals, Elizabeth Banks decided it was time to bring a beloved trio back to the big screen. In her new Charlie’s Angels, Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska play the highly trained (and incredibly gorgeous) operatives who execute missions at the behest of their mysterious boss, Charlie.
“The movie’s a real celebration of women working together,” Banks, 45, who wrote, directed and stars in the film exclusively tells Us Weekly in the latest issue. “It’s very aspirational. These are just human beings, regardless of their gender, who are getting to live their best lives and do what they love with people they love.”
The Pitch Perfect alum gave a great deal of credit to the Twilight alum when it came to creating that effortless bond between the leading ladies.
“She really embraced Naomi and Ella from day 1. She’s a huge star and could’ve done whatever she wanted. Instead, she was welcoming and warm,” says Banks. “Also, everybody trained together at the beginning, and I think that really helped build a lot of the camaraderie that we brought to set.”
Speaking of training, the women on set “really got a say” in what was happening, since they spent so much time with the stunt team.
“If they brought something to set, if we wanted to change it, they always had a move. They were always ready,” the Hunger Games star adds. “There was a fight scene between me and two other women that got cut from the film. It’s a real bummer to me, but I’ll have to put it in the next one!”
Banks also opens up about the use of weapons in the movie — and why there won’t be many firearms shown.
“We were all very antigun, and the movie posits a world in which we think about innovations in that technology and other ways to take criminals down that don’t involve death,” she explains. “I think it’s important to show that the world we live in doesn’t actually have to be the world. We’ve created this and made it, and we can make it something else. … I was able to think about how real women would fight. What are the advantages that women need in order to overcome men who are physically bigger and more powerful? I hada mantra the entire time: ‘The women have to fight smarter, not harder.'”
For more from Banks, pick up the latest issue of Us Weekly, on newsstands now.
Charlie’s Angels in theaters now.
Sign up for Us Weekly's free, daily newsletter and never miss breaking news or exclusive stories about your favorite celebrities, TV shows and more!
With reporting by Travis Cronin
For access to all our exclusive celebrity videos and interviews – Subscribe on YouTube!