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Interview: Elizabeth Banks on Hosting ‘Press Your Luck’ and Subverting People’s Expectations of Her

A game show host needs to have a particular brand of enthusiasm, one that enables them to convey the appropriate degree of excitement while keeping their cool when contestants’ emotions are running high. Fortunately, Elizabeth Banks fits that bill very well as the face of ABC’s Press Your Luck, which will debut its fifth season this fall. Banks has had a busy year, directing the film Cocaine Bear and producing the upcoming comedy Bottoms, which premiered at SXSW.

Awards Radar had the chance to speak with Banks about the chance to host a show she’s always loved and how she feels about the game:

“For me, the front game is the most stressful, because, first of all, it’s more strategy-based. The second half, you’re playing against the board. You’ve got to hit the button. There’s no strategy. You’re in it. The first half, because there’s a lot of strategy with the spin-passing, and who’s going to stay and play, and racking up the money and all of that. I find that first half to be really, really stressful. I get so frustrated with the contestants who don’t play the game. I’m like, oh god! They’ve got to pass their spins. Why are they keeping going? They’re already ahead. There are people who literally are winning the game and they keep pressing their luck. That drives me crazy.”

Elizabeth Banks hosts Press Your Luck on ABC
ABC – John Fleenor

She shared what surprised her most about being a host:

“I didn’t really know what to expect. I thought it would be a lot of reading on the teleprompter or something, and just guiding people through the steps. There’s a lot more to it, as it turns out. I really pride myself – it became clear really early on, day one. I remember the very first day, I think we did two shows the very first day I ever hosted. The second show, I was wiping tears off the contestant’s face. We were holding hands and looking into each other’s eyes and I was like, oh, wow. This is a real privilege, to be in this moment with this human being who didn’t expect to be here.”

Watch the full conversation below.

Press Your Luck is available to stream on Hulu.


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Written by Abe Friedtanzer

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