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Elizabeth Banks on motherhood, 'People Like Us'

Martini and The Moms celebrate the release of

Martini and The Moms celebrate the release of “People Like Us” with actress Elizabeth Banks. (June 26, 2012) Credit: Getty Images

It's been quite a year for actress Elizabeth Banks. When she's not starring in buzz-worthy movies like “The Hunger Games," "What to Expect When You're Expecting” and the recent “People Like Us,” Banks is spending time with her 15-month-old son, Felix, and her husband, Max Handelman.

“You have to be a parent first and foremost,” said Banks at a recent Mamarazzi event hosted by The Moms, Melissa Gerstein and Denise Albert, and sponsored by Martini.

Here, she talks about everything from her new role, raising a toddler and more.

Q. Why did you want to play the role of Frankie in “People Like Us” and how did you prepare for it?
“I wanted to play Frankie because I recognized this woman. I've known so many of these women who are carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders and trying to hold it together everyday. They just need a break. I did a little bit of research before we started filming. I went to Alcoholics Anonymous which inspired me. It is an incredible organization and I'm really grateful for all the people who shared their stories while I was there. I wanted to try to understand what her [Frankie's] journey was really like. That plays such an important part of her life and what she learned from going there.

Q. What did you learn from making this film?
“That your past doesn't have to determine your future. That forgiveness allows grace,  which is the most amazing thing. The movie is really about connecting and forgiving,  and I love delivering that message.”

Q. You're so busy. How do you balance it all?
“Like all working moms, I have great help. You just have to prioritize. He's No. 1 and then everything else is just battling for No. 2. I have a running tally, 24/7, of where he is, what he's doing, who he's with, does he miss me. If I can answer those questions, I can go about my life.

Q. What are your favorite things to do with your family?
“Felix loves the swings at the park. We also love taking walks, especially now that he does walk, we try to take a walk every night after supper and before bed.”

Q. What has Felix taught you?
“He's adjusted my whole point of view on life. Everything is fresh and new and full of wonder for him. It's a great reminder to take in the little things in life like teaching him how to blow bubbles or smell flowers. It's such a great reminder to do those things in your daily life.”

Q. What advice do you have on raising a toddler?
“Always listen. I let him take the lead.”

Q. Who is your favorite fictional mom?
“Morticia Adams -- I think she's a hilarious mom figure. And those kids are ridiculous. I feel like she doesn't take anything too seriously. She lets those kids get very dirty. She's a lovely wife. And she always looks, in her own way, put together. So why not Morticia Adams?”

Q. What is your best parenting advice?
“I think you should parent first and foremost because your kids are going to have a lot of friends and they only get one of you.”

Q. How do you make time for exercise?
“Fitness for me is stress relief. I always feel better after I work out. For one hour, all I have to do is concentrate on push-ups. It takes my brain to a very clear place. My husband and I do it together. It's great for our relationship.”

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