Elizabeth Banks Says Her Sons Were 'Bored' as Extras in 'Cocaine Bear'

While making the movie in Ireland in 2021, Banks put her sons Felix, 11, and Magnus, 10, in the background of one scene, but she recalls they were more interested in the snacks from craft services

Elizabeth Banks rollout
Photo: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Many kids would jump at the chance to appear in a big-budget Hollywood movie like Cocaine Bear. Elizabeth Banks' sons are not those kids.

When she was directing the bold new horror-comedy in Ireland in 2021, she enlisted Felix, 11, and Mangus, 10 — the children she shares with husband Max Handelman — to be extras in the background of one scene.

"They did it for an hour," says the Pitch Perfect star, who recalls they were more interested in the snacks from the craft service table. "They were like, 'Can we leave? We're so bored.'"

But for Banks, 49, showing her kids that their mom is a boss is important. "They know that Mom loves her work, and it gives me a lot of self-worth, and it makes me happy," she says.

"We talk a lot about how everybody has to get up and do something every day. You gotta contribute," she adds. "I'm type A. I don't nap."

The shoot was a family affair for Banks, who was accompanied by her husband and producing partner, as well as their two kids. During downtime from filming, they had a chance to explore the country, enjoying "a lot of cliff walks."

"You know what we did, which I highly recommend? Went swimming in the Irish Sea, which is freezing," she says. "Absolutely freezing. It's the best way to get over a hangover."

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Elizabeth Banks rollout
Universal Pictures/Everett

Though Banks' career is hotter than ever, finding a work-life balance is important. "I'm being a lot better about protecting my time nowadays," she says. "Part of that is because the job of mom is very demanding as well right now."

"I have a son who's just been applying to middle schools, and they're doing a lot of sports right now, and they're in the play. And so I just want to be a little more available to them, as much as I can be," she continues.

"But that being said, they're very flexible, they're very supportive," says Banks. "They love to travel too. So we've been very lucky with all of that."

Despite her sons' short time on set, she said they bonded with young Cocaine Bear stars Christian Convery and Brooklynn Prince. "They all became a little gang together," she says. "They still play Nintendo and Oculus with Christian, who's in New Zealand."

Cocaine Bear is very loosely based on the true story of a black bear in the Georgia wilderness that ingested a drug smuggler's stash. Unlike the real bear, which died, this one goes on a deadly rampage.

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