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Elizabeth Banks & Sigourney Weaver Interview: Call Jane

ScreenRant logo ScreenRant 11/1/2022 Grant Hermanns
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Learn about one of America's most important underground collectives in Call Jane. The film revolves around a traditional housewife who turns to the group for an abortion after she is turned down by doctors, in spite of her pregnancy threatening her life. She becomes part of the Janes, an underground service in Chicago offering abortions to women in need of the procedure.

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Elizabeth Banks leads the cast of Call Jane alongside Sigourney Weaver, Wunmi Mosaku, Chris Messina, Kate Mara, Cory Michael Smith, Grace Edwards, and John Magaro. Shining a light on a thoroughly important subject by using a fictional lens, the film is a harrowing and moving look back in time.

Related: Sigourney Weaver's 10 Best Movies, According To IMDb

In honor of the film's release, Screen Rant spoke exclusively with stars Elizabeth Banks and Sigourney Weaver to discuss Call Jane, the importance of the film's story, their love of working with each other, and more.

Elizabeth Banks & Sigourney Weaver on Call Jane

Screen Rant: Very eager to talk about Call Jane. It's heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time when considering today's climate. What about the material really sparked your interest?

Elizabeth Banks: I love the character of Joy, I really thought she was a woman whose life hadn't really gotten started, even though she was nearly 40 years old and has this political awakening after walking a path she never thinks she'll have to, and meeting Virginia and Virginia’s gang of Janes, she really finds a sense of purpose. I felt like that was a really relatable notion to a lot of women, whether or not they ever seek abortion, health care, a sense of feeling seen, and a sense of sisterhood, camaraderie, community, all of those things mattered to me when I read the script. I just thought this is something a story that many women, and men, will feel connected to.

Sigourney Weaver: You know, I was alive before Roe vs. Wade was passed, and I feel like it's because of how women protested and demanded this that it was passed, and it was passed all around the country. Most people in America don't feel political about women's access to abortions, it's understood that it's not that kind of choice, it's a choice that life makes you take one path or another, and I couldn't imagine really going back to the days without Roe v. Wade. It's a shock to me that we have, but I must say, thinking about this movie, seeing this movie about this group of women who don't get discouraged, who build each other up, who keep going and keep extending their care to women, how they support each other, they respect each other, they respect this procedure. I think it's really beautifully told in this movie, and it's also, may I add, an entertaining movie, too.

I couldn't agree more. I think a film with this kind of heart to it is really important for a lot of people nowadays. I love the dynamic that you two have with one another. What was it like developing it during filming?

Sigourney Weaver: I just think we are so lucky. I've always admired Elizabeth's work, she elevates whatever she's in, and is always terrific. I think it was one of the attractions of the project, because I knew Elizabeth was going to play Joy. I think I didn't realize how much Elizabeth’s Joy would really be the perfect person to take us into this experience, because, as Elizabeth says, it’s not a path she ever thought she would tread, and she takes us in. I think Phyllis Nagy has done an amazing job of presenting the procedure calmly, discreetly, and showing that it's part of basic health care, frankly, for a woman.

Elizabeth Banks: I felt like the two of us got on like a house on fire pretty quick. But, in the film, we get to spend time feeling each other out and deciding if we trust each other, and I know that my character, and me as an actress, both feel very grateful to Sigourney Weaver/Virginia for inviting me into the party.

Sigourney Weaver: Likewise, me darling.

About Call Jane

In 1968 Chicago, with the city and the nation amid the political and civil upheaval, Joy (Elizabeth Banks), a conservative housewife and mother, is faced with a devastating diagnosis when her second pregnancy leads to a life-threatening heart condition. Following an all-male hospital board’s decision to deny an exemption for an abortion, which is, by law, illegal, Joy’s search for a solution leads her to a clandestine group of women.

Led by Virginia (Sigourney Weaver), an independent visionary fiercely committed to women’s health, and Gwen (Wunmi Mosaku), an activist who envisions a day when all women will have access to safe, affordable abortions, this community of women ignites an awakening in Joy. Inspired by their compassion and commitment, Joy joins them, putting every aspect of her life on the line.

Check out our other Call Jane interviews here:

  • Phyllis Nagy
  • Wunmi Mosaku

Next: Elizabeth Banks’ 10 Best Films (According To Rotten Tomatoes)Call Jane is now in theaters.

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