Actress Elizabeth Banks was so serious about getting into character for her role in The Next Three Days, that she checked herself in to a prison to find out what it’s like to be behind bars for real. In the film, Elizabeth’s character is accused of murder, so Elizabeth spent time in jail at the Allegheny State Prison in Pittsburgh:
“My character is incarcerated at the Allegheny County Jail where we actually shot the movie, so of course it was really helpful in terms of getting into character. I got to sit with the inmates. I got to be locked in a cell which lasted about two minutes before it was like, ‘Get me the hell out of here!’ They don’t have bars on their doors; it’s all heavy steel doors with a little window, so you feel not just incarcerated but also institutionalised. You feel like you’re gonna get a lobotomy in about five minutes, so it was very easy to imagine the isolation of being there for real – and the depression.”
Elizabeth also bought the women in the jail new clothes, as she describes how horrible it was to wear the prison uniform:
“We had all prison issue costumes when we went to the jail and asked them for all their old stuff. We took it and we bought them new stuff. I wore all the clothes, socks, underwear and it’s itchy, it’s scratchy, it’s thin, it’s gross.”
Now that is commitment to the job!