Lionsgate

Why 'Mockingjay' Wouldn't Have Worked Without Effie Trinket

No Effie, no Mockingjay. Simple as that.

Effie Trinket was there from the beginning of the "Hunger Games" film franchise, trilling "May the odds be ever in your favor" and sporting ridiculously lavish outfits as the mouthpiece of the Capitol introducing the Games, so it only makes sense that she'll be there through the end of the series.

As fans of the Suzanne Collins book series the movies are based upon well know, Effie doesn't appear in "Mockingjay" until the closing pages, having gone MIA. In what is perhaps the most dramatic change from the books, director Francis Lawrence and producer Nina Jacobsen opted to include Effie (played expertly by Elizabeth Banks) in the two-part "Mockingjay" movie.

She's a fan favorite, of course, with some of the franchise's most memorable lines (as if you're not still making jokes about mahogany every chance you get), but Banks didn't have to lobby to have her character written into the movies, she told MTV News.

"I think we were introducing a lot of new characters already in this series," she said. "Effie brings a lot of levity to a very dark series."

Director Lawrence agreed upon the need for levity.

"We did some world expansion so there's some new scenes," he said. "We also added Effie. We -- this was from Nina Jacobsen, the producer and I -- both knew that there was no version of a 'Mockingjay' movie without having Effie in it. Liz just does such a great job and has created such an iconic character and also brings a great sense of levity. We also thought it would be great fun to have her in 13, a fish out of water."

Be prepared for some mournful lines about wigs and jumpsuits. Consider this fish firmly and suddenly yanked from that water.

As for Banks, you won't hear her objecting to her inclusion. "I'm so happy to still be along for the ride," she said.

"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1" is in theaters now.