LONDON (Reuters) - "The Hunger Games" actress Elizabeth Banks makes her debut as a feature film director in the musical comedy "Pitch Perfect 2" and hopes to inspire more women to get behind the camera.
Banks also appears in the sequel to the 2012 "Pitch Perfect" box office hit about a girls college singing group. The new film stars U.S. actresses Anna Kendrick and Hailee Steinfeld and Australian Rebel Wilson.
Several actresses have blasted sexism in Hollywood. In a recent interview, "Twilight" star Kristen Stewart said the industry was "disgustingly sexist", adding women had "to work a little bit harder to be heard."
"I actually felt a lot of support. I felt there was a lot of people rooting for the movie to work ... I'm really proud of the product," Banks said during a promotional interview in London.
"I think just because it's rare doesn't mean that it's a particularly difficult or hard job to do ... Boys do it all the time. I hope really that what I've done inspires other women to get behind the camera and to tell more of these stories."
Banks, who plays Effie Trinket in "The Hunger Games" franchise, has previously directed short films but "Pitch Perfect 2", in which she reprises the role of Gail, is her first time in the director's chair for a major feature film
Wilson, who stole the show in the original film as Fat Amy, is back as the boisterous member of the Barden Bellas group. The actress has also played roles in female-led comedies "Bridesmaids" and "Bachelorette".
"When I was growing up, I watched a lot of movies obviously starring guys, comedy movies, and the female character would just be the straight pretty one," she said.
"But now you have these kind of ensemble female movies like 'Bridesmaids' (which) really kicked off a whole new wave of it, where girls are just really rocking out and being hilarious."
"Pitch Perfect 2" will be released on May 15.
(Reporting by Helena Williams; Writing by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Tom Heneghan)