Scene stealer Elizabeth Banks is "Pitch Perfect"

Actress Elizabeth Banks, the producer-star of "Pitch Perfect." CBS

(CBS News) Elizabeth Banks is a character actor who's quite a character herself . . . in all the right ways. Our Tracy Smith sat her down recently for some Questions-and-Answers:

She's the face behind some of the more memorable moments on film. She shone opposite Jeff Bridges in "Seabiscuit."

Her recurring guest appearance on TV's "30 Rock" got her an Emmy nod - twice.

And as a 30-something vixen in "The 40-Year-Old Virgin," she famously steamed up a bathtub scene.

In more than 50 roles, on screens big and small, Elizabeth Banks has made a career of taking smaller parts - and stealing the show.

What's it like having small parts in big movies? "Here's my problem: I am a character actor stuck in a leading lady's body," Banks said. "The industry keeps sticking me in the character roles!"

A case in point: Effie Trinket, the over-the-top PR lady in this year's mega-hit "The Hunger Games." It was a role she had to fight for.

"I lobbied for Effie, for sure. I was patient but also persistent. I think patient and persistent is the way to be in this business."

For Banks persistence came naturally. Born to a factory worker and a bank clerk, Elizabeth Maresal Mitchell grew up in the working class part of Pittsfield, Mass. Young Liz walked to school through the woods, just like her father mark once did.

"I made you guys suck it up," Banks' dad, Mark Mitchell, said.

"Was that a large part of Elizabeth's childhood? Sucking it up?" asked Smith.

"She was busy falling outta trees," he replied.

And busy working from the age of 12.

"What did you dream you were going to be?" asked Smith.

"I just dreamed I wasn't going to live here!" Banks chuckled. "I just dreamed I was going to have money."

She might have been a pro athlete, until she shattered her leg in a school softball game. "I broke both my tibia and fibula, spiral fracture, so that my foot was just hanging at a right angle to my knee. . . . It was gnarly."

Before that accident, what did her father think Elizabeth was going to be?

"She could have been anything, really. But I think that she would have been a much better ball player," he said.

"Very important to dad," Elizabeth said.

He agreed: "'Cause baseball, to me, that's American as you can get."

"So Hollywood actress second-best to baseball player?" asked Smith.

"Well, yeah. That's what she chose to do," Mitchell said.

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