The fourth season of the 1980s revival show premieres Thursday on ABC.
Elizabeth Banks recalls being moved to tears after hosting her first gameshow of ABC's Press Your Luck. Yes, the actress grew up watching the game show as a child, but that's not why she grew emotional. It was watching contestants realize their wildest dreams.
The 48-year-old actress, director and producer gave ET's Matt Cohen a behind-the-scenes look at the set of the revival of the 1980s game show, which ran for three seasons on CBS before its cancellation in 1986. The show, which films on the Television City lot in Studio 46 across from where they film American Idol, is getting ready to premiere season 4 Thursday on ABC at 8 p.m. ET., and Banks reminisced about how the show impacted her on the very first day of filming.
"I remember my very first show I went home afterward," Banks recalled, "I was in the shower. My husband came in and said, 'How's the show?' And I said, 'Honey ...' And I really started crying in the shower after my first show because I couldn't believe I was on stage, and at one point one of the contestants, I was wiping tears from their eyes because they were so emotional. And I was so emotional. I just thought, this is such an amazing time. I get to change people's lives on this show."
Prior to ET's arrival on the set, Banks said just hours before one of the contestants almost came away with a whopping $1 million.
"It's so exciting," she says. "It's one of my favorite things about this show. We change people's lives. It's incredible."
Banks, who was named host in May 2019, said Press Your Luck was must-see TV for her and her sister.
"After school, my sister and I would come home and we would watch Press Your Luck, and we loved the whammies because they're animated and they're so silly. And also, we felt like the questions were pop culture things that we could maybe get spins."
The show bills itself as a "game of wits, strategy and high stakes as contestants try to avoid the iconic WHAMMY for a chance at life-changing cash and prizes."
Banks' resume in Hollywood is impressive, from her time in The Hunger Games and creating and starring in the 2019 comedy Charlie's Angels to creating and producing and directing Pitch Perfect 2. But it's her time on Press Your Luck that really brings added perspective.
"My family is like my biggest support," she says. "So, they come with me everywhere. My kids were here yesterday. My son was doing his math homework in my dressing room that you were just in. This is one of their favorite jobs that I've had because they get to watch this and we watch it together. They have favorite contestants. They come. They will be in the audience tomorrow night, so we have a great time doing this."
If and when there's a celebrity edition of Press Your Luck, Banks already knows who to call -- Jon Hamm, Celine Dion and Sofia Vergara!
Press Your Luck premieres Thursday at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
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