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‘W’ actress says first lady’s beauty underrated

Elizabeth Banks, who portrays Laura Bush to Josh Brolin’s George in the upcoming film “W,” considers the first lady an underrated beauty.“For some reason, I don’t think people appreciate just how beautiful a woman that she is,” said Banks, sitting pretty in a party room at Manhattan’s Gramercy Park Hotel, where Women’s Health magazine honored the 34-year-old actress’ October cove
/ Source: The Associated Press

Elizabeth Banks, who portrays Laura Bush to Josh Brolin’s George in the upcoming film “W,” considers the first lady an underrated beauty.

“For some reason, I don’t think people appreciate just how beautiful a woman that she is,” said Banks, sitting pretty in a party room at Manhattan’s Gramercy Park Hotel, where Women’s Health magazine honored the 34-year-old actress’ October cover Monday night.

“I think it’s partially just because I think she needs a mini-makeover — but if she were wearing super stylish Phillip Lim dresses and had long, blond hair, I think you’d really be stunned by just how gorgeous a woman she is,” Banks said.

Plus, Banks gushed, “She has everything that goes into a great face: great cheekbones, beautiful eyes, great smile.”

Oliver Stone’s film about the life and presidency of George W. Bush is to be released Oct. 17. Banks and Brolin head a cast that includes Richard Dreyfuss, who portrays Dick Cheney and Thandie Newton, who plays Condoleezza Rice.

Banks said Brolin, son of actor James Brolin, is “perfectly cast.”

“I mean, people forget that he is a sort of cowboy who went into the same profession as his own father and lived in his dad’s shadow, and is now creating his own career outside of the family.”

On Monday, the slim, blond actress channeled Audrey Hepburn in a black sheath, headband and heels to mingle at the Women’s Health party. She’s the first-ever celebrity to grace the cover of the lifestyle magazine, which hits stands Sept. 16 and will now feature famous faces rather than hard bodies to represent its message of promoting a positive body image.

“I’m really glad it’s not like a picture of my super-flat abs, which I don’t have,” said Banks, who was otherwise pleased with the shot of her looking fresh in jeans and a white tank top. “I don’t work on my abs. So I’m glad it didn’t make a big deal out of me being a workaholic at the gym — because that’s not the case.”

What’s her secret?

“I have nice, natural genetic good looks and I try and lead an active lifestyle and eat healthily,” said Banks, who stays fit by taking walks, swimming in her pool and playing tennis with her girlfriends.

She said she avoids soda, ice cream and fried food, but admits to three other vices: cheese, cupcakes and cookie dough.

“Every once in a while my craving for cookie dough overwhelms me, and I will stay up late and make cookie dough,” she said. “But I will just eat the dough, put it away in the fridge and cook it over the next couple days!”