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Who Is Elizabeth Banks' Husband? All About Max Handelman

Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman tied the knot in 2003

Erik Voake/Getty
Erik Voake/Getty

Elizabeth Banks and Max Handelman have been in a decades-long romance.

The actress-filmmaker met her future husband in 1993 when they were both students at the University of Pennsylvania. Ten years later, the actress married her college sweetheart in July 2003.

"It's the thing I'm most proud of," Banks told PORTER of their marriage in 2019. "I do think people grow together or they grow apart. We definitely grew together. We were constantly making decisions that kept us close."

Banks added, "I think there are people that go into marriage thinking: 'If it doesn't work, I'll get divorced.' That's not me. You're going to have bad moments. You've committed to something. Do you value it, or don't you?"

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The couple had their first son Felix by surrogate in 2011, and they welcomed their second, Magnus Mitchell, the following year. Along with parenting, the pair also share a production company and frequently work together.

So who is Elizabeth Banks' husband? Here's everything to know about Max Handelman and his relationship with the Cocaine Bear director.

He met Banks in college

Elizabeth Banks Instagram
Elizabeth Banks Instagram

After graduating from Catlin Gabel High School in his hometown of Portland, Oregon, in 1991, Handelman went to the University of Pennsylvania, where he met Banks on her first day of college in 1993.

"He was wearing a vest with no shirt ... to show off his sexy physique back in the day," Banks said during a 2012 interview on Conan. "He looked exactly like Jason Priestly from 90210, c'mon."

Banks continued, "I dated the same guy all throughout high school, and I basically — and he knows this so ... this is no surprise to him — cheated on him with my now-husband."

She also revealed he took her to a jazz club for their first date, referring to it as "the greatest date" of her life.

He has multiple degrees

Kevin Mazur/VF13/WireImage
Kevin Mazur/VF13/WireImage

According to a 2020 interview with Portland Monthly, Handelman studied political communications at UPenn. After graduating, he worked as an investment banker for a few years on Wall Street in New York City and in San Francisco.

At the time, Banks was pursuing her acting career, and Handelman moved back to the Big Apple with her in the late '90s, when he took a job in the digital ventures group at NewsCorp.

Handelman then attended the Anderson School of Management at the University of California, Los Angeles, and received his MBA before venturing into a career in Hollywood.

He co-founded a production company with Banks

Kayla Oaddams/WireImage
Kayla Oaddams/WireImage

While less in the spotlight than his wife, Handelman is a producer in Hollywood, notably producing films like 2009's Surrogates and 2017's The Most Hated Woman in America. In 2002, Banks "dragged him into the industry," as she told PORTER. Together, they formed the production company Brownstone Productions.

"He worked an 80-hour week; I was traveling all the time in a career that requires me to film on location for up to six months of the year,'' Banks told PORTER. "Forming the company really was about trying to combine our professional and personal goals."

Handelman and Banks have since teamed up to produce several projects, including the Pitch Perfect film franchise, the Aidy Bryant-led Hulu series Shrill, 2019's Charlie's Angels, Cocaine Bear and Bottoms.

"We have a lot of respect for each other on every level," Banks told Allure in a 2015 cover story before discussing the "love" and "lust" in her marriage.

Banks opened up to Vanity Fair the following year, sharing that the two not only "like working together," but are also good at it.

He is a writer

Gregg DeGuire/WireImage
Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

Handelman has worked in various fields throughout his career, even holding the title of a sportswriter.

In 2006, he co-wrote a book about fantasy football with Erik Barmack, titled Why Fantasy Football Matters: (And Our Lives Do Not).

His writing career eventually led to him producing the first installment in the Pitch Perfect movie series.

"His book agent sent us a book proposal for a book called Pitch Perfect by Mickey Rapkin," Banks told NPR in 2015. "When we first read the book proposal, we thought, 'Wow, this is a really fun group of oddballs who like to make music with their mouths. This could be a fun idea.' "

He is a huge sports fan

Elizabeth Banks Instagram
Elizabeth Banks Instagram

Not only did Handelman pen a book on fantasy football, but he also helped develop the fantasy football sector at Fox Sports, per publisher Simon & Schuster.

Fantasy football is something that Handelman and Banks bond over, and, according to a 2007 profile of Banks in GQ, the couple compete in a fantasy league together every year.

In 2019, he told The Oregonian that he is "a diehard Portland Trail Blazer fan," as Banks "will grudgingly concede."

"For my birthday, she very nicely, as a surprise, got me tickets to Game 3 of the Trail Blazer/Nuggets series, second row, for that historic quadruple overtime game," he said.

His wife also got NBA player Damian Lillard to send Handelman a happy birthday message — which he "freaked out" over, she said on Jimmy Kimmel Live in May 2021.

He dated Banks for 10 years before they wed

Elizabeth Banks Instagram
Elizabeth Banks Instagram

The pair dated all throughout college and then some, saying "I do" after a decade of being together.

"I didn't meet my husband and think, 'I've met the man I'm going to marry,' " Banks told Allure. "I was like, He's cute. I'll f--- him, because I'm 18 and in college."

She added, "Really, what happened was I've never met anyone that I liked more. In the early years, did I have crushes or little interests here and there? I know my husband did, and so did I, but we stayed together. We still to this day take the long view."

Handelman and Banks married on July 5, 2003, at the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills. On their wedding day, they read letters from their first year of dating, InStyle reported.

He shares two kids with Banks

Elizabeth Banks Instagram
Elizabeth Banks Instagram

On March 30, 2011, Banks and Handelman became parents for the first time with the birth of their son Felix via surrogate.

Banks announced the news on her website, opening up about her fertility struggles.

"I have had untold number of opportunities to work with inspiring people, on great projects as an actress, and I have had a fantastic long term relationship of nearly 20 years with my now husband, Max," Banks wrote at the time. "The one true hurdle I've faced in life is that I have a broken belly."

She referred to her son's birth as a "miracle," noting that "Felix means 'happy' and 'lucky' in Latin. And true to his name, Felix is a very happy baby and a blessing on our life."

Their younger son, Magnus Mitchell, arrived in November 2012.

"Like Felix, Magnus was born via gestational surrogate," Banks wrote in a since-deleted post on her blog. "This experience has exceeded all expectations, taught us a great deal about generosity and gratitude, and established a relationship that will last a lifetime."

Banks praised him for being "business-minded"

Gareth Cattermole/Getty
Gareth Cattermole/Getty

Part of what makes Handelman and Banks such a good team — at work and home — are their complementary personalities.

"We're pretty yin and yang," Banks told The Producers Guild of America in September 2016. She added that "he's very diplomatic and business-minded and calm" while describing herself as "fiery" and "emotional."

Handelman also suggested their differing creative styles help them to work together more effectively, saying that he takes a "top-down, concept-driven" approach while Banks' is more "bottom-up."

"When we were looking at how to make a life together, I felt like he was a real bloodhound for material and had a really good eye for things," Banks told The Hollywood Reporter in June 2019 about Handelman's business acumen.

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Read the original article on People.