Elizabeth Banks and Meryl Streep add Hollywood touch to Democratic National Convention


Stars including Elizabeth Banks, Meryl Streep, Lena Dunham, Debra Messing and Alicia Keys all turned out for the second day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Elizabeth, 42, walked to the podium in white fog to Queen's We Are the Champions, mocking a similar entrance at the Republican convention by Donald Trump, before introducing a short video about Hillary Clinton.

Elizabeth Banks speaks during the second day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia

"The Trump campaign is hard up for money. I just bought their fog machine on eBay for 30 bucks," she joked to the delegates. "I don't feel good about it. I don't."

Also taking the stage was Girls creator Lena, who praised Clinton for making it easier for sexual assault survivors like herself in New York to access emergency room care. She was joined by Ugly Betty star America Ferrera, who spoke of her Honduran parents and their struggles raising a family on meagre salaries.

"Occasionally I needed a free meal to get through the school day," she said, citing what she called Clinton's commitment to immigrant families like hers.

Lena Dunham and America Ferrera speak during the second day of the Democratic National Convention

Tony Goldwyn, who portrays the president in hit TV series Scandal, introduced "mothers of the movement", women of colour who lost children to gun violence or excessive force in police custody. He said these mothers "have turned their pain into power and their outrage into action", adding: "They understand that we must reach out to each other because of our diversity, because we are stronger together."

Debra Messing, who co-starred on Will & Grace, introduced a first responder and a victim from the 9/11 terror attack. And singer Andra Day performed her Rise Up, accompanied by United Percussion, a drumline and marching band.

Meryl Streep during the second day of the Democratic National Convention

To close out the evening, actress Meryl Streep, wearing an American flag-motif dress, likened Clinton's "grit and grace" to a host of women trailblazers through history, from Harriet Tubman to Sally Ride.

Meryl, 67, spoke of Deborah Samson, who disguised herself as a man to serve in George Washington's Continental Army during the Revolutionary War. Rather than reveal her gender after being shot, she dug a musket ball out of the wound with a penknife and sewed herself up.

Debra Messing takes the stage during the second day of the Democratic National Convention

"These women share something in common," the Hollywood actress said, "capacity of mind, fullness of heart and a burning passion for their cause. They have forged new paths so that others can follow them -- men and women, generation on generation. That's Hillary. That's America. "

She was followed by singer and activist Alicia Keys, founder of the We Are Here social justice movement.

"Let's act on our differences and celebrate them," Alicia urged as she performed a medley of her songs.

Earlier on Tuesday, Bryan Cranston, who played President Lyndon B Johnson on Broadway and HBO, appeared on a civil rights panel with 1960s-era activists and signed on to an anti-Donald Trump campaign with more than 100 other celebrities at the Democratic National Convention.

The Breaking Bad actor was joined by Julianne Moore, Kerry Washington, Mark Ruffalo, Neil Patrick Harris, Shonda Rhimes and Macklemore in calling on Americans to deny Trump the White House.