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PopEntertainment.com > Feature Interviews - Actresses > Feature Interviews A to E > Jessica Alba

JESSICA ALBA

STEPS INTO THE BLUE

by Brad Balfour

Copyright ©2005 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: October 10, 2005.

This has been a great year for actress Jessica Alba having appeared in Sin City, Fantastic Four and now the sexy action thriller, Into the Blue. As one of the most gorgeous women on film, the 24 year-old Alba gets attention no matter what she does. In Into the Blue she joins her treasure hunting boyfriend [Paul Walker] in a sea diving adventure that involves such menaces as real sharks and drug dealers.

Did you touch the sharks?

No, sharks are pretty terrifying animals and they're not very bright. Also they're pretty much blind. They don't see the difference between you and a fish, which is why so many people get attacked. I did hit a couple of them to push them out of the way because they're dumb. I never wanted them to mistake me for a fish. So if they even came within arms length, I wasn't thinking, "Oh they're just going to swim right by," I was feeling, "Get away." I was just like constantly pushing them away from me.

So you would actually strike them?

Yeah or they would get me. Paul would get bumped by them and he'd come out of the water and he'd have all these raspberries all over his body because their skin is like sandpaper. But he's fearless. He doesn't mind the shark thing. I was like, "I need my fingers. I don't want them to bite me.”

Did you do any research on sharks?

The stuff that I learned about the sharks was from walking around with the actual shark wrangler at the Atlantis Hotel who does the job that I was doing in the movie. I just went around with her and picked her brain. She's a little, petite Bahamian woman who's the head shark wrangler. She told me that they go out into the middle of the ocean, scoop up sharks and put them into the tank at the Atlantis. Then once they get to a certain size they have to let them out again.

How long ago did you film Into the Blue?

What's funny is I did Into the Blue right after Honey. So I did Honey, Into the Blue, Sin City. Fantastic Four. In my really delusional mind I thought I was going to be paid to hang out in the Bahamas and scuba dive for four months. Then I realized we're shooting in the winter with wild sharks in every single water scene.  I also thought we were going to be wearing wetsuits. But they were like, "The film takes place in the summer" and I was like, "But we're shooting in the winter!" But I didn't have a choice. The thing is I wanted to do the movie because the script was such a page-turner, I read it in 45 minutes.

Is there a conspiracy to get you into bathing suits and skimpy outfits?

[laughs] I don't think I play super hot chicks. I just think that's the way they market people in bathing suits. Ashley Scott is in a bathing suit in the movie just as much as me with a lot more angles [laughs]. I play the good girl. But for some reason everyone sort of emphasizes on me being the sexy one.

Of the movies you've done, which do you consider the most arduous?

This one. I never knew what scene I was shooting any day. Everything was based off the weather. If it was partly cloudy we would go to shoot a scene that was partly cloudy but then the weather would clear up. Then we had to go under the water but it would be all murky so then we had to go on land. It was unbelievable what we went through every day doing a movie on the water because you really are a slave to what Mother Nature wants at that moment in time.

In the movie you chop off the arm of a guy you're handcuffed to. Could you do that in real life?

In intense situations I think you've got to do what you got to do. I certainly had a backache for three days carrying that heavy guy around because John really made me drag the guy through the ship.

You had a lot of hot scenes with Paul Walker. Was it fun to work with him?

He's a sexy guy so I think any scene he's in is just automatically sexy. Paul is really down to earth and a guy's guy. I thought he was going to be a little bit more feminine and a precious diva like the rest of the male actors I usually work with. But he wasn't, he likes fishing and boating and surfing and competing with Scott [Caan] at any waking moment. They just like fought all the time like brothers and were very competitive about everything. So it was fun to interact with them.

Scott and Paul rubbed more skin together than you and Paul did.

I'm with you. There was actually this one sequence that got cut from the movie and I hope it makes it to the DVD. It was so homoerotic. Scott and Paul did this swim underwater on top of each other. There was this really pretty music so I had to tease them about that for a while.

Did you learn how to free dive for this movie?

I did. I went to the Caymans and they have this facility there where they teach people how to free dive. I just went on my own with a couple of friends and I learned how to free dive and brushed up on my scuba diving. I was kind of a little dive bum for a couple weeks.

Does sunken treasure really exist?

It really does. There are real treasure hunters out there. It's a big ocean and there have been lots of storms so everything gets buried.

Did you meet any treasure hunters while you were down there?

I didn't run into any.

Did the script always have you saving yourself?

Originally Paul was supposed to come in, sling me over his shoulder and save me. But I said to John and the writer Matt [Johnson], "I think I'm the most experienced person in doing action, so what if I talked to the stunt coordinator and we figured something out for me to do?" Girls don't really want to see someone get rescued at the end of the movie. So I literally came up with the action sequence with the stunt guy, Matt wrote it and then they had an action director come in and clean up all of that stuff.

How difficult is it to maintain your fit body?

I try to work out. I think it's the only thing that I do that I don't really like doing. It's really boring. I have to have so much stimulation when I'm sitting on that damn treadmill like earphones, magazines, television, girlfriends and boyfriend. But I don't have any strict diet. I don't have a certain food plan or anything. I'm not weird about it. I try to just work out when I can.

Would you ever do something like Charlize Theron did for Monster and totally transform yourself?

I would absolutely do whatever I needed to do for a role. I've never been presented with a role where I needed to do something like that. But I'm not going to try and artificially create a role where I have to gain weight and not wear makeup and screw up my hair. I'm just going to continue to do what I do. For the movie Awake, I don't have to wear a bathing suit or chaps or a superhero outfit or have to do any fighting. With that hopefully people will see that I'm not just somebody that does that to sell movies.

You seem a lot different now than you did at the Honey press junket.

This is my third junket press tour. I've been all over the world three times already this year. I'm really not that comfortable with holding court, talking and being comfortable enough with strangers. But now that I've done it so much I'm used to all of it.

You did back-to-back comic book movies. Do you read comic books?

No I don't. Isn't that weird? I did read them when I got the job.

What did you think of the Sin City comics?

I thought they were profound and couldn't believe that I hadn't read them before. I was sorry I missing out on the graphic novel world. I don't think my mind could ever go where Frank Miller's mind goes. It was very old school, noir-ish. It was pretty incredible.

Are you scheduled to go back to shoot Sin City 2?

I talked to Robert [Rodriguez] and he's doing something with Quentin [Tarantino] called Grindhouse. They're each writing an hour-long movie and are going to use the same 12 cast members. Then I know he wants to do Sin City after that. But [comic creator/co-director] Frank Miller wants to do it right away. He is like a big Hollywood star now. He's being offered all these things to direct and write. I had dinner with him and he has some pretty damn cool ideas about [my character] Nancy. I think he's going to write something for me. He might do it as a graphic novel first and then release it simultaneously.

How is Frank on set as a director?

I definitely get that he's an internal crazed artist. He attaches everything to the back story of the character and why she does what she does. He always approaches everything from a very emotional place.

There was a negative buzz surrounding Fantastic Four. Were you surprised that it did as well as it did?

No, because any negative buzz anybody had were from people who knew nothing about the comic book. They were comparing it to Batman. It's not dark. It's a fun, family comic book. That's the charm of it. It doesn't take itself seriously so it's a little campy. That's why kids and parents can read it. I know that most of the negative reviewers wanted it to be another movie. They didn't understand why Fantastic Four was successful and they certainly didn't know a thing about the comic books.

And are they talking about sequels yet?

Yeah, they are but they're not telling me anything about them though I heard through the grapevine that they're talking about it.

What's the story with the I Dream of Jeannie movie rumors that are circulating?

I definitely have met a couple times with Sony and we've talked about it. The script is just not in the shape that I would want it to be in if I was going to do it. I want to do the charm of the show. I don't want to do a postmodern version. People want to see Jeannie.

What else are you working on?

Two action films, one's called Sonic and another one is called Beautiful Killer. Also there's a romantic comedy that I'm attached to and I'm developing a non-violent video game that can relate to people all over the world. There are seven or eight different characters and you can customize them with different music styles and clothing styles so it's kind of a lifestyle video game. It's really cool but still in prototype mode. Then I've got a baby clothing line that'll be coming out probably in the spring and I'm going to be giving a portion of the money to charity.

What's your dream role?

I think there's something really fascinating about Mata Hari. She was an international spy from a mixed background. She was kicked out of school for having an affair with a professor, which clearly didn't happen but she was the only woman in the school so they had to kick her out for some reason. They don't really know why she was caught and killed. They don't really have any real evidence that she was a spy.

What would you most like to change about yourself, if anything?

Maybe to have more patience and just listen sometimes. I don't always have to have the answer.

Copyright ©2005 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved. Posted: October 10, 2005.

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