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Jessica Alba Discusses Her Role in "Sin City"

Jessica Alba on Playing Nancy, Nudity as an Option, and Dancing


Jessica Alba Sin City Nancy

Jessica Alba as Nancy in "Sin City"

© Dimension Films
Jessica Alba on Her Character’s Costume: In Frank Miller’s “Sin City” graphic novel, Nancy, the character Jessica Alba plays in the movie, was topless. At a press conference promoting “Sin City,” Alba was asked about the difference in Nancy’s costume from the book to the screen and why she decided to take on a role like this. Alba admitted she was fully aware of her character’s outfit – or lack thereof – in the book. “Oh, she was bottomless too. I wanted to do this movie because Robert Rodriguez was directing it, first and foremost. I didn’t really know it was a comic book when I read [something], when I saw that he was directing something. I just tell my agents every month, ‘What’s Robert doing? I want to do something with him.’ And Lee, one of my agents, said, ‘You’ve got an opportunity.’ I said, ‘Excellent!’ So I took that opportunity and ran with it.

I auditioned the old fashioned way. I met with the casting director, put myself on tape, and he had to approve. It was like a week of, ‘Does he think I suck? I just don’t want him to think I suck. I don’t even care if I don’t get the role. I just don’t want Robert to think I suck!’ And he didn’t think I sucked. He came down and I met with him,” recalled Alba, adding, “At that time I looked at the graphic novel and I saw the pictures. I then found out that she was a stripper and she was bottomless and topless. You know, nudity was an option. We could have done it if we wanted to.”

Nudity was an Option: Alba’s comment on nudity being an option brought out a few loud moans from some male journalists who apparently would have loved to have had Robert Rodriguez go that direction. Alba was adamant that nudity was definitely negotiable, if that was how Rodriguez wanted to go. “It absolutely was an option. Robert said we could do it if we wanted to. Obviously it would have been more authentic. But I felt like dancing around with a lasso and chaps was going to be sexy enough. I think being nude for me would have been distracting. I really couldn’t be bottomless in front of my dad. He would really… I don’t know. He’d disown me or something. He’d freak out.”

Rodriguez stands by his decision to add some clothing to Nancy for the movie and said he believes Nancy’s sexiness comes across, even without the nudity. “It was very important that we retained the sexiness of it. Like in the world of the comic, they just think that Nancy’s the sexiest person in the world and [addressing his comment to Alba] you did that. That’s all we needed. This works. It gets that across,” explained Rodriguez.

The Physical Preparation for “Sin City:” “I work out anyway just because it’s healthy to work out and women have health problems, especially in my family. So I just work out just to be healthy anyway, so that was already part of it. And I went to strip clubs to see how strippers do it. And I realized I wanted a choreographer and Robert said no. I was like, ‘Okay…’ He said, ‘Just feel it. We’re just going to play music and you’re just going to feel it.’”

Rodriguez recalled that when he directed Salma Hayek’s snake dance in “From Dusk Till Dawn,” he told the actress to just to do what felt right. Hayek requested a choreographer and claimed she didn’t know how to dance, but Rodriguez knew she’d catch on. “You do it. You just go up there. I just knew, ‘Just go up there and dance. You know how to dance.’ It’s going to be something people wish they could choreograph,” explained Rodriguez.

But Alba wasn’t immediately convinced. “Mind you he’s saying Salma Hayek in ‘From Dusk Till Dawn,’ the sexiest dance I’ve ever seen on camera ever. And he’s like, ‘It will be like that.’ I was like, ‘Like that? Are you serious? I have to live up to something.’ Like it’s iconic. There hasn’t been a sexier dance ever and she wasn’t naked.”

Rodriguez said Hayek was nervous dancing around a stage with a snake, and Jessica Alba confirms she too had a case of the nerves. “My heart was beating so fast. I was so nervous. And then I had some Texans teaching me how to rope and lasso.”

“She out there in the back roping and spinning the gun. She whacked herself in the head a few times. By the time she got to the stage she was just like a pro. We were just always watching. ‘Oh, the tape ran out…’ ‘Oh, okay,’" confided Rodriguez.

2005 - The Year of Jessica Alba: “I’ve been doing this for 11 years so it definitely isn’t an overnight thing. If people then know about me… I don’t entertain and I don’t act for myself, or else I would just act in front of a mirror. I actually like having an audience and people being affected by stuff that I’m in. I love entertaining and they just all happen to come out this year. The more the merrier I think!”

PAGE 2: Jessica Alba on "Fantastic Four," "Into the Blue," and "Fathom"

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