Awake: Jessica Alba Interview
We managed to catch up with Sin City stunner Jessica Alba to talk about her new thriller film Awake where she stars alongside Hayden Christensen. She gave us the low-down on the fun she had playing a character with a evil streak, her new found violin playing skills, and how she feels about having a summer baby
LOVEFiLM: Can you describe the premise of Awake to us?
Jessica Alba: Hayden Christensen's character gets injected with anaesthesia but he doesn't get enough anaesthetic for his body weight and there's a piece of his mind that's awake for the surgery. He can feel it and goes through this whole terrifying experience of being completely numb, he can't move anything, he can't speak. They don't know that he can feel it and that he is awake through the entire surgery and his happy place that he goes to is sort of remembering how he fell in love with my character, 'cos it's sort of the one thing that he's done for himself and it's the one true thing that he has in his life.
LF: You play a rather twisted personal assistant, was it a fun role to play?
JA: It's an independent movie so I can't really put it into pop-corn terms because this is a complicated movie. It's a character driven story and I play somebody who has two completely different sides to themselves and she is, I think, just battling with the demons of what it is to be extremely one person and extremely another person. If those two people are connected to each other at all it's a little bit like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. So it's a fun character to play and indulgent as an actor to play someone like that.
LF: You star opposite not just Hayden Christensen but Terrence Howard too; how did you find working with him?
JA: Terrence is amazing. I was very happy when I found out he was playing Dr. Jack. He is such an artist and so good and so intense and earnest and just lovely and it's funny because he's such a genuinely sweet character…and usually Terence is known to play quite visceral, quite aggressive characters and this character that he plays is very passive and my character is the aggressor. My character in the relationship she has with Jack is quite dominant and it's fun to play that with Terrence 'cos he is such a phenomenal actor. Also to see him play something that's outside something that he's normally playing, and I'm playing something outside of what I normally play as well.
LF: You also appear in The Eye, a horror film released later this year; what's your role?
JA: I play someone who's blind, and who's a concert violinist, so I did training, to be a concert violinist and I did blind training as well. Playing a character who gains her sight but loses her sanity, I thought that would be fun to play.
LF: So can you pick up a violin and play a tune now?
JA: No, it would sound really screechy! I can play the notes and I play along with the rhythm of the song, but my violin playing still sounds pretty horrible!
LF: Is it true that you were going to shoot a David Mamet play before you fell pregnant?
JA: I was going to do Speed-the-Plow, and it's kind of disappointing that I couldn't do it. It would have been a real challenge; I know Madonna played the female part a while ago. There's lots been said that David's work doesn't particularly like women, but the play in itself feels very contemporary, and I like the female character, because a lot of women come to Hollywood expecting a certain thing. They're pretty, charismatic and some are intelligent, and they come to Hollywood with all these hopes and dreams thinking that nothing can stop them. There are thousands of girls like that. But it's all about money and getting people to consume!
LF: How have you found your pregnancy?
JA: It's kind of great, the fact that something's living inside you. It feels amazing; it's a miracle, really.
LF: So when's the baby due?
JA: I'm not really talking about it. I've been given a lot of different dates. But I think that it's safe to say that it'll be in the summer.
LF: Has being pregnant changed your life much?
JA: I definitely eat more - your body needs more calories. It's kind of like you're an oven! I don't really get a kick out of the extra eating. The luxury for me is the sleeping. I now get to indulge in lots of sleeping, which I love!
Titles related to this article