Sex and Violins:
Jessica Alba Talks Love Guru and The Eye
by Tony Phillips
There’s a tendency to snigger at even the question itself. Hi, steamy FHM cover girl Jessica Alba, can you tell me what was more difficult about your latest HK horror re-make The Eye: playing the violin or playing blind? But Alba takes it straight. "Violin was definitely more difficult," she replies. "That was so tough for me because I wanted to come off as realistic and believable as possible in order for the audience to really take the journey with me in this movie. You know, I play a soloist, but you have to be the best of the best. And people who’ve been playing that instrument since they were three-years-old, they gave concerts their whole life, practice eight hours a day and still don’t become soloists. They’re just in the orchestra."
But enough violins, what about the sex? Alba exhibits this strange push pull with the sex: she manages to keep her bikini on while, um, still striking up the band. There’s that FMH connection. The sweaty, cigar chomping rag even got a little purple when describing her record-breaking 8 million votes for last year’s "Sexist Woman in the World" cover. They lauded the spicy 26-year-old for "making the bikini seem that bit more magical" and even went so far as to suggest her epic marble likeness be "hoisted onto a plinth by several men in flat caps and long brown coats." I’m sorry, but it takes a lot for a magazine as red-blooded American as FHM to start with the commie trash talk.
And yet, just the year before, there was our baby Jessica suing the Playboy for their unauthorized use of a still from Into The Blue when they dubbed her their "Sex Star of the Year." Old Hef threw some money at her favorite charity and it went away, but not so her no nudity clause, or her lingering disdain for 2005 two-piece potboiler Into The Blue. "I didn’t know we were going to be in bathing suits," Alba claims, "that was never the plan. That was the one movie I felt definitely objectified in and it was definitely bizarre for me. They shot all the bathing suits scenes with doubles before I even came to set the first day. In the script, we were in scuba diving wet suits and I fit all wet suits for the whole movie. I got tricked, but I wasn’t the only one. It was Paul, Scott Caan and Ashley Scott, the other girl in the film. So it’s not like I was the only one in that movie, it just kind of was what it was."
And I know, you’re thinking, what the fuck? I don’t come to the site to read about chicks in bikinis. I’m just saying: Alba in bikini ergo Paul Walker in Speedo. So just relax. And if you think a wetsuit is that much more wholesome, check out Alba working one in the Fantastic Four franchise, not to mention her smoking co-star Chris Evans. And if you still don’t understand while this discussion of Jessica Alba and bikinis is relevant to your life on the g-list, click here. Her leading men have always been smoking, including hubby Cash Warren. It was impossible not to bump into him and a very preggers Alba at this year’s edition of Sundance. They were everywhere. At a particular crush at 50 Cent’s gig at Harry O’s, even I had an "Oh my God, the baby!" moment.
I’m just saying, we care, primarily because she’s kind of adorable. And it would be silly to think that Alba’s not aware of that and working it for points. "I never base anything on my appearance," she claims, "to be honest with you I don’t think that people would hire me just because of that. There are so many much, much cuter girls in L.A. that would do just about anything to get roles. And if it was just about looks, they would be getting them. So I have to believe that I bring more to the table than that. And whether it’s, you know, likeability or an appeal or something that’s more, you know, I don’t know. People see me and it’s familiar because of Dark Angel and Fantastic Four. I don’t know, you know."
I do. And come on, you do too. It’s light, sexy and fun: sex kitten. But that’s something Alba’s worked very hard to get away from in her latest picture. And it’s not easy. The remake of the Pang Bros. HK horror The Eye opens with Alba walking down a crowded city street in sunglasses. It slowed down. There’s bounce. It could almost be runway, and it’s not the first time one thinks Eyes of Laura Mars during this film, but then Alba’s almost creamed by a city bus. And this is all during the opening credit roll. No one ever said life as blind concert violinist Sydney Wells was going to be easy. But soon she finds herself in the arms of Dr. Paul Falkner after a corneal transplant ("Like changing a windshield on a car," Dr. Falkner claims) restores her sight, but things start to get a little creepy. Sydney sees dead people. Oh, and Dr. Falkner? Laurel Canyon hottie Alessandro Nivola. When it comes to leading men, Alba does not play around. Parker Posey as big sis rounds out the cast and really ups the gay factor.
Alba doesn’t say much about Nivola. "I don’t know what made it to the final cut," she explains, "but in any car sequence we had, we were blasting The Beatles and singing it at the top of our lungs. You know, in all the drive-away shots. And everyone who has earphones, all the crew, they were jamming to The Beatles." But come on, you’ve already seen her real life beau. What else is she going to say? Not so holding forth on co-star Parker Posey. Alba practically bubbles over with the enthusiasm any gay would bring to that subject. "Parker is amazing," Alba says, "when I found out she was in the movie and playing my sister it was the greatest thing. I’m such a huge fan. And she’s so funny and humble and disarming. And she’s like a well of knowledge. She’s pretty awesome."
So awesome, in fact, that she might have set up shop as a mentor. And to hear Alba tell it, the Queen of the Indies better watch her back. "I personally want to go in a more indie route for a little while," Alba begins, "and have a bit more of a balance between the commercial movies and the indie movies that don’t necessarily do as well at the box office. I think it’ll be fun to kind of take more risks and more challenging roles. And I’ve had my eye out for an action movie since I finished Dark Angel. I still haven’t found a good female driven action film so I’ve been looking for it. If you have any suggestions, send them my way. But I think initially I’m going to probably do a little bit more character driven roles, ensemble casts, smaller budgets. Not necessarily the big box office tent pole movies."
But not before she squeezes in one last tent pole. And don’t be gross, FHM readers. This summer, Alba stars opposite none other than Austin Powers himself in The Love Guru. "It’s actually Mike Myers his first original character since Austin Powers," Alba explains, "and it’s absolutely hilarious. Working with Mike was like a dream come true. He is the Peter Sellers of our generation. I love comedy and if you’re going to work with anybody in comedy, Mike is definitely the one. In The Love Guru, I play the owner of a hockey team and he is a guru who fixes peoples. He’s an all around guru, but mostly about love and loving yourself and fixing your love life. And my key hockey player’s love life is totally screwed up. We’re losing our team. Everyone thinks our team is cursed because of me, so I hire Mike Myers to fix my guy’s love life and hopefully we can win the Stanley Cup."
But wait, did Jessica Alba just say I could send her a script? Sure, where to, honey? " I live in Los Angeles," she says, suddenly guarded. Um, yeah, but is there a neighborhood? "Los Angeles," she repeats. Okay, a zip code, maybe? "I live in the Hills" is as close as she’s coming to inviting anyone over. The wall also goes up when the topic turns to baby names. The actress is, by all accounts, ready to drop any second now. "Excuse me?" she asks flatly when the topic turns to baby names. I’m kind of living for this glimpse of J.A.: Ice Princess. "I would never share that," she says, bluntly. I write it off to hormones or one more questionable celebrity baby name choice and we wrap up with which of the five senses Alba couldn’t live without, but she’s still in babyland. "If I was going to lose a sense," she muses, "the worst would probably be blindness, only because I’m so used to seeing. And, you know, I have a baby coming. I’d like to see my child.