When Jessica Alba first uttered those Sin City quotes, she was barely 22 years old, and as anyone knows, you’re not quite yourself yet at that age. And imagine the challenge she had portraying an exotic dancer in Frank Miller’s Sin City? Needless to say, she told Movie Fanatic recently that she’s much surer of herself nine years later coming back to the character of Nancy in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.
“I was so young and I was not comfortable in my own skin and dancing on stage. It was all kind of terrifying being on a set with these meek individuals (speaking of director Robert Rodriguez and graphic novel artist/author Miller) who don’t have strong opinions at all,” Alba said and laughed.
“I was terrified. I didn’t want to make a misstep and I knew how incredible this world was. I just didn’t want to disappoint them or myself. In this one, I felt more confident and comfortable in my own skin. If I’m going to be blessed with a career and do movies, I might as well go 150 percent and really push it and be fearless.”
Although the Sin City world of Miller is truly an ensemble, it seems like the story keeps coming back to Alba’s Nancy. And as teased in the Sin City: A Dame to Kill For trailer, one can see that hasn’t changed in the sequel. “In the first film she starts off as a little girl, and she’s a victim -- she was kidnapped and then later she was tortured -- and she gets saved by Bruce Willis’ character, Hartigan,” Alba said.
“But then in this one, it picks up after he kills himself, so the love of her life is gone. She’s devastated. She’s an alcoholic. She’s still dancing; she’s not happy about it.”
And she is hell-bent on retribution, and just waiting for the right time for it. “It was cool to be able to take someone from this sweet, innocent, naïve victim to this very powerful warrior who takes her own life in her own hands and gets revenge,” Alba said.
Alba and Rodriguez have had a long working relationship and he has cast her in many of his movies -- most recently Machete Kills. She will do anything for him and that means even showing up without a script because she knows what he delivers is perfect for her on many levels.
“He calls me up and he is like, ‘Can you come shoot this little thing?’ And I am like, 'Okay, what is it?' 'Well, it is just this little movie, just come down just for a couple of days...' And that is just what he does, and I am there. I show up every time because it is so inspiring to be in his world, his universe,” Alba admitted.
But, with Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, it was a little different. Miller got her the script this time out because she had a feeling that Nancy would be a little more complicated than a scorned stripper.
“[Frank] snuck the script to me. Because I knew Robert was going to call me on Monday and ask me to show up on Thursday and I wouldn't have any time to prepare. I just wanted to see what I have to do! I saw that I was, throughout the script, in all these dance sequences and she is in different disguises, and so I was like I have to learn how to dance different. This is going to be great,” Alba said.
She got the help of a choreographer so she wouldn’t just be winging it. “I was prepared.”
Alba appears in Sin City: A Dame to Kill For with returning veterans Rosario Dawson, Mickey Rourke and Willis and is joined by newbies Josh Brolin, Eva Green and Joseph Gordon Levitt. She feels that their little ensemble film should be classified much deeper than a graphic novel turned into a movie (what are the 17 best graphic novels made movies?).
“It is actually very powerful for women,” Alba said. “I bizarrely think this is the perfect date movie. Like if a guy took me on a date to see this movie I would marry him for sure. It has badass chicks, rad dudes who are sexy all over the place and so much cool action.”
Check out how it all got started and watch Sin City online.