Jessica Alba has gotten used to vague phone calls from director Robert Rodriguez, the Austin-based auteur who has made a habit of putting Alba into his films. "He calls me up and he is like, 'Can you come shoot this little thing?' And I'm like, OK, what is it?' 'Well, it's just this little movie, just come down just for a couple of days,'" Alba says. "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."
"Sin City: A Dame to Kill For" marks Alba's fifth visit to Rodriguez's universe and her second time taking on Nancy, a hard-luck stripper with revenge on her mind. One thing she's learned from her time working with Rodriguez is that he's not big on giving her a head start, so she has to take matters into her own hands. "They snuck the script to me," she says. "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."
And it's a good thing she did get her hands on it. "I saw that I was in 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 remembers. "So I worked with a choreographer, I put together costumes and all these wigs and stuff. So I was prepared. And I worked with an acting coach to kind of get in that head space. I am a mom, I have two kids, I run a company. I am not like this, you know, drunk stripper girl. So I needed to work on it."
And while the "Sin City" series might seem geared toward a male demographic, Alba insists there's plenty for the ladies. "It is actually very powerful for women. I bizarrely think this is the perfect date movie," she says. "Like if a guy took me on a date to see this movie I would marry him for sure. Bad-ass chicks, rad dudes who are sexy all over the place and so much cool action."
Follow Ned Ehrbar on Twitter@nedrick.