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Sin City - Jessica Alba/Brittany Murphy interviews



Compiled by: Jack Foley

Jessica Alba

Q. What was harder, dancing or lassoing?
A.
Probably the lasso was harder than the dancing. It’s like walking and talking, and doing many other things at once, trying to lasso and keep to a rhythm. And also we didn’t know what rhythm it was going to be. I had many different songs, slow songs and fast songs while I was lassoing in leather chaps and it was like 90,000 degrees, and they were suddenly sticking in all the wrong places. Robert always sets a really nice environment though, so even when you’re doing something overtly sexual like that it never felt gross or anything. It felt very artistic. I knew I was doing something nice when the movie turns out cool.
Frank Miller: My favourite moment was with this gal, I couldn’t believe that she was able to hold up for hour after hour with all this dancing. Then once Robert said 'cut' she simply and elegantly fell on her belly at the edge of the stage because she had no more energy left.
Alba: It was 4.30 in the morning, Bruce had wrapped at 1 and everybody was gone and it was my last day, and I just fell onto my tummy and just sat there and was so happy it was over. It was such a long day.

Q. What were the differences of working with green screen on this and The Fantastic Four?
A.
In Sin City, it was all about the acting with the actors. I was fortunate in that all my scenes with Bruce I actually had him there.
So that was one thing, where the background was completely CGI but in the Fantastic Four I was CGI. That was horrible, it took three days with these weird balls all around me and having to falsely recreate the same emotions over and over and over again for three days in a row, 12 hours. That was a little more gruelling than the dancing, I have to say.
Miller: One of the things that I loved about her dancing, because it was something that was always in my head about her character, was that there was this bunch of drooling louts looking at her the whole time but we was doing it for herself and was very contained. It was quite lovely.
Alba: I did a lot of practicing to the mirror at The Four Seasons in Austin, Texas.

Q. Did you ever feel vulnerable, though, given some of the material?
A:
I felt vulnerable but you had to have complete trust because it was all so exact - from the blink of an eye to where you inhaled, and at one point it was all about a tear falling down my left cheek or my right cheek. How the hell do you do that?
They were so specific, and it’s because of that trust that you can have a performance that is so specific and feels so contrived but at the same time you’re putting your life into it and being genuinely in the moment.
So it was a little nerve wracking, but also because I love Robert and I want him to do a good job and I want him to hire me again. So I was hoping I was doing a good job because I’d always wanted to work with him.

Brittany Murphy

Q. How does it feel to be dubbed the 'Queen of the Green Screen'?
A:
There was one scene in which all the actors pretty much were in the bar. I played the barmaid there and everybody goes to their local watering hole. Mickey was in the scene and Bruce and that Yellow Bastard, Nick Stahl, and Clive and Jessica was lassoing her heart out and I was the only actor in the room at the time.
Frank Miller: Except for that large green guy.
Murphy: There was a gentleman wrapped up like Gumby to be my eye line. But I would never, ever call myself The Queen of Green Screen, but it’s a very kind comment.

Q. Did you ever get nervous about any of your scenes?
A.
No I was excited.
Robert Rodriguez: I actually built her a partial set because during her rehearsals she was running around so much that I thought I’d better give my CG artists a break and put at least two walls a break, that way Brittany could really cut loose and I didn’t have to try tracking everything. She had at least established a couple of walls, and the other two were phantom walls but that’s how most movie sets are anyway.
So that really allowed her to cut loose in those scenes, where she had so much dialogue.

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