According to the actress, intense films are perfect for dates — her latest, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, being one of them. Alba is reprising her 2005 role as Nancy Callahan, the surrogate daughter to Bruce Willis' John Hartigan. Between all the exotic dancing and stylized violence, Robert Rodriguez's second Sin City doesn't seem like the most romantic flick. (Hold my hand through the violent parts, babe?) But, to Alba, the tough-as-nails chicks and avenging men are what make sparks fly. Read on to find out why.
How does your character Nancy change between the first Sin City and this one?
“Well, in the first film, she starts off as a little girl. She’s a victim. She was kidnapped and then later tortured. She gets saved by Bruce Willis’ character, Hartigan. In this one, however, it picks up after Hartigan kills himself. So, it’s like the love of her life is gone. She’s devastated, an alcoholic, and she’s dancing, but she’s not happy about it. It was cool to be able to transform someone from this sweet, innocent, naïve victim into this very powerful warrior who takes her life in her own hands and gets revenge.”
What was it like reprising the role?
“[Laughs] I had a lot of coaching! I’m a mom, you know. I have two kids and I run a company. I’m not, like, this drunk stripper who’s out to seek revenge. So, I really had to get into the headspace of the character. I began to work with a choreographer to help me learn all of my dance sequences. I worked with an acting coach to get in the headspace of Nancy and all her various disguises. (I put together the costumes and wigs for that.) So, you could say I was prepared.”
How did you ready yourself for those dance scenes?
“I was 21, I think, 22 when we shot the first one. I was so young and I wasn’t really comfortable in my own skin. It was all kinds of terrifying being on stage and dancing. I didn’t want to misstep! I knew how incredible this world we were creating was and I just didn’t want to disappoint them or myself. So, in this one, I felt more confident and comfortable in my own skin. Here’s how I looked at it: If I’m to be blessed with this career to be able to do movies, I might as well go 150% and really push it and be fearless. That’s kind of the attitude I took this time around.”
Did you have a certain workout or diet regimen to prepare for the role?
“To be honest, Nancy is really the one role that has kept me energized. You don’t really want to eat tacos and burritos all day when you’re in a dance costume. So, I ate a lot of vegetables. I didn’t think about it too much, though. I was just going with it! It was so exciting to even be there.”
What do you say to the critics who call this movie sexist?
“I actually think it’s very powerful for women. This might sound bizarre, but I 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’s badass chicks, rad dudes (who are just so sexy), and so much cool action.”