Jessica Alba on Good Luck Chuck


Lionsgate will be releasing a new movie in theaters on September 21 called Good Luck Chuck. Dane Cook as Charlie/Chuck Logan and Jessica Alba as Cam Wexler are the main leads in this romantic comedy about a man who has a curse of not being able to find true love. It seems unfair to Chuck that after he has sex with single women that the next guy they meet becomes their life’s dream mate. He simply wants a little love for himself that will last. talked to Jessica Alba about her role in Good Luck Chuck and what it was like working in a comedic capacity with Dane Cook.

CS: We haven’t seen you do a lot of comedy before now. Did you go on a campaign to send a message to Hollywood that you can be funny?
Jessica Alba: I hosted the MTV Awards two summers ago, I think. I kind of used it as my audition because, like you said, I haven’t really done any comedies and I couldn’t get into those roles because people just didn’t think that that was my thing. They thought I was ‘action’ girl. I hosted the movie awards knowing I was going to be able to do these skits and Dane was at the show. That’s when he made the call that he thought I could do comedy and I could do “Good Luck Chuck” with him.

CS: Was there a particular scene in the movie that was a favorite of yours, and if so, why?
Alba:: There was a scene where Dane and I kind of have our first night together hanging out. A bunch of random events happened to where he needed to take me to my house so I could get a key. It was the first time I did a lot of the physical comedy that wasn’t written at all in the movie. I could just be free and have fun. Dane and I have a really great chemistry. We were playing off each other and having a great time and we turned the scene into something better. That was really cool. I think it makes the movie better because you can see the connection that these two people have. You want them to be together.

CS: You both worked really well together. Timing is so important in comedy. Did you have to practice with Dane to perfect your scenes together or did it come pretty natural for the two of you?
Alba:: It was kind of natural. Dane and I really get along well. It’s quite easy for us to bounce off each other. Yeah, it was good.

CS: Is it true that during the scene that was shot where you and Dane had the first kiss that both of you ended up chipping your teeth?
Alba:: Yes, I did chip my front tooth doing a kiss scene. I chipped my top front tooth and he chipped his bottom tooth. We were doing a comedic “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” love scene. We were slamming into walls and breaking things and tumbling over couches. He slammed my head into a picture. While my head was smacking into the wall and breaking the picture, his teeth slammed into my teeth.

CS: Did you have to go get emergency dental work done on your tooth?
Alba:: I did. I had a bond on my tooth and when I took it off I looked like “Dumb & Dumber.” I looked like Jim Carrey in “Dumb & Dumber.” I was really silly.

CS: What are your good assets when it comes to being around men?
Alba:: I don’t really treat men differently than women. I’m probably a little bit nicer to women. You’ve got to stand by your home girls, she says with laughter. I don’t know. I like sports. I’m honest. I’m a straight shooter. I don’t play a lot of games.

CS: Could you tell us what it was like working with a first time director (Mark Helfrich) on this film?
Alba:: I have worked with a few and he was very excited about being a director every day. He was like a little kid in a candy store. It was actually quite endearing. It was like every day he was having a pinch me moment. He was just so happy to be there. He’s been an editor for a very long time. I think this was something that he had always wanted to do. It was like his dream was coming true.

CS: Why go you think it is so hard to find the right person today?
Alba:: I think you have to be in the right state of mind with the type of dating that you want to have while with the person who is also in the right state of mind to be dating you. Timing is everything.

CS: What do you look for nowadays when looking for a project to be a part of?
Alba:: Good stories, good scripts and fun characters. Stuff I am afraid of. I like to tackle things that scare me. Like doing comedy; I never did comedy before. I knew that was going to be very interesting every day. I like to keep a good variety.

CS: We are used to seeing you appear so graceful in films. How did you relate to Cam’s clumsiness?
Alba:: I’m quite clumsy in my own personal life. More than any person should be. It’s kind of a joke. It was fun being able to not hide that. I usually have to be incredibly self-aware and self-conscious. Even just walking in heels and trying to pretend like I am a superhero and trying to be the most coordinated person on the planet in “Dark Angel.” In this I got to be goofy and have fun. I didn’t have to be so self-conscious. It was nice. I really related to it in a personal way.

CS: What was it like working with penguins?
Alba:: Working with the penguins was great. They are lovely little animals. They don’t like everybody, but they liked me right away. I found a way to tickle them on their neck, which is how their handlers do it. Usually they are kind of spastic and stiff, but they would lay down and kind of purr when I did that. That’s why they liked me.

CS: Did you have preconceived notions on what it would be like to work on a physical comedy and work with Dane Cook?
Alba:: I didn’t. I really didn’t to be honest with you. I knew it was going to be fun because Dane and I, the second we met each other, we got along. It was like I had known the guy forever. We just have a great time.

CS: What shocked you the most?
Alba:: Just that comedy is very precise. When you find the funny moment you kind of have to just stay within those boundaries. Even though it is free and open, you have to put yourself out there; it’s very controlled and premeditated. It’s hard to try and make that an organic moment when everything is so contrived. That was definitely shocking for me.

CS: Since so many people find you sexy I want to know what you find sexy.
Alba:: I am really into a good sense of humor. That is a big deal for me. And when people are considerate; that is another big one for me. That’s very sexy. When you are not only thinking of yourself but you are thinking of other people. I love that.

CS: Do you feel like some people are cursed or simply unlucky in love? What about yourself?
Alba:: I think everyone brings it onto themselves. I have to believe that that is the way it is. It’s so random why things happen to some people. For some people bad things always happen. My aunt, every car she has, they break. Whether it is brand new, whether it is old, whether it is my car—if she is driving it, it’s going to break. I think that you carry around an energy and you enforce that upon everything. Whether it is breaking cars involuntarily or getting into relationships and constantly not finding your match. I think it is about creating patterns, breaking them, and learning from them. Sometimes if you are not willing to be that introspective you just go around in circles.

CS: You seem so unlike the image that people throw out there in magazines. Did you have a good time subverting that image conscious world we live in today?
Alba:: I’m not incredibly self-conscious and I don’t feel like I walk around making fashion or my appearance the most important thing in the world. It’s certainly not the way I live my life. I’m not really sure how the magazines perceive me because I don’t read them, but subverting it, I’m not sure. I think in this movie particularly, I get to play with it a little bit. I’m the good girl. I always kind of play the good girl. So it’s nice to do that.

CS: Were you afraid of being upstaged by penguins in the film?
Alba:: You are always upstaged by animals and children. That’s the fear we all have. No, I don’t mind, it’s nice. I really enjoy having animals on the set. I always bring my dogs to every film that I do. Yeah, they are great because they don’t care about you at all. It’s all about them and their needs. They are so innocent and adorable, especially penguins.

CS: Is there an animal you wouldn’t want to work with?
Alba:: I don’t really like reptiles at all. I’m not a big reptile person. I’ve worked with rodents. I’m not big on rodents either.

CS: Can you tell us the status on some of the rumored future projects you might be included in like “Fantastic Four 3?”
Alba:: I have no idea. You probably know more than I do about those things. To be honest the actors are always the last to know. It’s like we are bringing this to screen and we have to wrap our heads around the character, but they’ll give you three weeks to do that. I’m truly the last to know. I’m excited about this one though!

CS: Do you have a preference when working with comedy, horror or action films? What do you do to prepare for those roles?
Alba:: They are all very different. My experience on the set and what I go through emotionally with every one of those is completely different. You have to go to such a dark place (for the horror), and then you have to stay in such a happy place all the time for the comedy. You have to be in sort of a sincere grounded place because in comic book movies you are really playing a cartoon character and you have to make that as real as possible. It is difficult because you have to stay very grounded and truthful. So emotionally you are always going through something completely different. All of us actors, certainly everyone that I know, we all get a group of DVD references for how or what we want to emulate or performances that inspire us in that genre. We use CDs and a bunch of music as well.

CS: What did you use on “Good Luck Chuck?”
Alba:: “Good Luck Chuck” was a lot of Goldie Hawn and Lucille Ball and Peter Sellers. The one that I am doing now is Gilda Radner, that’s big. I enjoy it. You are kind of going through film school with each film as well and educating yourself with different things. I did watch a little “Roman Holiday” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” you know those fun classics. I wanted to get in touch with the girl, as well, that is super in love and has these great dreams and ideas of love and relationships. It’s a combination of a romantic comedy and a physical comedy.

CS: Now that you have a chipped tooth, do you think you will use it as a comedic element in some future roles?
Alba:: I can definitely take the bond off of my tooth and go with a half-crooked chipped tooth. That would definitely throw people off a bit. I am excited to use that one day. I didn’t really cry or was mad about it. I was like, ‘cool.’ That’s kind of neat. I can take this thing off and I get to be somebody else for a little while.

CS: Would you like to work with comedic director Woody Allen or anyone else in mind?
Alba:: Yeah, I would love to work with Woody Allen.

CS: Aren’t you working on a film with Mike Myers now?
Alba:: Yes. I’m doing that now. But like the director of this film, I’m excited about working with Mike. The director of this film is a first time director. Who is to say whether this is going to be the greatest director that I’m working with in comedy or the worst? You never know until you go through the experience and it’s finished. You have to be open to other people. To me it’s all about Mike. I’m super excited.

CS: Did he let you be funny or is it all his character and you are the straight one?
Alba:: I’m definitely more the straight man, but I do some stuff. I am the owner of a hockey team and my coach is Verne Troyer. We are yelling at each other constantly. It’s pretty funny.

CS: Have you ever used a pickup line on a guy?
Alba:: No. I’m bad with all that stuff. I can’t tell a joke to save my life. I’m a terrible liar. I think you have to be able to tell a joke and you have to be able to lie to pick someone up with a line.

CS: What’s the worst one you have ever heard?
Alba:: I’ve heard all of them. Anything terrible, and yes, I’ve heard that.

CS: Have you ever needed a pickup line for a guy?
Alba:: I don’t know. I get embarrassed. If I have a crush on someone I get all squirmy, quiet and giggly. I never know what to say and my mouth goes dry. My heart beats fast and I get completely stupid.

CS: Are you okay with the R rating for “Good Luck Chuck?”
Alba:: Yeah. I think it’s funny. It makes it feel more real and more authentic. I’m not a huge fan of all the romantic comedies that have come out in the past five years. I felt like a lot of them were too soft and didn’t seem real. I want the characters to be more tangible. In this movie they are crazy, but at least they feel kind of real. They are eccentric but they feel like somebody you know. Some of the things that Dan Fogler says is so out of control, but I have a friend that talks like that. I wasn’t offended at all. I thought it was cool that the studio allowed us to do that.

CS: Is it true that penguins mate for life?
Alba:: That is the message that we are getting across in the movie, but they don’t. I think they just stay together during the time they choose a mate, impregnate them and they stay together for that one time. Then, they come around and do it again with somebody else. Whereas other animals just jump from one animal to the next and don’t stay with one mate.

CS: Do you think it is possible for people in our culture to stay in one relationship or marriage like in the 1940s, for example?
Alba:: I don’t think it is happening now because women are more equal to men. Women don’t need to stay in relationships to own homes, to have cars or to have financial security. Women don’t need that anymore. We can be executives of companies. We can run a bank. We have almost equal rights. We have equal rights we just don’t get paid the same. At the end of the day we can sustain. Where before that wasn’t an option so women stayed in relationships that they didn’t necessarily want to be in. I do believe in it, absolutely. If you are both in a relationship and you are both committed to your relationship and each other; it’ll last as long as you want it to. I do believe in that. My parents have been married for twenty-six years and I am twenty-six, so there you go.

CS: Do you feel that you are getting better projects coming your way, and are you trying to develop projects of your own to have a little more control over things?
Alba:: Yes. I‘ve been attached to films that went into development hell and people got hired and fired. It sort of went nowhere. I’ve had an interest to be a producer ever since I worked with Drew Barrymore on “Never Been Kissed.” I think she was about twenty-three at the time, doing it all. I definitely look up to her. I want to do that one day. She’s cool and she still loves doing movies. She is a real human being and she treats people well. She is a lovely person and she so excited about what she does for a living.

CS: Are there other things you want to do outside of movies?
Alba:: I love painting. I want to get more involved in charities than what I am already involved in. I would like to maybe explore the broadband aspect of bringing people and women together with their awareness through using the internet with issues I believe are important. Things people should be conscious of without being preachy, just making people aware. That stuff is important to me. So, yeah, I do want to do other things. Right now I am trying to figure this out and build it to a place where I am comfortable enough to go away from it for a little while.

CS: What would you like to be doing twenty or thirty years from now in your career, and, is there a role that you would like to tackle in the future?
Alba:: Hopefully, she says with laughter, I am doing this twenty and thirty years from now. There are tons of wonderful beautiful stories that can be told. I do believe that there are a lot of talented people out there that people haven’t discovered yet, along with people who are incredibly talented who should continue to make movies. My perspective is a little bit bigger than that. Women still don’t open movies the way men open movies. Women still aren’t really commanding the same kind of power. There is no equivalent to Tom Cruise or Will Smith in the business. It will be nice to see women, and maybe if I am part of this movement, which I feel like I am, along with Cameron Diaz, Drew, Julia Roberts, Halle, Jennifer Lopez and Scarlett, we are all trying to be the center. Hopefully, we can do the franchises and go out beyond just one cute little movie that people can see, but really turn it into a franchise.

CS: To follow up on that, do you feel that it could be because a lot of the audiences for films tend to be young boys. Could it be that women (as audiences) have better things to do than go to the movies on opening weekend and that is how Hollywood looks at it?
Alba:: No. I don’t think that the only people that go to the movies are young boys. Yeah, that is a huge percentage of it, but if you have got good stories and something is captivating, you are going to draw an audience. The last time I checked, young boys like girls. So, I don’t know why they wouldn’t want to go see a movie with a female lead.

CS: Do you want to expand on your Latino heritage in future character roles?
Alba:: It is difficult for me to call myself a Latino actress. When I tried to do that the Latin community made it very clear that I didn’t speak Spanish and I never did a Spanish speaking movie so I wasn’t really part of it because I was half, which made me feel terrible. I only grew up with the Latin side of my family. That’s the only culture I could really identify with, but they are right, I don’t speak Spanish. So there is nothing I can say in defense. But more importantly, even than being typecast, or being viewed as a black actress, a Latin actress, an Asian actress, or whatever actress; why can’t you just be an actress? Why can’t you just be a leading lady and not broken down to that level—to think of your nationality, or whatever? I don’t think it is that important. I think it is more important if you tell amazing stories no matter what ethnicity you are and people can hopefully not see you as a certain color.