Jessica Alba is used to kicking butt in her roles, being strung up on wires for green screen effects and more Hollywood fun. The Eye might have been her biggest challenge yet without any of those trappings. She plays an eye transplant recipient who ends up seeing ghosts.
Alba On Her New Eye
"Dark Angel was quite challenging because I really had to carry that and do everything in that but, since then, yeah," she said. "It was intense having to play violin and having to play somebody who is blind and becomes sighted and starts to lose her mind a bit, seeing things that aren’t there. It was quite challenging and definitely why I wanted to do it. I like horror movies and I’ve wanted to do one for a while and I’ve read many over the years and, to me, this one, the psychological thriller aspect of it, I felt like it was intelligent and complex."
The Eye was not without its share of action either though. "A lot of running. Wow, running and at the end was quite tough because it was below freezing. It was below zero when we were shooting that. I think it was negative two. It was so cold and I just had a little jacket on and so that was tough and we were shooting nights for about two weeks and then I guess in the burning building, in the burnt Chinese restaurant because it was such a transition going from when everything was there, then it wasn’t. Then, I’ve got four pages of dialogue that I’m just going on and on and on about everything that’s happened. That was pretty tough."
Based on an Asian horror film by the Pang brothers, Alba brought her own interpretation to this Eye. "I appreciated her take and how stoic she was and sort of quiet her performance was but she comes from an Eastern way of looking at ghosts. It’s kind of a part of the culture, the mysticism and it’s a little more accepted. In Western culture it’s like crazy and ludicrous and it’s like you’re losin’ your frickin’ mind. There’s no way. So, we sort of approached it with more of a Western mentality about it where everyone thinks she’s going crazy and she starts to question her own sanity."
Performing the scenes with ghosts required Alba to use her own imagination. "There were some instances where I did see the shadow guy and I did see the ghosts and they showed me what the ghosts would be doing and then they took them out. Where a girl is coming at me, she really came at me. They did that and then she did her bit and I did my bit and I kind of had an idea of how it was going to go. The guy in the elevator stood behind me and showed me exactly where he was going to be and how close he was going to be to me and the little kid."