Marvel’s mid-2000s Fantastic Four films once featured Jessica Alba as The invisible Woman. But Alba wanted to do a bit more for her character by sabotaging her looks for the part.
Jessica Alba wanted to ruin her looks for ‘Fantastic Four’
Alba was already excited to star in the 2005 superhero film. What originally drew her to the film was how different the script was from other movies that floated her way. Fantastic Four was a welcome change to the kinds of unflattering parts she was being offered.
“The scripts I get are always for the whore, the motorcycle chick in leather or the horny maid,” Alba once told Glock (via Campus Circle). “I get all these screenplays that start, ‘Tawnya is in the shower. The water streams down her naked, perky breasts.’ I don’t think this is happening to Natalie Portman.”
Not only was Fantastic Four more wholesome than the typical characters she was being eyed for, but Alba connected to the Marvel superhero team personally.
“[In Fantastic Four] Sue keeps trying to keep everybody together. She just wants everyone to be okay,” Alba said. “It seems like when she’s trying to do that, everyone is so caught up in their problems that’s when she disappears. And so it’s very metaphorical. I love it.”
According to the film’s director Tim Story, Alba also wanted to take a step further with her character by changing up her looks for the film’s sequel. But Story didn’t think Fantastic Four was the type of film to ruin her looks for.
“I think the beauty thing can sometimes get in the way,” Story once told Empire (via Female First). “We’ve discussed it at length. She has this thing; she says, ‘Tim, make me ugly! Put dirt on me! Do something!’ and I’m like, ‘OK, Jessica, maybe not in this film…’ She’s such a talent, but sometimes it’s hard for people to look past that. Yet I think she is really starting to turn that around.”
Jessica Alba regretted doing ‘Fantastic Four’
Though there were certain aspects of the Fantastic Four films she enjoyed, Alba once confessed that shooting the films could sometimes be an unpleasant experience. Especially when doing the sequel. According to Alba, Story was occasionally the source of her negative feelings towards the movie. The filmmaker’s direction left Alba discouraged.
“[He told me] ‘It looks too real. It looks too painful. Can you be prettier when you cry? Cry pretty, Jessica.’ He was like, ‘Don’t do that thing with your face. Just make it flat. We can CGI the tears in,’” Alba once recalled according to Vulture.
This left Alba questioning her own abilities as an actor, and even her contributions to the film industry as a whole.
“And then it all got me thinking: Am I not good enough? Are my instincts and my emotions not good enough? Do people hate them so much that they don’t want me to be a person? Am I not allowed to be a person in my work? And so I just said, ‘F*** it. I don’t care about this business anymore,’” she said.
What Jessica Alba learned after stepping away from acting
Alba didn’t exactly quit the film industry, but she did take an extended break. Although they played a part, the Fantastic Four movies weren’t the total cause for Alba’s self-doubts as an actor. The Dark Angel star once confided that she’s always harbored these confidence issues.
“[I was] so wildly insecure about my abilities as an actress. I felt so judged,” she once said on Let’s Be Real with Sammy Jaye (via People). “I was my worst critic. I think I didn’t feel worthy.”
But Alba’s lengthy hiatus proved to be the best thing for her as an actor.
“I think taking a break for so long from it and literally having no consequence to whether it works or not, it allows me to have the freedom as a storyteller to just be completely present and try things and I really love it. And it’s brought me real joy,” she added.
Source: Cheat Sheet
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