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Jessica Alba, whom you might remember most recently from her role as a mom and spy in Spy Kids: All the Time in the World and as the invisible woman Sue Storm in the Fantastic Four films teamed up to voice the roles of badgirl boss of Mission Control Lena Thackleman in the 3-D animated space adventure/comedy Escape From Planet Earth.
Kidzworld: We thought, “Oh, Jessica wants to do this for her family” and then we found out how bad (your character) was. Jessica: (laughs) Oh. It’s still something my kids can enjoy (Jessica has two young daughters).
Kidzworld: Did you want to play a villain? Jessica: Sure, why not? They sent me the script and I thought it was great I really liked the idea of playing a villain because I’d never played one before.
Kidzworld: Do they have more fun? Jessica: Yeah. I got to be crazy. They definitely edited me down.
Kidzworld: There are strong women characters in this film whether good or bad. Did you notice that when checking out the script? Jessica: Yeah. I feel like more and more, I’m seeing that is how women are being portrayed especially when it comes to entertainment that is geared toward young people, the women are much stronger than they used to be. They aren’t really the damsel in distress anymore. I think the stereotype could possibly still live in different genre pictures but, certainly, when it appeals to the younger generation, they’re used to women being equal and women being strong. I think if you don’t portray that, it would be kind of weird.
Kidzworld: As a mom now, does that affect the roles you take? Jessica: Sure. Well, I used to work basically eleven and a half months a year on location and now I don’t. I started a company about a year ago and we have an office in Santa Monica. We have about eighty employees. It’s an e-commerce business; a family brand. So, that’s something I started about a year ago because I was inspired by my children. Then the roles that I take, I bring them with me and I don’t do as much. I’m much more picky with the roles I take.
Kidzworld: What is the name of your company? Jessica: It’s called The Honest Company. We make different cleaning products for the house. It’s household cleaning products, personal care products and diapers and wipes, all non-toxic. Almost 90 percent of our products are made in the U.S. so I’m very proud of it. And I have a book coming out in March.
Kidzworld: The movie is full of many different aliens from a load of different worlds. Do you believe in life on other planets? Jessica: It would be weird to say that we know there is absolutely none here or in any other universe. I’m not sitting there waiting to be abducted though.
Kidzworld: Did they show you a drawing of Lena before you recorded the voice? Jessica: It was maybe a sketch, an idea of what she might look like but not the final. Every session I went in for, they had more of the movie done.
Kidzworld: This is your first animated voice job. Were you nervous going in and did you try to create a voice or was it pretty much just you? Jessica: I had no idea how far to push it. I think, by the third (recording) session, I got a lot more comfortable with the idea of hearing my own voice against nothing. There was no animation or anything. I was just saying random things. Then, I liked being pretty animated and over-the-top and crazy. It was fun and kind of liberating.
Kidzworld: Would you fly Richard Branson’s proposed space liners? His Virgin Atlantic planes are pretty posh. Jessica: It would be a very luxurious trip to space. They do it right. He’s an awesome entrepreneur.
Kidzworld: Have your kids seen this film yet? Jessica: My older daughter (Honor, age 4) has, yeah. She’s really into it. She really liked it and, at the premiere they gave away these little tattoos of the different characters and she put Sarah Jessica Parker’s character Kira on her arm and she was like “This is the good one, Mommy”. “Yeah, I know”.
Kidzworld: Does she realize what you do for a living yet or is it still vague for her? Jessica: For her, mommy going to work is like her sitting in a trailer and me in “Spy Kids” or this movie or me in my office at The Honest Company and she’s playing in the kids’ corner or running around and bothering everyone, throwing paper airplanes at their desks but they love it. She thinks that’s all my job. She doesn’t know the difference.
Kidzworld: Would you record your voice for animation again based on your first experience? Jessica: Oh totally. It was so much fun. Of course.
Myriad Pictures announced today that Jessica Alba is in final negotiations to star in Weightless, an original screenplay from Academy Award-nominated writer and first-time director Milo Addica (Monster’s Ball, Birth, The King). Alba will play the female lead of American astronaut, Maysie Overall. Myriad Pictures will begin pre-selling the film at the Berlin Film Festival this week.
Weightless is set in the near-future and is the story of Maysie Overall, a female astronaut who has dreamt of exploring outer space her whole life. Just as she is about to fulfill her life-long dream, she is unwittingly the cause of a tragic, fatal motorcycle accident.
Rather than risk losing the opportunity to join the space shuttle’s next mission, Maysie chooses to ignore her conscience and flees the scene of the accident. Following the space shuttle’s successful flight, an unexpected mechanical failure causes the shuttle to crash on re-entry to earth.
Maysie miraculously survives the crash. Once on the road to recovery, Maysie’s survival against the odds begins to needle her conscience and leads her to re-visit the scene of the fatal motorbike accident. Riddled with guilt, she cautiously reaches out to the victim’s family and meets the motorcycle rider’s brother, who is also a local police officer.
Maysie then forms a unique bond with the victim’s brother that quickly evolves into a steamy affair. Maysie begins to find it impossible to suppress her deep-seeded feelings of guilt and keep the truth hidden that will ultimately set them both free.
Myriad’s Kirk D’Amico will produce with Steve Norris, alongside the UK’s Apollo Productions and its partners, Pinewood Studios and VFX powerhouse Double Negative.
Watch this new Escape from planet Earth featurette with all stars from the movie. You can see some before unseen scenes and you can also see some new scenes with Jessica’s character Lena. Check it out.
Jessica Alba and Rob Corddry (voice of Gary Supernova in the movie) sat down to promote Escape from planet Earth yesterday and talked about their first experience of doing animated movie, character Lena, their kids and more.