Roundtable Interview With Jessica Alba On Spy Kids: All The Time In The World

The next instalment in the Spy Kid series, from director Robert Rodriguez, is hitting theatres this weekend. To celebrate the release of the film, we sit down with star Jessica Alba to talk about the film.

The actress plays Marissa, a retired OSS (Organization of Super Spies) agent who is now the step mom to Rebecca and Cecil Wilson. When Earth is threatened by an evil villain named the Time Keeper, played by Jeremy Piven, Marissa is called back into action. Although, she doesn’t come alone, Rebecca and Cecil are along for the ride as well as they realize it’s going to take all they got to save Earth from the Time Keeper.

Check our the interview below where Alba dishes on playing the role, being a mother, her reaction to 4D and more.

Question: What did you think about playing a spy and a mom?

Jessica Alba: I thought it was cool. I’m a fan of Robert’s kids movies. I love how he empowers kids in his movies. It’s not just the grownups who get to do all the cool action and take part in saving the world, it’s the kids and so I think that’s really neat. And he knew that I wanted to do a kids movie after I had my daughter. The only thing is I thought I was maybe too young to play the mother of the grown kids. And being a first time mom was fine, but we settled on them being step-kids.

Question: How important was it for you to have the many concepts of the working mother show in how she juggles different things. I was reading in the news that you had told Robert that you were going to incorporate the many different aspects of working mothers.

Jessica Alba: Yeah, it was also nice to see someone in a movie who struggles with it and who isn’t perfect at doing it all and is also torn between working or staying home. I think those are all things that moms or parents can relate to. It’s tough to go back to work and it’s tough to spend so much time away from your kid, but you have to make a living. It’s also important to hold on to your own identity and be a good example. So, there’s all these things that you struggle with as a parent. I thought it would be nice to have that in the movie.

Question: Ten years have passed since the first film came out. Was there something that Robert was expressing that needed to be kind of different to tell the story to a new generation of kids?

Jessica Alba: No, the first Spy Kids was my favorite. I think It’s timeless. I think the theme of a family working together and the family unit and trying not to waste time, but instead to really enjoy every moment you have with your family. Those themes resonate ten years ago, ten years from now. They’re timeless themes and I think every kid wants to see a kid save the world and take part in the action. You get to to see that in the Spy Kids movies.

Question: Are you taking your daughter to see this movie?

Jessica Alba: Yes. This will actually be the first film of mine that she will see.

Question: So, has being a mom changed the type of movie roles that you’re taking on?

Jessica Alba: Not really. It’s more about the time commitment and also the people I’m working with more than anything. I won’t just take a job for a paycheck, necessarily, like before it was more like “What’s the distribution? What’s it going to do for my career? How big was the paycheck?” It was financial. It was also career driven. Now, it’s like “Am I going to grow as an actor? Is this going to be a challenge and do I absolutely love this character?” and “Do I respect the filmmaker? And is it going to be six months out of the year or is it going to be two weeks?” So, I’ve taken jobs that aren’t really time consuming and are more creatively fulfilling?

Question: What was your reaction when you found out this was going to be a 4D movie?

Jessica Alba: 4D? I wasn’t really sure what that meant, to be quite honest with you and when they said “They’re going to have a card and people will be able to interact with the film on another level completely. It’s a choice and it’s free.” I was like “Cool.”

When I was a kid, I loved scratch and sniff stickers. They were like my favorite thing ever. You know, it just brings that element to life in the film.

Question: We see a lot of action. Which scene was the most fun to film?

Jessica Alba: I really enjoyed doing the first sequence when I was going through lab and kicking butt. That was fun for me, because there was a lot of comedy in there, obviously.

Question: The kids are saying that Robert is like a big kid himself on set. Do you see a difference in energy when he’s directing something like this as opposed to his other films like Machete or is he always a big kid?

Jessica Alba: He is a big kid always. He’s just more of a teenage boy when he’s doing Machete versus a little kid when he’s silly and playing with kids and stuff.

Question: Robert said at Comic-Con that there’s going to be a Sin City 2. Is that something you can say that you’ll be a part of?

Jessica Alba: If they wrote me in. We’ll see.

Question: Are you on an exercise schedule after your pregnancy to do action films?

Jessica Alba: Yes, I would obviously have to train for whatever it is. I do have a workout regimen that I’ll probably follow to lose the baby weight.

Question: How do you think you’ve grown as an actress since Dark Angel?

Jessica Alba: I’m much more of a risk taker and more fearless now than I was when I was. I was much more self-aware before and I cared too much of what people thought of me. And now, I really don’t. I probably should though.

Question: You have a thicker skin now?

Jessica Alba: I do and it’s kind of like “If you don’t like it, move on. It’s not the end of the world.” Where, when I was doing “Dark Angel, I was such a people pleaser.

Question: Were you able to bond with or mentor the kids in the movie?

Jessica Alba: Not really mentor, but we hung out and bonded, I guess. Actually, their studio teacher was my very first studio teacher as a kid, which was funny. I was like “Oh my god. I remember you from ‘Camp Nowhere’. That’s so weird. You look exactly the same. How is that possible?” He really looks exactly the same.

That concludes our interview but we’d like to thank Jessica very much for talking with us. Be sure to check out Spy Kids: All The Time In The World when it hits theatres this Friday.