But now, she's switching genre's a little and heading to the dark side in the thriller/horror flick, The Eye, a remake of the 2002 horror by the Pang brothers (The Messengers). Jessica stars as Sydney Wells, a very talented concert violinist; what has her standing apart from others is she is blind. That is until she undergoes a double corneal transplant to restore her sight.
Just as she's becoming accustomed to seeing, weird and strange things start happening around her. Could it be just Sydney adjusting to sight, a product of her imagination, or something horrifyingly real?
Movieweb.com and SplatterFilms.com was on the Los Angeles set of the film and had the chance to speak with Jessica, along with Alessandro Nivola and the French co-directors, David Moreau and Xavier Palud. We were also able to check out the opening scene of the film on the streets of downtown LA!
Jessica said moving in this genre direction was something she has been looking towards for a while. "I wanted to do something that transcended into the genre; Fantastic Four is a big Hollywood comic book movie, but the female character was more of a maternal figure and she was in a family dynamic, which, to me, was to me was much more interesting than a girl who was just in leather being sexy and cutting people's heads off. So I went into that because I felt that was also more of a family movie. But in this, it's really intelligent and it's a beautiful story of this girl's journey and getting her sight and dealing with never having it, gaining it, and then losing her sanity. It just happens to be wrapped up in a horror movie, and I think that's just much more interesting than just playing something like running around in a white t-shirt assaulting people."
She went on to say, "I totally appreciate that stuff, I really do; but, it's a lot more interesting for me to play someone who's blind and a classical violin player than..." And that's when Xavier jumped in with, "a girl running around the streets in her t-shirt in the rain."
The two director thing has been something more popularized recently - and part of that might have to do with the dynamic of the Japanese horror influence. With the original film helmed by two people, it was natural for David and Xavier to step in and co-direct; plus, the duo took the reigns together on their previous film, Them. "I was really impressed with the movie they had done, and they had that old fashion style about it," says Alessandro. "They have this confidence about them that they can hold the camera a little longer - that's crucial to the fear factor of these movies. If you're able to disassociate too easily with the world of the film, the more real it becomes and the scarier it becomes - and they certainly have a knack for that."
Xavier says working with David has that organic feel - especially on a horror. "We basically do everything together, pre-production, everything. When we're on the set, maybe one that speaks more than the other, but it's pretty similar to working with one director." "We can concentrate on the story," added David "When you're alone, you wish you could have someone else for the story; we follow the same line."
"They're excellent, they really compliment each other," Jessica noted. "They're like a great married couple, an ideal marriage; they're each other's yin and yang. You guys have the same vision, right?"
And it was definitely true watching the action on the street; during the opening scene of the film, it's pouring down rain. However, outside, the sun was shining. Xavier and the assistant director constantly checked to make sure everything was perfect, whether that was looking at the angle of the taxi cab Jessica was walking out of or the alignment of the cars on the street. They were meticulous about getting every detail perfect.
The Eye was released February 1st, 2008 and stars Jessica Alba, Alessandro Nivola, Parker Posey, Rade Serbedzija, Fernanda Romero, Rachel Ticotin, Obba Babatundé, Danny Mora. The film is directed by David Moreau, Xavier Palud.