In Spy Kids: All The Time In The World, actress Jessica Alba plays Marissa Cortez Wilson, a woman who is married to a famous spy-hunting television reporter, has a new baby, and is the mother of twin stepkids. A retired secret agent, Marissa keeps the secret form her husband Wilbur (Joel McHale), and his 10-year-olds, Rebecca (Rowan Blanchard) and Cecil (Mason Cook), until the maniacal Timekeeper (Jeremy Piven) threatens to take over the planet and she’s called back into action.
At the film’s press day, the very pregnant Jessica Alba talked about identifying with her character’s experience of being a new mom, why she enjoys collaborating with filmmaker Robert Rodriguez (they’ve also done Machete and Sin City together), what it’s like to balance work and motherhood and always feel like she’s sacrificing one for the other, and how none of the physical work she’s done has been as challenging as her TV show Dark Angel, so she’ll be seeking out an action movie once she’s ready to get back to work after having her second child. Check out what she had to say after the jump:
Question: You filmed this between your first child and now this one, didn’t you?
JESSICA ALBA: Yeah, she’s three now.
So, you must have been able to identify with the feeling of being a new mom, like your character is?
ALBA: Yeah, I definitely brought a lot of my experience of being a new mom with a baby to work every day, for sure. I talked to Robert [Rodriguez] a lot about it. He’s a father of five, so he has tons of experience with children. I would ask him questions about parenting like, “What do you do when you’re out and your kid has an explosion, and you don’t have anything with you?,” or “What do you do when you have to work, but you’re so tired, and you just want to spend time with them? How do you balance it?” So, I think a lot of these themes and things we talked about probably inspired some of the circumstances that my character was in.
Do you enjoy having that kind of input when you work with Robert Rodriguez?
ALBA: He is great at collaborating and he is open to your suggestions. He works like that with all of his actors. I did say, “Well, I don’t think I can be the mother of 10-year-olds.” Although technically, I guess I could, I couldn’t imagine that.
What is the magic connection that you guys have, when you’re working together?
ALBA: Growing up, we come from a similar cultural background. We’re both Mexican American and we grew up with a lot of the same traditions. We’ve shared stories about the way we grew up, and they’re quite similar, in the way that our families raised us. We just have a comfort and a shorthand with each other. We always have. And, we’re friends. I respect him completely, as an artist, and I trust him. I’m not sitting there, resisting everything he says, and fighting and arguing with him. We don’t have that relationship. Although sometimes I disagree, most of the time, we always seem to find some common ground.
What do you have in common with your Spy Kids 4 character?
ALBA: Well, I’m a mom, so that’s the most obvious thing. I’m not a mom to stepkids, nor am I a spy. Surprise! But, I think I could relate. I’m always trying to find a balance and do the best I can, and sometimes it’s not pretty.
How is it, being a working mom?
ALBA: It’s always changing. It’s always challenging, in its own way. I always feel like I’m sacrificing one thing or another. I don’t feel like I ever really have a perfect balance. I think that’s just what happens when you’re a working mom.
Has this second pregnancy been easier for you?
ALBA: I’m not freaking out whenever Baby Center and What to Expect When You’re Expecting sends me things. You sign up and they tell you that you’re going to get all of these horrible things, every week. It scared me so much. I was calling my doctor all the time saying, “It says that this is going to happen, and I think that’s what’s happening to me!” And now, I don’t even care about that. But, it’s definitely less comfortable because your body knows what to do. It’s done it before, so it does all of that quicker than it did the first time.
Is your daughter excited to have a sibling?
ALBA: Yeah, she seems excited. She’s three. If my husband was like, “I’m going to bring home a wife, around this date,” I would probably freak out. If I was like, “Honey, we’re going to bring home another husband and we’re all going to just live happily ever after,” I think he might lose his mind. So, I’m anticipating that it’s going to be a little bit of a transition.
How were the physical demands of this film, in comparison to previous work that you’ve done?
ALBA: It wasn’t the most challenging, no. I did a TV show (Dark Angel), 10 years ago now, and that was the most challenging thing, ever. It was really difficult. Nothing has compared to that, really, in anything that I’ve done. Oddly, I miss it. I did a little bit of action in this. It would be really great to be able to do action again, so after I have this baby and get settled and am ready to go back to work, I’m definitely going to be seeking out an action movie. Maybe with Robert [Rodriguez]. If he wants to, yeah.
Now that Robert says it’s a go, would you want to do Sin City 2?
ALBA: Of course!