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Frank Miller's "Sin City" is a hard place — for men and women alike. Some of the gals, like Jessica Alba's Nancy Callahan, get along by displaying their bodies for hard-drinking tough guys, relying on their wits to keep them safe while they patiently watch and wait to avenge past wrongs. Others, like Brittany Murphy's abused, angry waitress and perennial punching bag, Shellie, grow old before their time, leading their lives amid the chaos brought down on their heads by desperate, violent men. MTV News' Larry Carroll recently spoke with both Alba and Murphy to find out what it was like working on such a seemingly macho movie, and what draws the two young actresses to roles like Nancy and Shellie.

MTV: So, Jessica, if you could take one personality trait from your character and make it your own, what would it be?

Jessica Alba: Maybe being an angel. [Laughs] Being innocent. I'm a little too knowledgeable for my age. I wish I were a little more naïve. I've lived a pretty full life for someone so young.

MTV: Whenever moviegoers see one of these films with somebody playing an exotic dancer, we always think back to Daryl Hannah, and Halle Berry, and all these other people who've played dancers and done their research. Did you have to do any research? Did you take pole dancing classes?

 "I did go to strip clubs and sort of observe the girls ..." — Jessica Alba

"Sin City" Clip: Jessica Alba dances in her chaps

Alba: No, 'cause there wasn't a pole in the movie, so that wouldn't have applied. But I did go to strip clubs and sort of observe the girls, and sat down with them and asked them just how they got on stage without getting scared — I get stage fright, you know — and without being embarrassed that all these men are ogling you. What if you trip, you know? What if you do something stupid, or look silly? I get freaked out over stuff like that.

Then I also learned how to rope from the cowboys who work on [co-director] Robert Rodriguez's movies. You know, the transportation guys and stuff. They taught me how to lasso.

MTV: Brittany? If you could take one personality trait from your character, what would it be?

Brittany Murphy: The rhythm of her speech. No, wait — the fact that Clive Owen and Benicio Del Toro are fighting over her.
MTV: You could send them out to fight each other to the death for you. Is it a good feeling to be able to send men out to their death to defend you?

 "Sin City" Clip: Britney Murphy sends Clive Owen off a ledge

More "Sin City" video ...

Murphy: I actually didn't realize how cool it was. I didn't know that was the case until I saw the picture for the first time, the day before yesterday, and went, "Wow! This is pretty amazing."

MTV: Old Town [the red light district in Sin City] is all about women running the show. What would the world be like if women were in charge?

Murphy: I don't know, but I'd like to find out. Oprah for president!

MTV: Would all of us men be screwed?

Murphy: No, not at all.

MTV: On that note — you've done lighter work in your career that we've enjoyed, too, like "Sidewalks of New York."

Murphy: That was some of the coolest chemistry I've ever had as an actor. And I'm working with Eddie Burns again. I'm playing his pregnant wife, in a little less than a month.

MTV: What's that called?

Photos: Frank Miller's "Sin City"

Photos: Willis, Alba, Murphy, more at "Sin City" premiere, 03.28.05

More "Sin City" Photos ...

Murphy: It's called "The Groomsman." It's an awesome film. And you know the guy who did the taxi cab stuff for MTV, the actor who played Jimmy the cab driver? Donal Logue. He has a very large role in it. He's a brilliant actor.

MTV: Jessica, we're excited about you as Susan Storm in "The Fantastic Four." If you had to pick one thing that amazed you more than anything else about making that movie, what would it be?

Alba: Just how big it is. And The Thing's costume. I mean, Michael Chiklis looks like a man covered in rock. It's just a very, very big movie.

MTV: Did you luck out because you had the easiest costume?

Alba: I absolutely lucked out, for sure.

MTV: Along those same superhero lines, Joss Whedon just got tapped to direct "Wonder Woman," but it hasn't been cast yet. What actress do you think would be perfect?

Alba: I don't know. It might be kind of nice to see a new talent fill those shoes.

MTV: Would you ever want to do it?

More "Sin City" Interviews
  Rosario Dawson

  Robert Rodriguez

Alba: I think I'm good with the superhero stuff. I don't want to spread myself too thin.

MTV: Brittany? You hear names like Catherine Zeta-Jones, Sandra Bullock, J Lo

Murphy: I could see all of those people playing Wonder Woman. It just depends on where they're going to take it, and what they're going to do with it.

MTV: Do you think you could be Wonder Woman?

Murphy: Heck yes. Why not? I would love that. It would be a blast. I've always wanted to be a superhero. I think that would be so much fun. But I love Jennifer Lopez, and I love Catherine Zeta-Jones, and I love Sandra Bullock. I love all of them, so it's kind of a difficult choice. A toss up. I'm happy I don't have to make that decision.


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Photo: Dimension Films


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