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Letís get physical

In her latest movie, Jessica Alba falls into a penguin pond, stabs Dane Cook with a dental tool and accidentally tears off her skirt by closing it in a car door. Alba plays Cam, a clumsy penguin-keeper who captures Cookís heart in Good Luck Chuck. The role represents a departure for Alba, who gained fame as an action star first on TVís Dark Angel,then in films such as Fantastic Four and Sin City.

The 26-year-old actress, whose current crop of projects includes a horror film and a romantic comedy, talks about her dream career, her love of science and what itís like to be one of the worldís sexiest women.

What drew you to the role in Good Luck Chuck' I loved that the girl in this film, more than any other film that I had read, certainly in this genre, was doing all the physical comedy. Usually the girl does one trip here or there, right when itís cute, but for the most part itís usually the guy that gets to do all the fun stuff. Usually itís not really done. And I liked that she was, you know, the moral centre and the good girl.

Were you looking for a comedic project' Yeah, Iíve always been wanting to do comedy. Thatís one of the main reasons I got into this business in the first place. Iíve always loved to make people laugh and it was the way that I sort of broke the ice when I was a kid with my friends. Iíd always do little skits, do little things, do anything really, to make people laugh. Oddly, in this business, I never really got a shot at it. Iím not good at the half-hour comedy badumbump stuff. Iím more into the physical comedy.

Did you always want to be an actor' I kind of always had it in my mind. Iíve always loved entertaining. Itís kind of in my blood. My grandmother and grandfather were dancing and singing when they met each other. Thereís a bunch of theatre actors and artistes, painters, sculptors in my family. So itís all kind of just been what Iíve always been around... Iíve always really enjoyed it. Iíve always loved watching movies, the idea of being able to entertain the masses, the power of that. Itís just incredible.

Do you have any career role models' Definitely Drew (Barrymore). Definitely. Working with Drew (on Never Been Kissed) when I was 16 and seeing how she absolutely loves what she does and is still totally inspired and is opening doors for so many women, yeah, she definitely has been a role model. And so young. Sheís really terrific.

Do you also want to expand to other aspects of the business like producing, writing and directing' Definitely producing. I wouldnít say writing and directing. Thatís a whole other beast. I respect a) writers and b) directors way too much to think that I could just go in and just write up a little script. People dedicate their lives to telling stories.

What would you be doing if you werenít an actor' I donít know. I really donít. I love science. Iíve always loved biology, like Iím almost a little obsessed with it. Itís kind of unhealthy. Science Daily is one of my bookmarks. Iím super dorky... But knowing what I know now and going through what Iíve experienced, I would probably want to maybe be a documentary filmmaker, and be able to use documentaries and in an entertaining way (make) thought-provoking commentaries on social issues that are going on in the world.

Is that something you might pursue at some point' Totally. If not myself, certainly finance people who have a passion or a knack for it.

What are the pros and cons, personally and professionally, of being considered one of the worldís sexiest women' I donít really think about it too much. Iím like everybody else. I get insecure about things just like everybody else. I wake up in the morning and think, ĎWhat the hell am I going to do with my face today or my hair' What am I going to wear'í People make me feel like... Iím not a person, superhuman or something because youíre on a list thatís being put together. But I understand that those magazines and those lists only exist to give publicity for the magazine and publicity for the project that Iím in, and itís not necessarily completely and totally true.

Whatís your dream role or collaboration' Iím kind of living one now. I have to say, working with Mike Myers and being his leading lady in the film (The Love Guru), thatís huge. Heís brilliant and Iím really excited about whatís happening right now. I try not to think too much about what if I could do this or do that. I kind of like to just take in the moment and go for the ride and enjoy it as much as I possibly can, because soon itís going to be over and Iíll be onto something else.

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