The press conference for the movie Sin City this past weekend was a test in patience and humbleness. It took prayer and lots of it, to keep from pawing over Rosario Dawson and Jessica Alba. The only thing that can be said is thank God they weren't on the panel at the same time. Since the format of the junket was press conference style and not a round table, it limited the ability to get any quality one on one interviews. The media frenzy at the end of each panel discussion was a regular mêlée of reporters throwing elbows and coming off the top ropes to get interviews with Dawson, Alba, Rodriguez and Owen. But, CBR News pressed on and did manage to speak with some of the stars of the film.
CBR News: So Robert, I understand that you ended up having to resign from the Director's Guild to make this movie based on Frank Miller being a co-director?
Rodriguez: I didn't know it was against the rules (to have two directors) until a week before we were about to shoot. I felt rather than change the rules and give an advantage to others I would do what I wanted to do and I knew that bringing in Tarantino as a Special Guest Director wouldn't fly.
CBR News: What was the reasoning behind getting Frank Miller as a co-director and how was it?
Rodriguez: (It) was very complimentary. I really wanted him to be a director rather than just there as a writer. It was more of a tag team.
CBR News: And how about Tarantino?
Rodriguez: Quentin came in so prepared. Frank and I had been shooting already and it was our last episode. He [Tarantino] was afraid to be unprepared so he over prepared and made Frank and I look like bums (laughs).
CBR News: Unfortunately Bruce Willis isn't here, but what made you pick Bruce?
Rodriguez: Bruce is the iconic tiring cop who is just this knight in shining armor. I couldn't think of anyone else to play that role.
CBR News: So Jessica, what made you want to do this movie?
Alba: I wanted to do this movie because Robert Rodriguez was directing it - first and foremost. I didn't really know it was a comic book.
CBR News: In the movie, your character is a stripper, but you were fully clothed. In the book Nancy is topless.
Alba: And bottomless.
CBR News: This is true. Was there any option to go topless?
Alba: Nudity was an option. We would have done it, if we wanted to. But I felt like dancing around with a lasso was sexy enough.
CBR News: I can agree with that. So did any of you have any issues with performing in front of a green screen?
Benicio Del Toro: To me it was intimidating when I walked in and everything was green and I thought that I'd puked! (laughs) But then after that it reminded me of the theatre. I trained as a theatre actor and you had a bigger stage and you had to pretend that there were props. It reminded me of that.
CBR News: So how was it taking direction from two directors?
Rosario Dawson: Frank was great, having him there was awesome.
Brittany Murphy: I agree with Rosario. It was like having a historian there. He knew so much about the characters.
Del Toro: For the most part I turned to the wizard [Rodriguez] because he hired me. But I did have conversations w/ Frank and he did have a lot of input on a lot of stuff.
CBR News: There is a strong Latin presence with actors like Dawson, Del Toro and Alba. Was this done on purpose?
Rodriguez: I got Benicio, Jessica and Rosario Dawson. I mean there are a lot of Latinos not playing Latin roles. We just hired them because of their talent, not because of the characters they were playing. They weren't playing any Latin characters. You go for the best talent, and that what's exciting about this time period.
Alba: I agree. I find it liberating to work with people who aren't going to pigeon hole you as the janitor's daughter.
Unfortunately, Clive Owen did more side stepping than Barry Sanders when asked about any future endeavors in the James Bond franchise. All of the actors and actresses were more than generous and cordial with their time. There would have been better interviews, but time was limited. You can't have too much to complain about when you're looking into the faces of Rosario Dawson and Jessica Alba. Sometimes, life does get this good.
Look for a review of Sin City in the coming days here on CBR.