Jessica Alba: Good Actors Never Use the Script

Jessica Alba has gotten herself in hot water with a small but important group of Hollywood professionals: screenwriters. In a new interview with Elle magazine, the Little Fockers actress appears to brag that she doesn't need to learn dialogue. Here's what Alba, 29, told the magazine:

"Good actors never use the script unless it’s amazing writing. All the good actors I’ve worked with, they all say whatever they want to say."

Naturally, the people who write movies are a little offended by Jessica Alba's put-down. Charlie's Angels screenwriter John August did a takedown of Alba on his blog, pointing out that her comment is unfair to both actors and writers.

"So if an aspiring actor wishes to be 'good,' she should say whatever she wants to say?" writes August. "That’s pretty terrible advice."

At the Huffington Post, screenwriter Michael Seitzman (author of the upcoming Brad Pitt film The Sparrow) compared quotes from Alba's interviews and Twitter feed with famous scripted movie lines. An example:

"As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again." -- Victor Fleming, Gone with the Wind
"Oh France... Oh ice cream oh... Chocolate..." -- Jessica Alba, Twitter

And over at Associated Content, Tales from the Script author Peter Hanson sarcastically noted that Alba was speaking out of her depth.

"All in all, I've got to admit that you've made your point: Working 'off-script' is the way to go," Hanson writes. "I mean, look at all the terrible movies featuring actresses who respect the written word, losers like Annette Bening and Meryl Streep and Hilary Swank and Kate Winslet."

What was Jessica Alba thinking? Obviously, actors can't just make up the script as they go along. Maybe she momentarily confused filmmaking with Jersey Shore? But seriously, this quote is so ill-informed that we have to think it was taken out of context. Maybe she was trying to express her admiration for actors who improvise? Making up dialogue is something that directors frequently allow actors to do in comedies, less frequently in other genres. But the bigger an actor is, the more likely a director will indulge their requests to change the script.

So, we think that's what she meant. But that's not what she said. Hmm, if only a good screenwriter had given her some dialogue for the interview...

Do you think Jessica Alba's quote was taken out of context? Chime in below!

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