Jessica Alba walked out of her graphically violent movie Killer Inside Me when it premiered at Sundance this January, and she skipped it again at the Tribeca Film Fesitval premiere Tuesday night – but showed up with costar Casey Affleck after the screening for a Q&A.
Alba plays a prostitute in a 1950s Texas town whose face is savagely beaten into “hamburger meat” by the local sheriff, played by Casey Affleck. The lengthy scene is a horrifying one, as the camera doesn’t cut away from the brutal barrage of blows, eliciting gasps from the audience, as Alba’s beautiful face is literally ripped apart.
“There’s been a big to-do about the violence and graphic nature,” Affleck told the packed theatre, with a note of disdain for having to explain this all again. “People have voiced their concerns saying this was irresponsible. I disagree. If the movie weren’t hard to watch, if it wasn’t disturbing, then that would’ve been irresponsible. It really explores the essence of violence and how it all plays out and how there are real victims. I’m really proud of the way the violence was handled.”
As for the big scene itself, “You’d think it’d be like a love scene, full of passion and emotions, but it wasn’t. Filming it was very stop and go. These scenes are technical more than anything else. There are so many things happening, it ends up being over-choreographed and kind of easy,” Affleck said.
“Right, she had eight hours of prosthetics or whatever on her face and had to sit there for a while,” Affleck retorted.
“Yeah. ‘Whatever’ was on my face. I couldn’t see because they covered my eyes!” Alba responded.
While neither star looked entirely comfortable talking about the project, Alba defended her decision to take the role, and paid homage to the real working prostitutes of the 1950s. “Women at that time like my character had no other way to make a living independently. Now things have changed and women have careers and better jobs, but back then if you wanted to be financially independent, then [prostitution] was your only outlet,” the bombshell said.