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Jessica Alba and Gabrielle Union: These girls don’t need savin’

Jessica Alba and Gabrielle Union in ‘L.A’s Finest’   | Photo Credit: © 2020 Sony Pictures Television Inc. All Rights Reserved.

It was in 2000 that a then-19-year-old Jessica Alba’s breakthrough role arrived with James Cameron’s sci-fi show. Dark Angel saw her as a genetically-modified child who is a super-soldier, and catapulted her to international stardom.

The actor went on to star in several Hollywood blockbusters such as Honey, the Fantastic Four and Sin City franchise movies, as well as took a semi-break from acting and co-founded a billion-dollar organisation, The Honest Company.

While dabbling with a few television roles in between, not since Dark Angel has Alba truly resonated with a script to step into a full-fledged series... until LA’s Finest.

A spin-off from Jerry Bruckheimer’s globally-popular Bad Boys universe, the crime drama show focusses on two “badass women” in the LAPD: Sydney ‘Syd’ Burnett (who was introduced in Bad Boys 2) and her partner, working mom Nancy McKenna, played by Gabrielle Union and Jessica Alba, respectively.

Gabrielle Union, known for her roles in films like Bring it On, Think Like A Man and drama series Being Mary Jane, is also an activist who works with issues around women’s health and violence against women. She brings her real-life personality — along with Alba — into creating what has become an unapologetic feminist show.

Together, they take on the most dangerous criminals in Los Angeles and become a force to be reckoned with, both on the streets and in each other’s lives — something that has translated into their off-screen lives too, with both stars sharing an enviable friendship.

The actors, who are also executive producers on the show, have been hailed for creating a radically inclusive family-friendly environment on set

The actors, who are also executive producers on the show, have been hailed for creating a radically inclusive family-friendly environment on set   | Photo Credit: © 2020 Sony Pictures Television Inc. All Rights Reserved

A lot has also been spoken about how when the show was in pre-production, both actors (they are also executive producers on the show) were in different stages of motherhood, that led to them creating a radically inclusive family-friendly environment on set, which has been hailed for its thoughtfulness.

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Now, ahead of Season 2, Alba and Union speak to us about their experience creating the ambitious project, balancing their careers and personal lives, and how they would love to visit India soon.

Did the popularity of the ‘Bad Boys’ franchise play a role in both of you accepting this project? Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are household names in several parts of the world, thanks to its success.

Union: Absolutely! My character was introduced in Bad Boys 2, and gave us a wide foundation and huge global fan base, to set up the show. So when we got the opportunity to play two kick-ass women and have our own universe, be our own superheroes — we loved it. We don’t wait for the guys to save us any more, we do the saving ourselves!

However, we still give audiences a lot of what Bad Boys is quintessentially about — the fun, the action, the comedy and camaraderie, the friendship — we just do it our way now.

As executive producers and female leads, you have been praised for creating an environment on set that offered flexibility and equal priority to your children and family — how did this come about?

Alba: The only way in which you could possibly make inroads for habits to change is by showing that it can be done. We wanted to lead by example, and that we don’t need to compromise — how people in this profession have been historically doing — between choosing a career in entertainment and having a personal life.

We wanted to make sure that everyone, not just us, got to have a better experience in integrating the two.

Jessica Alba: “There is a lot of drama, action and high stakes in Season 2. We really up the ante, which is fantastic”

Jessica Alba: “There is a lot of drama, action and high stakes in Season 2. We really up the ante, which is fantastic”   | Photo Credit: © 2020 Sony Pictures Television Inc. All Rights Reserved

Along with ‘Bad Boys’, there has always been a huge fandom in India for movies like ‘Into The Blue’, the ‘Fantastic Four’ series, and so on. Have you ever visited India or watched Indian films?

Alba: I haven’t been, but I have wanted to go for such a long time! My mother-in-law (Alba is married to producer Cash Warren) has visited several times and she stays for four to six weeks and travels all around. She takes such amazing photos of the different places and shows us, making me jealous. India has such a rich culture that varies depending on which part of the country you are going into. I really hope to visit one day soon.

Union: I have been fascinated with Goa ever since I first read about it in high school, and was all set to visit in college. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. Both Jessica and I are huge fans of Bollywood and Indian cinema and the arts in India.

What can fans expect from season 2 of ‘LA’s Finest’?

Alba: The first season was all about setting up the foundation of the characters, exploring their origins and backstories. This time around, we just slam right into it, diving more into the character’s stories — but also there is a lot of drama, action and high stakes. We really up the ante, which is fantastic.

LA’s Finest Season 2 will air in India as part of Zee Cafe’s ‘Hollywood On Cafe’


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Printable version | Jul 29, 2021 12:33:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/jessica-alba-and-gabrielle-union-these-girls-dont-need-savin/article31730688.ece

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