Unlikely Tough Gal Jessica Alba to Go Back to Her Assassin Roots For ‘Barely Lethal’


Back in a bygone era old-timers refer to as the turning of the millennium, the world was first being introduced to a fresh-faced, pouty-lipped actress named Jessica Alba. For some she first popped onto our radar as the cute girl Devon Sawa attempted to woo in the horror comedy Idle Hands, but for most she first became visible as the star of a TV series James Cameron developed for Fox (which was a big deal at the time considering Cameron was mostly known for directing gigantic blockbusters like T2 and Titanic, and doing TV work was not yet fashionable), a dystopian tale called Dark Angel that saw her playing a genetically modified assassin turned leather-wearing bike messenger. While the show didn’t prove to be as awesome or successful as Cameron’s other dystopian story, the Terminator franchise, Alba did prove to be staggeringly gorgeous enough to stay on Hollywood’s radar even after it was unceremoniously cancelled. Which brings us to this news.

Now, many years of Alba giving largely unsuccessful but nonetheless aesthetically appealing performance later, it’s looking like she’s going to be jumping back into the assassination game once again, perhaps in an attempt at rekindling some of that spark that existed when our love affair with her first began. According to a report from Screen Daily, she’s the latest to join the cast of director Kyle Newman’s (Fanboys) upcoming action comedy, Barely Lethal.

For those who don’t remember, Barely Lethal is the film about a teenage assassin who fakes her own death and enrolls in a suburban high school once she decides that she wants to leave her life of contract killing behind and instead live one with a bit more normalcy. It stars True Grit’s Hailee Steinfeld as the girl, Megan, Samuel L. Jackson as her mentor in murder, and now Alba as the villain of the piece, a former associate who’s sent to track Megan down and end her little charade.

For the record, Alba’s villain character is going to be called Victoria Knox, though that knowledge is probably not the concern anyone is left with after hearing this news. No, what most people are probably wondering is how Alba, an actress who has yet to prove to be able to do much more than look slightly sad, slightly vacant, but mostly just beautiful, is going to be able to stand next to two actors as feisty as Steinfeld and Jackson and not get eaten alive. Has she learned something in the decade plus since she first played a highly trained operative? Or is it finally about time she gives this acting thing up and focuses on posing for magazine covers—which is something she seems to be extraordinary at? Here’s to hoping the gal has still got a few tricks she’s yet to pull out of her sleeve. There’s nothing better than being surprised by someone who you’ve written off.

Weaned on the genre films of the 80s. Reared by the independent movement of the 90s. Earned a BA for writing stuff in the 00s. Reviews current releases at

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