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Jessica Alba: ‘Klutz’ not really a new role

Actress portrays a clumsy character in "Good Luck Chuck," but tells TODAY the portrayal wasn't a big stretch for her.
/ Source: TODAY contributor

Jessica Alba’s life as an actress has seen her playing sexy action heroes like the Invisible Girl in “Fantastic Four” and a crime-fighter in “Dark Angel.”

Now, the woman named Sexiest Woman in the World earlier this year in a men’s magazine online poll finally has a role that matches the real her: total klutz.

As a girl, Alba confirmed for TODAY’s Matt Lauer, Ann Curry, Al Roker and Natalie Morales, she didn’t want to be a comic-book hero; she wanted to be Lucille Ball.

“I’ve always loved comedy,” she said. “I’ve been doing silly things and making people laugh since I was 3 [or]  4 — since I can remember. And now I get to actually do it on screen,” she said Tuesday. “It’s why I wanted to be an actress in the first place, to make people laugh and do comedy.”

Her first romantic comedy, “Good Luck Chuck,” is being released on Friday. In it, she plays Cam, a coordination-challenged penguin trainer who falls in love with Chuck, played by Dane Cook, a dentist who was cursed as a teenager to be the man women date immediately before they find their true love.

When word gets out about his unique ability, Chuck finds himself pursued by women who line up at his door, eager to hook up with him so they can meet the man they’ll marry. Though blessed with an endless supply of one-night stands, Chuck gets lonelier and more miserable, wondering if he’ll ever find happiness.

That’s when he meets Cam, whose character is hard-to-get — and a klutz.

There’s a lot of physical comedy in the movie, and Alba gets to do most of it. In a clip from the movie, she’s riding with Chuck in his car, telling him about her inability to get anything right.

“My brother calls me Murphy,” her character, Cam, says. “Murphy? You know, like Murphy's Law — anything that can go wrong will?  Details? Check out the thumb.”

She holds up a thumb that bends the wrong way at a 90-degree angle and confesses to having broken 12 bones. Then, while searching for the car’s heater, she lowers the convertible top, which blows away in the wind.

Art imitating lifeAlba said she didn’t have to act to pull it all off.

“I am actually like that in real life,” she said. “Yeah, I am. It’s embarrassing. Like last night when I was eating dinner. I was having a romantic dinner and half my drink is down my shirt.”

Then there was the hot kissing scene in the movie with Cook.

“We did a ‘Mr. and Mrs. Smith’ comedy kissing scene, and I chipped my front tooth — for real,” she said, flashing a smile and tapping the cap she had to get to repair the damage. “It’s so embarrassing.”

Alba said she did find she shares something with penguins, which typically don’t have a natural affection for humans. In a pre-interview, she theorized that she could be a penguin whisperer.

“I loved working with the penguins,” she told the TODAY crew.

“They’re very sweet. They do, uh, use the bathroom a lot. They smell like fish, which is to be expected.”

“Good Luck Chuck,” she said, plugging her film, is just a fun night at the cinema. “It’s a good date movie,” she said.

But be careful about that goodnight kiss. You could chip a tooth.