Her image of an object of fantasy? She passed it long ago! Actress, businesswoman, and mother, the star, who never stops reinventing herself, shares her secrets with us.
Audience: In the Los Angeles: Bad Girls series, you form a shock tandem with Gabrielle Union. How is this detective series different from others?
Jessica Alba: Bad Boys, the movie she was inspired by, had two blacks headlining: Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. Los Angeles: Bad Girls goes further by showing two women representing ethnic minorities, Blacks and Latinos. The majority of screenwriters also come from these communities. I am very happy about it. In addition, I love my bond with Gabrielle: we had both just given birth when filming started and we were giving the bottle between two action scenes!
The year 2020 is finally over. How did you manage the pandemic?
I have the feeling of having played the balancing act. My days are like the movie One Endless Day. When the kids go to school, I can compartmentalize, but being in the same space as them, I feel like I haven’t had a break for seven months. (Laughs.) I’m exhausted!
Did you start school at home with your children?
Yes, and it’s hard because I piss them off until they understand this or that exercise. Once I get there, I have to fight for them to clear the table and brush their teeth. As a result, they’re not in bed before 9 p.m., but I’m holding on!
Who are your heroines?
Right now, Michelle Obama. After reading her book, I understood what injustices she had experienced. This is an example for me. I have no doubts that Kamala Harris will do great things too. I also admire Latin American actresses who broke into Hollywood long before me because they paved the way. As for my grandparents, Mexicans, they suffered from racism when they moved to California. They were treated like nothing. My grandfather started picking fruit when he was 12 years old. At that time, California was ruled by segregation: my grandparents had to drink from separate fountains, and they were only allowed to swim in the public pool after the white children, just before we empty the water!
“At school, I was attacked”
Did this family story accentuate your desire for success?
Yes. Not out of a spirit of revenge, but to demonstrate that it is intelligence and pugnacity that make progress. I instill these values in my two daughters and my son. What affects me right now is that I also have to talk to them about things that are not light: They ask me a lot of questions about the pandemic. I could downplay the gravity of the situation, but I’m not a good enough actress for that! And it is important not to obscure reality.
You speak like a fighter, almost a survivor …
Survivor, I am! Kid, I have been affected by many diseases. Between atelectasis (collapse of the pulmonary alveoli, editor’s note)and repeated pneumonia, I wonder how I got out! These illnesses not only affected my body, they also affected my relationships with others. As I was spending my time in the hospital, I couldn’t sympathize with my classmates. And when I could go to school, I was not welcome anyway! My parents had bled to put me in a good school, but rich kids didn’t like Latinos. In the school bus, I was attacked! But racism, I have also experienced it within my own family: my mother is American with Danish and Quebec origins, and my father, Mexican. When they wanted to get married, very young, my mother’s family opposed it.
“Gwyneth Paltrow and I are fighting male domination”
In Hollywood, when you started out, you had to fight against clichés?
Yes. Especially since the casters could not put me in a box: I was neither white enough nor typed enough. Suddenly, they found a label: “exotic actress”. Understand unclassifiable …
Do you have fond memories of Dark Angel, the series that made you famous?
Yes, because I played an independent character, and I was not stigmatized as a Latino actress. I never wanted to play drug trafficker, easy girl, or gender stereotype. Later, I fought against discrimination by becoming a businesswoman who, at the head of a natural beauty products company, Honest, was able to demonstrate that you can achieve your ambitions. Even if you are a woman with humble origins.
You are a bit in the niche of Gwyneth Paltrow and her company Goop. Do you recognize yourself in his career?
Yes. We both battled, being confronted with the domination of men, their mockery, their skepticism. However, Gwyneth and I do not come from the same social background. ¦
APRIL 28, 1981
Jessica was born in Pomona (California). His parents, Mark and Catherine, gave him a brother, Joshua, who also became an actor the following year.
The FHM magazine the sexiest woman in the world. The roles landed when she was a teenager, in The New Adventures of Flipper the Dolphin, in particular, seem far away.
MAY 3, 2008
She marries the producer Cash Warren, met on the set of Fantastic 4. They have three children, Honor, Haven, and Hayes.
4. SINCE 2019
She returned to our screens in the Los Angeles: Bad Girls series. She plays Nancy, an investigator with heavy secrets.