Jessica Alba

1 03 2007

Jessica AlbaJessica Marie Alba (born April 28, 1981) is an American actress. She is known for her roles in Dark Angel, Sin City, Fantastic Four and Into the Blue.

Biography

Early life

Jessica Alba was born in Pomona, California to Mark Alba, who is of Mexican descent, and Cathy Jensen, who has Danish and French-Canadian ancestry. Alba was raised in an Air Force family, along with her brother, Joshua Alba, and her grandparents until she was 17. Her father’s Air Force career took the family to Biloxi, Mississippi, and Del Rio, Texas, before they settled back in California. Alba’s early life was marked by a multitude of physical maladies; she suffered collapsed lungs twice, had pneumonia 4-5 times a year, a burst appendix, a cyst on her tonsils and asthma. She has also acknowledged suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder during childhood. This served to isolate her from other children at school because, as she claims, she was in the hospital so often that no one knew her well enough to befriend her. Her health improved, however, when her family moved to California. Alba had expressed interest in acting since the age of five. She took her first acting class at age twelve, and an acting agent signed her nine months later.

Career

Alba’s first appearance on film was a small role in the 1994 feature Camp Nowhere as Gail. She was originally hired for two weeks but her role turned into a two month job when the actress in one of the prominent roles dropped out.

Young Alba appeared in two national TV commercials for Nintendo and J.C. Penney; she was later featured in several independent films. She branched out into TV in 1994 with a recurring role as the insufferable young snob, Jessica, in three episodes of the Nickelodeon comedy series The Secret World of Alex Mack. She then performed the role of Maya in the first two seasons of the TV series Flipper. Under the tutelage of her lifeguard mother, Alba learned to swim before she could walk, and she was a PADI-certified scuba diver, skills which were put to use on the show, which was filmed in Australia.

In 1998, she appeared as Melissa Hauer in a first-season episode of the Steven Bochco crime-drama Brooklyn South, as Leanne in two episodes of Beverly Hills 90210 and as Layla in an episode of The Love Boat: The Next Wave. In 1999, she appeared in the Randy Quaid comedy feature P.U.N.K.S..

After graduating from high school, Alba studied acting with William H. Macy and his wife, Felicity Huffman, at the Atlantic Theater Company, which was developed by Macy and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and film director, David Mamet.

Alba rose to greater prominence in Hollywood in 1999 after appearing as a member of a snobby high school clique in the Drew Barrymore romantic comedy Never Been Kissed, and as the female lead in the 1999 comedy-horror film Idle Hands, opposite Devon Sawa. Her big break came when writer/director James Cameron picked Alba from a pool of 1,200 candidates for the role of the genetically-engineered super-soldier, Max Guevara, on the Fox sci-fi TV series Dark Angel. Co-created by Cameron, Alba was the star in the series which ran for two seasons before being canceled in 2002. Since then her most notable roles have been as an aspiring dancer/choreographer in Honey, exotic dancer Nancy Callahan in Sin City and as the classic Marvel Comics character Sue Storm, the Invisible Woman in the Fantastic Four. Jessica went on to host the MTV Movie Awards 2006 and performed sketches spoofing the movies King Kong, Mission Impossible 3, and The Da Vinci Code.

Playboy magazine named Alba among its 25 Sexiest Celebrities, and the Sex Star of the Year in its March 2006 issue, on whose cover she appeared. Alba was involved in litigation against Playboy for its use of her image (from a promotional shot for Into the Blue) without her consent, which she contends gave the appearance that she was featured in the issue in a “nude or semi-nude pictorial”. However, she later dropped the lawsuit after receiving a personal apology from Playboy owner Hugh Hefner who agreed to make donations to two charities that Alba has supported.

Apparently, Alba fears being typecast as a sex kitten based on the bulk of parts offered to her. “Somehow, I don’t think this is happening to Natalie Portman,” laments Alba. In the interview, Alba says she wants to be taken seriously as an actress but believes she needs to do movies that she would otherwise not be interested in to build her career, stating that eventually she hopes to be more selective in her film projects.

Personal life

She had a kidney infection in 2001. She suffers from motion sickness and Crohn’s Disease, both which developed after childhood Alba was engaged to her Dark Angel co-star Michael Weatherly, but it was called off. In January 2005, she began dating Cash Warren, a director’s assistant on Fantastic Four, whom she met during filming. Regarding children, Alba has stated:

“I’m really girly when it comes to kids. I’ve been surrounded by kids my whole life because I’m the oldest of 15 cousins — I’ve been changing diapers since I was six. I want to have a couple, for sure”.

Alba announced on the UK teen website “Teen Today” in 2005, prior to the birth of her brother’s child, that she was beginning a children’s clothing line: “About four of my girlfriends have babies so they have no time for me. I figure if I can do baby clothes maybe they’ll have more time to hang out!”

Alba has revealed that she envisions a much older man as her ideal partner, making references to Morgan Freeman, Sean Connery, Robert Redford, and Michael Caine. “I have this thing for older men. They’ve been around and know so much.”

She has said that she has no problem with one night stands, but that she no longer dates around.

She has a tattoo of a daisy with a ladybird on it on the back of her neck, and the Sanskrit symbol for lotus flower, “padma”, on her wrist. She has 3 dogs; 2 pugs and a Dogo Argentino named Bowie. Bowie is named after singer David Bowie because, like the dog, David Bowie has two different eye colors.

Her brother Joshua appeared with her in “And Jesus Brought a Casserole,” the first season finale of Dark Angel.

Religion

During an interview with GQ magazine, Alba said that in her teen years she became a born-again Christian in a rebellion against her parents. She left her church after being accused of being promiscuous and wearing provocative clothing.

As the daughter of conservative parents, Alba, whose grandparents did not even allow her to wear a bathing suit around the house, maintains a no-nudity clause in her contract, though she has claimed she had been at least open to the possibility of appearing nude in Sin City. She remarked of a GQ shoot in which she was scantily clad:

“They didn’t want me to wear the granny panties, but I said, ‘If I’m gonna be topless I need to wear granny panties”.

Alba was given the option to appear naked by the film’s directors, Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez, but decided to pass up the offer. She told ELLE, “I don’t do nudity. I just don’t. Maybe that makes me a bad actress. Maybe I won’t get hired in some things. But I have too much anxiety.”

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