Jessica Alba is an actress who really needs no introduction – with her exotic looks and gorgeous smile, Alba was synonymous with the “hot” girl, embodying what it meant to be attractive, particularly during the 2000s. We’re pretty sure everyone remembers Alba in ‘Honey’, with her side-swept bangs, white tank and low slung jeans. Starting early, Alba experienced success in a number of Hollywood blockbusters, with notable roles in films including ‘Fantastic Four’ and ‘Sin City’.
But despite her name being in lights, and being famous around the world, few people actually know about her past. In fact, growing up, it seems that Alba had a rather eventful early life. The famous actor has since retired from acting indefinitely, however, she has found success in other areas – notably her wellness and lifestyle blog and website, which seems to be taking over the US. But let’s do a little digging and find out more about the mysterious Alba, how she got to where she is today, and what’s on the horizon.
A Modest Upbringing
Like many big Hollywood names, Alba didn’t exactly come from money. Born to parents who were perhaps a little too young to welcome a baby daughter into the world, her father was a Mexican-American and her mother had Danish and French roots. Definitely quite a combination – but hey, we’re sure nobody would be complaining if they had Alba’s stunning looks!
With her father changing careers a number of times: from working as a U.S. airman to a rib joint, and her mother flipping burgers and bartending to make ends meet, it’s clear that the pair weren't born with a silver spoon. Despite their work ethic and rather difficult start to life together, Alba claims she never felt that she belonged to that lifestyle. “I was born with a wicked sense of entitlement,” she has admitted, “I always thought I was born into the wrong family, that I was… royalty and nobody knew it but me.”
She Should’ve Joined the Breakfast Club
It seems that Alba would've fit right in with the misfits in the 80s classic film 'The Breakfast Club'. Her need for praise and respect from her peers translated into a rebellious attitude, which made it difficult going through the schooling process. Given the fact she was raised by a U.S. airman and within a Christian household, Alba had issues at home from a young age, One particular incident marked the beginning of this rebellion to authority when she was just a little girl.
After her teacher found her writing with her left hand (something this teacher apparently had a problem with), he forced Alba to write with her right hand. To Alba, it made no sense – she was left-handed and was comfortable writing that way. No one could explain it to young Alba, and since then, Alba confesses “I have had a big problem with authority ever since.”
How Young is Too Young?
These days, people are becoming parents at a later age, with many starting families in their 30s. Maybe it’s due to financial strain, or just the need to “do” things before life changes with children. For Alba’s parents, however, the pair had married as teenagers and had two children by the time they were 20 and 21! Alba, too, was quite aware of her situation and family life, and realized that her family unit operated a little differently to that of her peers.
In some ways, the fact her parents were so young made her comment to Rolling Stone Magazine that it felt as though “we all grew up together.” It seems it clicked for Alba that she was destined for the big lights as young as five years old, when she told her parents she wanted to act. While every five-year-old has some whimsical idea of what they’ll be when they grow up, Alba’s turned out to come true!
Never Really Fitting In
Alba's background is part Danish, French and Mexican. And hey, it’s quite the winning combination. But despite her exotic looks, Alba struggled with the fact she was of diverse ancestry – she felt as though she never could really fit in or identify with a single culture.
Did you know she felt shunned from the Latin community for not being Latin enough? All of these factors spurred Alba into action, and she had a deep burning ambition to make something of herself and prove that she was truly exceptional. But even the most attractive people have issues with their appearance.
In the Name of the Father
Alba had a rather strict Christian upbringing, which meant that she lived by a certain set of rules that limited her “freedom.” We’re talking curfews and prayer time. Not to mention the modesty part: no physical intimacy before marriage is an extremely important tenet in Christian families, Alba’s included.
She realized that she was being looked at differently to the other girls, and wasn’t particularly fond of all the attention – so much so that she confided in her youth pastor. Unfortunately, the pastor only commented on how Alba should dress less provocatively, causing her self-esteem to drop even more.
Finding Her Way
Every kid has difficulties coming to terms with who they are and where they fit in in the world, and Alba was no exception. A main sore spot for Alba was being shunned by the Latin community, but also not being accepted as white. She was bullied a lot back in high school. Perhaps it was her maturity which made her stand out from the rest of her peers. She was determined and ambitious to make something more of herself, outside of her community and “bubble.”
At only 11 years old, Alba had her mother take her to an acting contest in Beverly Hills. The winner would be awarded free acting classes, and you can guess how Alba fared in the competition! After winning, she enrolled, and from that opportunity, her life would forever change.
Learning the Actor’s Way
Starting acting lessons helped her channel her teen angst and pent up emotions - she was using all she had pitted against her to make her a great actress. Alba proved that she had a natural talent for it, and after just nine months into her acting lessons, the then 12-year-old Alba was signed.
Following this momentous change, Alba’s life was looking up and she was incredibly happy. But it wasn’t all rosy – there were a few hiccups along the way – and terrifying ones at that.
Alba’s Film Debut
Things moved quickly for Alba – after a year with her talent agent, she starred in her first film, the 1994 comedy, 'Camp Nowhere'.
As she entered her teens, Alba also began doing some modeling work, as well as commercials. For a young teen, it would’ve been a dream come true – but this was just the beginning for Alba and her career. But with great admiration and attention, can sometimes come unwanted consequences.
Mysterious Older Man
It isn’t the first time we’ve heard “pretty young girl” and “strange man” in a news headline – but unfortunately, these terms were used to describe what happened to Jessica Alba. At the age of 15, Alba was given the role in a remake of the classic marine adventure series, 'Flipper'. Filmed in Australia, it was Alba’s first major role in a television show, which was undoubtedly very exciting for the mid-teen.
But while the sandy shores of Australia were appealing, there were some circumstances to follow that left a bitter taste to the whole experience. While on set one day, Alba received a random phone call from a man whom she did not recognize. A prank, or a fan, Alba didn’t think much of it – until he kept calling. Unfortunately, this was the early 2000s, when blocking a phone number wasn't a possibility.
An Australian Stalker?
Alba went about her business on set as usual, but was still receiving these strange phone calls. And it seems that Alba kept it to herself, thinking it was probably just some overenthusiastic fan.
Alba clearly thought she was safe – but there was definitely more reason for her to be on guard than she thought. The man was relentless, incessantly calling her while she was on set. The problem was that, with such a person, calling wasn’t enough – he was going to want more soon.
Just Another Day on Set?
As predicted, the calling stopped, but something more sinister was in the works. One day, on the set of 'Flipper', there was an unidentified man lurking on set and no one actually noticed. Suddenly, Alba was nowhere to be found.
Obviously, the people on set quickly realized the star of the show was missing. Where could the 15-year-old have disappeared to? It couldn't be that she had just wandered off, it was totally out of character – and it didn’t take long for people to catch on and realize something serious was going on.
The cast was none the wiser to her disappearance, until, of course, Alba was called on to shoot a scene. People realized that she didn’t just leave the set of her own accord and that there was a third party involved.
A search party was organized, and the cast and production team were fraught with worry, alarmed that they hadn’t found her within half an hour. The local authorities were called, and they all got to work to recover the missing Alba.
What’s Really Going on Here?
After the police were called in to investigate, the matter was dealt with very seriously. The fact that Alba had been potentially kidnapped from the set, and the fact that she was a minor, made police all the more worried and eager to find her.
While the crew couldn’t offer much assistance, the authorities immediately suspected foul play. But was that in fact the case? Or was it all a misunderstanding? What they were about to find was extremely disturbing, and luckily, they found her just in time.
Flipper or a Horror Movie?
After fourteen long hours, Alba’s family and crew were extremely distressed. No one had made much progress and were worried that something awful had befallen the young starlet. Investigators didn’t know it, but they were very close to finding the young Alba.
Shockingly, they eventually found Alba bound and gagged in the trunk of a car. But what had happened? How had the situation escalated so terribly?
A frightened but now relieved Alba was pulled out of the trunk, her bonds were cut, and she was given all the care and attention that she’d so lacked in the past 14 hours. After authorities found her and calmed her down, the questioning began – firstly, how did any of this happen? But Alba didn’t utter a word, she was too shocked to even speak.
In a strange twist, however, it seems that there was no evidence of foul play – and especially as Alba wasn’t willing to open up about the ordeal, it made it even more difficult for authorities to press any charges. A mystery that we’ll never really get to the bottom of, it seems. Fortunately, Alba wasn’t harmed and it’s well in her past now.
Following the harrowing ordeal and her mysterious kidnapping, understandably Alba wasn’t herself. She became anxious and a little cagey, but it didn’t take too long for her to revert to her old self. She was a little wiser now, and still went about her life happily, albeit with a touch of caution in her step.
Her acting career grew from strength to strength, and she even dipped her toes in the dating pool. Whilst her Christian values deterred her from pursuing serious physical intimacy before marriage, it didn’t stop her from going on dates. And one day, an older handsome devil caught her attention.
Her First Foray in Love
Like any young woman, their worst critics are often themselves – and Alba is no exception. When she was in her teens, Alba wasn’t quite so confident in her ability to attract and date members of the opposite sex. Maybe it was due to her rebellious nature or poor reputation at school, but Alba remarks that “hardly anyone” ever asked her out as a teen!
Thus was borne her mantra of dating “whoever asked her out.” But while she was happy to date anyone, one day she met a guy who totally knocked her socks off. He had such a profound impact on her that she questioned her faith and its strict tenets. So, who’s the lucky guy, and what made him so special?
What a Man
Most of Alba’s teen dates were boring and didn’t leave an impact – probably owing to the fact she had a lot of experience on them and had been forced to adapt and mature quicker due to her chosen career path. All they cared about was “hanging out and drinking beer”. For a young woman who had her heart set on showbiz, that was hardly the crowd she wanted to be in.
Enter our mystery man. A little older, and clearly charming enough to pique Alba’s interest, he was quick to ask her out. He was certainly well out of high school, and we’re sure her parents protested his advances, but he had a certain something about him that made him stand out from the rest.
'Hold Me Closer, Tiny Dancer'
After numerous dates throughout high school, Alba was starting to shake off the whole romance thing. After sieving through the beer-drinking, football-playing jocks and the like, she had all but given up on finding love. However, after her kidnapping and turning 16, she met a dancer. And after meeting him at a club four nights a week, the two connected, and he seemed to be what she was looking for.
Alba, looking back, reflects on her love for this man – whether it was the thrill of seeing someone who was “taboo” and had a different outlook on life, or it was her rebellious streak coming out in full form, it’s easy to see that her parents had issues with them dating. Her born-again Christian friends also disapproved, but her feelings for this guy made Alba challenge her own faith. Was this happily ever after, at 16?
“I was so in love with him and thought, ‘There’s no way this guy’s going to hell,’” she has said of her real first crush, and this challenge of her firm Christian beliefs helped to shape Alba as an individual.
It opened her eyes, and she began experimenting and walking down a more secular path, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be. The relationship barely lasted, despite their intense connection. Importantly though, Alba decided from then on that she wouldn’t let religion come between her and doing things she really wanted.
Alba’s Big Break
After starring on the series 'Flipper', and of course after her crazy ordeal, Alba began appearing as a guest on a number of shows. These little cameos and guest appearances greatly helped with her exposure, and eventually led to her big break. While she was flirting with a number of TV shows, she also decided to take a walk on the wild side, dating around and living her life without what she saw as shackles of her faith and conservative parents.
Having worked through her teens for her career, she sacrificed those blissful years in order to hit the big time. And when that moment finally arrived, she realized it had all been worth it. Her breakthrough role came through as the lead of the sci-fi series 'Dark Angel'. On the set of the series, she was also going to get her butt kicked, by Cupid nonetheless!
Rags to Riches Story
On her 18th birthday, it seemed that all was going great for the young star, and it was a milestone – she had successfully transitioned from a formerly bullied teen to one of the hottest young celebs in the world! We’re sure that there were never again any shortages of male suitors, and we know that she got a whole lot more selective once she was in the public eye. But they say that the most likely romances happen in close quarters – enter Michael Weatherly, her co-star on Dark Angel, who also happened to be 12 years her senior!
After her change in outlook and a slight change in values, Alba took the plunge with Weatherly, and for good reason: the pair had great on-screen and off-screen chemistry. Alba was falling for Weatherly just as hard as he was for her – but was he her forever man?
Popping the Question!
On her 20th birthday, something extremely romantic happened - Weatherly proposed! Despite the 12-year age-gap, of which her parents and friends disapproved, she accepted his hand.
Now, that’s a birthday to remember! But the question on everyone’s lips was, would it last?
Well… That Didn’t Last, Did It?
Getting married young is becoming a thing of the past, so for Alba, it was quite a shock to be proposed to! But after two years of dating Weatherly, it seemed the time was right for them to take the next step as a couple. Despite their relationship and experiencing great highs together, the pair broke things off in 2003. Their marriage lasted 3 years – which even by Hollywood standards, is pretty good!
After some time on the screen and living her life as a movie star, the shine of show business gave her a sense of maturity and experience with the real world. The real world was tough, and it shaped her to be the person she is today, as well as showing her exactly what she did and didn’t want, relationships included. Role after role fell in her lap, and her name was in lights everywhere. But it seemed that the single Alba was ready for a special someone to come into her life.
Following her breakup with Weatherly, Alba was single and ready to mingle. For a period, she explored the dating world, and in fact, dated quite a number of high-profile celebs, such as actor Mark Wahlberg, and baseball star Derek Jeter. Despite saying of the two men that they were “really nice guys”, she just wasn’t cut out for flings. She was serious and responsible and was looking for someone to commit to.
For Alba, it was never about dating for status. In the same way that men would hopefully be more than just an accessory or arm candy, Alba was looking for her other half. Soon, she’d meet a man who would take her breath away. A fellow actor, perhaps?
What Goes on Behind-the-Scenes
In 2004, Jessica Alba landed one of the biggest roles in her career – she was cast as Susan Storm in the 'Fantastic Four' franchise. Playing alongside the now Captain America, Chris Evans, Alba played the Invisible Woman. On set, sparks didn’t fly with Evans, but with someone who was a little more behind-the-scenes.
Production assistant, Cash Warren, was the lucky guy. When she first laid eyes on him, Alba was smitten. “It was kind of a love-at-first-sight thing,” she recalled in interviews. But while the sparks flew, there was one issue with falling for Warren.
There Was Another Man Involved!
The only problem was that she was seeing someone else already. The two started as just friends, but the tale as old as time tells us that “just friends” is a lot more difficult, particularly when there is a mutual attraction.
The flirting escalated, and as Alba found out more about Warren, she was even more interested. This spelled disaster for her current beau, but Alba was just going with the flow. Looking back, Alba remarks that she was “attracted to [Warren’s] spirit.” Looks like our fellow brother in the friend zone was soon to make the great escape! And straight into the arms of the gorgeous Alba!
Less Is More
Their attraction was undeniable, and a romantic relationship seemed on the cards for Alba and Warren. The chemistry was too strong to fight off, regardless of the fact that Alba was dating someone else. It was too much for Cash Warren to bear, and being a man of action and knowing he wanted Jessica, he made it happen.
While Warren made the first move, Alba was already quite into him, so when he initiated the conversation, she was totally interested already. The creative assistant producer waltzed up to her and handed her a note signed with a dollar sign, and all it said was, “I really, really like you.”
Just a Jealous Guy
It seems that Alba knew straight away that Warren was the guy for her – and it wasn’t too difficult for her to part ways with her then-boyfriend. Alba has said of love and men that, “If I met Cash and I was married to somebody else, I would have to get a divorce. We make that much sense together.”
But despite Alba being into Warren, he couldn’t help but feel a bit jealous of the attention. The jealousy was so strong that Alba called it quits with Warren for a time – not that her “break” was going to last long. Fast forward a few months and Alba was pregnant with their first child. And they got engaged shortly after!
Alba’s Happy Ending
In 2008, Alba tied the knot with her love Cash Warren. Since then, the pair have remained as close as ever, so that’s over ten years together! We really love a couple that lasts in Hollywood. Though it seems the secret to lasting is staying away from the spotlight.
Since the pair has been married, Alba has enjoyed great success and many awards, including Choice Actress Teen Choice Award and Saturn Award for Best Actress on Television.
Riding the Business Success Train
But acting wasn’t enough for the ambitious star, deciding that she wanted to try her hand in the business world. A self-made entrepreneur, Alba co-founded 'The Honest Company', a collective that sells baby, personal and household products.
Of the brand and her fame, Alba says that there are actually many people that only know of her through The Honest Company. She even claims her kids didn't know she used to be a big Hollywood star!
But Wait… Let’s Be Honest
Alba founded the American consumer goods company in 2011. Quite incredibly, it’s valued at around $1 billion just a short 8 years later.
The Honest Company, which focuses on providing household and personal products which are ethically minded, had a revenue of $250 million in 2016. Pretty awesome to think that Alba takes the credit in starting up this business!
A Closer Look at Honest
The Honest Company has had widespread sales due to its great product lines and distribution. Appearing in stores like Whole Foods and Target, Honest Company, in fact, experiences its greatest revenues online. In 2014, sales totaled $170 million.
Investors jumped on the unicorn brand, with $200 million raised from those including Wellington Management, General Catalyst Partners, Institutional Venture Partners, and Lightspeed Venture Partners at a valuation of more than $1 billion. Eco-friendly with a super friendly and gorgeous face behind it, The Honest Company thrives!
Brains and Beauty
Turns out Alba is definitely more than just a pretty face – she’s got a business mind and a heart that cares for ethics and the environment.
After doing some digging into Alba’s life, we love how this woman has grown and become such a great role model – not just for her own daughters and son, but for girls worldwide. She proves that you can do anything.
Totally Smitten...11 Years On
Warren is very open about his love for Alba, and we love his sweet Instagram post dedicated to his wife! “11 years ago ... we were laying in bed having one of those amazing lazy mornings where we’d do nothing. You were 9 months pregnant with Honor and we were so excited to meet her in the coming weeks. Not sure who thought of it first but the decision we made that day would forever change the course of our lives...
We hopped up, got dressed and drove straight to the courthouse…11 years and 3 kids later, we’re still learning, growing, giggling and loving ... here’s to a lifetime of pushing each other to be the best versions of ourselves and catching each other when we fall. Happy Anniversary Mrs. Warren!” It really doesn't get any better than this.
The Warrens have built a wonderful life for themselves. Their first daughter Honor just turned 11 this June, while their other daughter, Haven, is almost 8 years old, and their son Hayes turned two just last year!
As well as raising a beautiful family together, Warren and Alba have a great marriage, taking the time to work on their relationship. Alba often praises her “feminist” husband for all that he does for their family, as well as for her. It seems that Alba hit the jackpot when it comes to the man in her life!
A Bit More About Alba’s Man
Warren was always into production and films, with his debut as an assistant producer in the 2004 movie 'Taxi', working with Queen Latifah. His big break, however, came on the set of 'Fantastic Four', which is of course when his big break in love came too!
He’s worked on a few independent films and documentaries, as well as establishing his own production company, Verso Entertainment.
And the Credentials Continue!
But that’s not all for Warren – he’s also co-founded a digital management agency, called Apoko, which assists celebrities in monitoring their engagement with the public. Not to mention the fact that he started a gaming site, 'ibeatyou.com' as well as a multi-functional product platform called 'Pair of Thieves'. He’s accrued about $10 million from his ventures!
What we love about Alba and Warren is that they are supportive of one another and respect each other’s careers and space.
Now, we don’t want to jinx this gorgeous pair, but they're totally our role models for family and relationships. We love that they’re so smitten, and have nurtured a beautiful family together.
Despite Alba’s rocky start with relationships, it seems that she’s found her man. We're pretty sure she has everything she could’ve ever dreamed of, as well as fantastic people to share it with.
So What’s Next?
Well, apart from spending time with her family and juggling her business ventures, Alba is living the life!
We’re not sure what the future holds for Alba, but for now, we’re sure she’s content and enjoying the wild ride.