20 Facts About Jessica Alba That Might Surprise You (Including How She Replaced Aaliyah In a Movie)
Jessica Alba is not just a well-known actress. She has built an empire for living organically and is out there fighting the good fight for important causes. But there’s a lot more to her than you may realize.
Here are 20 things you may have never known about Jessica Alba.
1. She’s from Poway.jessicaalba / Instagram
The same city that gifted the world members of Blink 182. SoCal represent!
2. She started out in some of our favorite kids shows and movies.jessicaalba / Instagram
Remember “The Secret World of Alex Mack”? Or “Camp Nowhere”? She was all up in there acting her heart out. It helped plant the seed for her career, and the big success that would come later.
3. You may even remember her from a total teen movie classic.jessicaalba / Instagram
If you ever catch a re-watching of the Drew Barrymore classic “Never Been Kissed” you’ll see Jessica playing mean girl Kirsten. She had the bitch face and bratty attitude down pat, and still somehow came off lovable.
4. Big success at 19.jessicaalba / Instagram
While the rest of us were studying for finals or working at Hot Dog on a Stick at 19, Jessica Alba landed a lead role in a major network show. She was still just a teen when she landed the lead in “Dark Angel.” And she went on to be nominated for a Golden Globe for her role.
5. She was a replacement for Aaliyah.jessicaalba / Instagram
When Aaliyah tragically passed away, not only did it mean that the world would no longer get to have any new music from her. It also meant she wouldn’t be able to shoot the movie “Honey,” which she was set to star in. Jessica stepped in and filled the role.
6. Keeping it honest.jessicaalba / Instagram
She cofounded The Honest Company, which is a line of baby and household products that are organic. After having her children she realized how important it was to her to make sure everything in her house and that she put on her babies was good for them. Cue The Honest Company!
7. She was an Air Force brat.jessicaalba / Instagram
Because her father was in the Air Force, the Alba family moved around quite a bit. Jessica spent time living in Mississippi, Texas, and then back in California. All before she was 9 years old.
8. She grew up in a conservative family.jessicaalba / Instagram
Alba has said she was raised in a traditional, Catholic, Latin American family. However, she considers herself very liberal, even identifying as a feminist at age 5.
9. She dealt with lots of health issues.jessicaalba / Instagram
Growing up, Jessica had a long list of health issues that impaired her from attending school and making friends. She suffered from a partially collapsed lungs twice, would deal with pneumonia four to five times a year, and more. This plus all the moving around she did made it hard for her to have a normal upbringing and meet friends.
10. She has ADHD.jessicaalba / Instagram
She takes Ritalin to help her manage her ADHD, which she has spoken openly about. It’s important to have these discussions in the open to help dispel stigmas about mental health.
11. She dreamed big at a young age.jessicaalba / Instagram
In 1992, an 11-year-old Alba persuaded her mother to take her to an acting competition in Beverly Hills, where the grand prize was free acting classes. Alba won the grand prize, and took her first acting lessons. An agent signed Alba nine months later.
12. She learned to swim before she could walk.jessicaalba / Instagram
Her mom, who was a lifeguard, taught Jessica to swim before she could walk. She was also a certified scuba diver, which came in very handy when she was filming the TV show “Flipper” in Australia. She played Maya.
13. She left high school early.jessicaalba / Instagram
Eager to get her acting career going full time, Jessica worked hard and put in extra hours so she could graduate high school early. She was only 16 years old when she got her diploma.
14. She studied acting under some of the greats.jessicaalba / Instagram
After Alba graduated from high school, she studied acting with William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman at the Atlantic Theater Company. The acting school was developed by Macy and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and film director, David Mamet.
15. She’s a bestselling author.jessicaalba / Instagram
Based on her experience in co-creating The Honest Company and living an organic and non-toxic life, Alba decided to write a book about how she did it and ways families can make choices in their household and personal care products that can bring about a healthier life. The book, “The Honest Life,” went on to be a New York Times bestseller.
16. She gets political.jessicaalba / Instagram
Alba posed for a bondage-themed print advertising campaign by Declare Yourself, a campaign encouraging voter registration among youth for the 2008 United States presidential election. “I think it is important for young people to be aware of the need we have in this country to get them more active politically,” she said. It’s important to her to spread the need to vote.
17. She rides for sharks.jessicaalba / Instagram
While Great White sharks have a bad rap for being the villains of the ocean, their population has been diminishing, which is very sad and dangerous to the eco system. Alba was involved in a controversy after she pasted posters of sharks around town to draw attention to the loss of sharks. People wanted her to be charged with vandalism, though she was never charged.
18. She left the catholic church over victim blaming and harassment.jessicaalba / Instagram
She once explained, “Older men would hit on me, and my youth pastor said it was because I was wearing provocative clothing, when I wasn’t. It just made me feel like if I was in any way desirable to the opposite sex that it was my fault, and it made me ashamed of my body and being a woman.” That lead her to leave the church. Plus, the catholic church’s view on the LGBTQ community and how she was treated by friends from church made her question the religion more.
19. She traced her roots to ancient civilizations.jessicaalba / Instagram
In 2014, Alba appeared in Henry Louis Gates’s genealogy series “Finding Your Roots.” There she found out that her lineage goes back to the ancient Maya civilization. Her father’s line also showed Sephardi Jewish roots, and DNA testing revealed that she’s related to famous lawyer Alan Dershowitz.
20. She got engaged at 20.jessicaalba / Instagram
When she was a teen on Dark Angel, she started dating her co-star Michael Weatherly. He was 12 years older than her and she was still a virgin. They broke up three years later. She eventually talked publicly about how that relationship affected her and her family’s relationship.
There’s a lot to Jessica. She’s also a mom and wife, a tireless advocate, and a kick ass fighter who stands up for herself. Watch “Honey” tonight in her honor.
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