Jessica Alba Recalls Developing 'Warrior' Persona as Young Actress to Deter Hollywood 'Predators'
Jessica Alba is recalling a time when she had to develop a "tough" persona to feel protected in Hollywood.
On the newest episode of Who's Talking to Chris Wallace?, the 41-year-old actress and entrepreneur addressed the host's question about whether "the degree to which you were objectified as a sex symbol" was something that "bothered" her as a young star.
While Alba replied saying she doesn't "think that there's anything wrong" with "owning your sexuality" and that she "understood it as a business decision and a strategy" at the time, she still was "nervous" because she had to go against her natural personality.
"And how did you deal with that?" asked Chris Wallace.
"I was a warrior," the Sin City star said. "I put up that energy. ... I was really tough, man."
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Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Jessica Alba in 1999
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Alba said she was "quite uncomfortable in my own skin" at the time, and that "it wasn't until I became a mom that I really started to even see myself as a woman or a sexual being or someone who owned her power and her femininity."
But before that, "I felt like I was very much having to put up this armor of masculine and masculine energy," said the Honest Company co-founder. "So I wouldn't be preyed on, because there were a lot of predators in Hollywood from [the time I was] age 12 to 26."
To that end goal of putting up a "warrior" front, she cursed "like a sailor," Alba recalled. "I think I tried to make myself as unavailable as possible, so that I wouldn't be taken advantage of," she told Wallace, 75.
Swan Gallet/WWD via Getty Jessica Alba
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Speaking about focusing more on business than acting in recent years, the mother of three said her "priorities shifted a bit" after she had her first child, daughter Honor, now 14.
"I thought about my purpose differently. And I really started to assess what was bringing me joy and what I felt, at that time, [was] a little bit … draining," Alba explained.
She also said she "felt a bit tapped out with entertainment," noting that it was a time before the #MeToo movement and adding, "This is a very different Hollywood today than it was 14 years ago."
"I just took a step back and kind of let it do its thing," Alba said. "The town was very different. And a lot more toxic masculinity ran a lot of the decision-making."
New episodes of Who's Talking to Chris Wallace? are available Friday mornings on HBO Max, and air Sundays at 7 p.m. ET on CNN.