Jessica Alba Reveals the Truth About Why She Stepped Back From Acting at the “Top” of Her Career

Despite starring in Fantastic Four and Dark Angel, Jessica Alba stepped back from Hollywood 10 years ago, when she was on "top," in order to pursue "something bigger." Here's why.

By Lindsay Weinberg Mar 24, 2021 8:05 PMTags
Watch: Why Jessica Alba Goes to Therapy With Her Daughter Honor

Motherhood changed Jessica Alba. In fact, it even motivated her to switch careers from actress to entrepreneur. 

Her first child, Honor, was born in 2008. Four years later, Alba largely stepped away from Hollywood and launched The Honest Company. Why? 

Well, for Romper's March cover story, she explained her decision to move away from entertainment at the height of her career (However, she's still appeared onscreen a number of times, including recently in L.A.'s Finest, Killers Anonymous and, soon, Trigger Warning).

"My motivation was not like, 'Am I ever going to get hired again?' Frankly, I was at the top of my career," the 39 year old explained on Wednesday, March 24.

So what was the real reason? As Alba put it, "I couldn't go back to what I was doing before and be authentic. I just couldn't. I just didn't care about it anymore the same way. It was something bigger. I felt like if I was going to, I guess, sort of get this platform, what can I do with it that could be meaningful and make a difference." 

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She feels her path was made clear to her when she experienced motherhood, saying, "That reality just felt so real when I became a mom for the first time."

So, influenced by a history of chronic illness in her family, Alba decided she wanted to seize the day in her own life and help others find health-conscious products, from diapers to makeup. 

Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

She noted that her mother, Catherine Jensen, had cancer at a young age and many other women in her family died from cancer. Alba grew up with chronic illness and had five surgeries before she was 11 years old, she said.

"I had chronic allergies, and I was hospitalized a lot as a child," the Fantastic Four actress went on. "I had this real moment of, I want to live, and thrive, and spend as much time with this little person that I'm bringing into the world as possible and stay. So, my health matters. I want this little person to be healthy. And it's really freaking hard to be happy when you don't have your health."

During the coronavirus pandemic, she's continued to search for non-toxic products to try to keep her kids out of harm's way. 

And after welcoming baby No. 3 in 2017, Alba gave insight into what a day at home has looked like while quarantining with her kids (Honor, now 12, Haven, 9, and Hayes, 3).

"It does get pretty Groundhog Day," she noted. "Once a week I try to take a bath. I'll put the baby—I still call him a baby—he has a little mini bathtub, and I'll put his [bath tub] next to mine because that kid loves to pee in the bath. Then he has his toys. I can be in my bath, and he's in his, and put my face mask on and just kind of sit there."

She added, "It doesn't feel heavy. It's just sort of organic time to hang."