This is an extract from our cover story with Jessica Alba. For more stories like this, pick up the August issue of InStyle Australia, available now.
Jessica Alba has been sitting in a booth at the Beverly Hills Hotel for about five seconds—barely enough time to put down her personalized red quilted-leather Valentino handbag—when she is approached by two breathless tweens. “Can we, can we, gurgle … blah … eek,” they say while Alba poses gamely for pictures. They let out a squeak and flee.
You see, Jessica Alba is really popular. And she knows it. But her capitalizing on her popularity, stemming from an acting career that started in her teens, is not like something out of a sorority—it’s much more conscientious, more type A, than that. While Alba, 37, knew a while ago that she was big-screen beautiful and charismatic (and looked damn fine in a bathing suit), she was already diligently calibrating a more global and lasting success.
So here she is, married 10 years to longtime love Cash Warren, a mother of three (Honor, 10, Haven, 6, and the brand-new Hayes, 7 months), and the founder and face of one of the most colossal born-from-celebrity-mamahood business successes, The Honest Company. Alba may go back to TV too, having recently filmed the pilot for L.A.’s Finest, a Bad Boys spin-off, with Gabrielle Union. But right now she’ll just have a vodka soda and some self-analysis, please.
LB: You’ve gone back to television after a 10-year hiatus with the L.A.’s Finest pilot. How was it?
JA: It was awesome. I missed it. I feel like my purpose in life was to create Honest, and everything led me to that. But my heart is with entertainment, acting, performing, and that world. I knew it was a matter of time. I just didn’t know it was going to be two months after having a baby.
LB: You had to run off in between scenes and pump?
JA: Yeah [laughs]. So that wasn’t that fun, but I’d bring Hayes to the set, and he’d be with me in the trailer. He’s so sweet.
LB: You represent Honest on social media so well. How much do you feel you have to do that?
JA: It’s my baby! I’m so proud of it, and I want it to be successful. I believe we’re changing the conversation. You never really heard about toxic chemicals in products before. It wasn’t that commercial when we launched six years ago. People weren’t questioning ingredients or whether there was a safe alternative. Some people were, but they were sort of looked at as like, “Oh, you’re a hippie.” But now it’s mainstream, and that’s cool. So we were pioneers. Hopefully, it will allow people to live better and healthier lives because they’ll at least know what to avoid.
LB: Speaking of healthy, after Hayes, you’ve been very frank on social media about getting back into shape.
JA: [Laughs] That shit is hard. For me, it’s more about posting what I’m really going through. Working out is not easy, but I’m doing it. I’m dropping a name here, but I was with Kate Hudson, and she’s so fit! And I was like, “You work out every day?” And she said, “Of course I do.” I was just like, “Fuck, man, she doesn’t even question it, so I shouldn’t question it either.”