Photo Credit: ELLE Magazine
Jessica Alba is well aware that most of her movies haven't exactly been Oscar material -- or in her own words, "I haven't been swimming in the deep end." The 29-year-old actress, appearing this Christmas in Little Fockers, is trying to make a new start for herself. She wants to earn respect as an actress -- which is something that she hasn't always gotten in the past. In fact, an experience with the director of Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer almost made her quit acting altogether.
"I wanted to stop acting. I hated it. I really hated it," Alba confesses in the December issue of Elle.
"I remember when I was dying in Silver Surfer," she continues. "The director was like, 'It looks too real. It looks too painful. Can you be prettier when you cry? Cry pretty, Jessica.' He was like, 'Don't do that thing with your face. Just make it flat. We can CGI the tears in.'"
That criticism sent Alba into a full-blown crisis about the acting profession. "It all got me thinking: Am I not good enough? Are my instincts and my emotions not good enough? Do people hate them so much that they don't want me to be a person? Am I not allowed to be a person in my work? And so I just said, 'F**k it. I don't care about this business anymore.'"
Alba had a change of heart after daughter Honor Marie Warren was born in 2008. She decided that a lot of the blame for her critically-panned films could be placed on "first-time directors" -- so she set out to avoid that trap by taking smaller roles in better movies.
"The time I'm spending with my kid has to be worth it," Alba explains, "so when I sat down with my agents after I was ready to go back to work, I told them: It's all about the directors. Now I prefer I'm not the lead. It's a totally different approach."
We have to admire Alba's decision to take quality roles over giant paychecks. But she should probably be a little more careful in interviews; advance quotes from the Elle piece already got her in trouble with screenwriters, and now she's managed to bash multiple directors with three little words. Honesty is one thing, but criticizing the filmmakers who employ you is a dangerous game, and the backlash can be brutal -- just ask Katherine Heigl!
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