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Alba decided at a young age that she wanted a life very different from her parents'.
"When I go to Mexico, I want to go to see the pyramids, to learn about the history," she says. "To her father's chagrin, Alba decided at 12 to be an actress, got an agent, and booked parts on a couple after-school specials and a guest spot on Chicago Hope (as a girl with—don't ask—gonorrhea of the throat).
"Jessica will have to do something like what Charlize Theron did with Monster in order to get people to pay attention to what a good actor she is," says Stockwell, who for Into the Blue shot Alba and costar Paul Walker in swimwear for three months.
"Executives at MGM could barely focus on what was happening on the screen because they were so distracted by how good she looked in a bikini.
Apart from the clicking, it's an oddly silent ritual on the otherwise deserted streets, with curious shopkeepers pressing their faces against windows as we pass, like bit players in a Western showdown scene."Beverly Hills is awesome," Alba snarls once she is safely inside the car. "It was all because I wouldn't take photos with him at a nightclub," she says. They spent the rest of the week in their Palm Springs house, and her grandfather, Joe, who had retired comfortably as a VP for a manufacturing company, also owned four other houses.
"It would probably be smart for me to hang out and kiss up to what's his name, Perez...." So, is she proud of her Latin roots? Alba's father, Mark, had grown up in an all-white suburb, in a house in which Spanish was not spoken because his parents wanted their five children to assimilate.
"I was so nauseous reading this while I was on the bike today," she says.
What emerges is Skinny Bitch, the pro-vegan diatribe masquerading as a chick-lit diet book that became an instant best-seller when Victoria Beckham was photographed carrying it.
We've just completed a private class in Mediterranean cooking, and those tender lamb kebabs dipped in pomegranate sauce sitting in our bellies are now conjuring visions of a woolly creature rolling around a pasture in a wheelchair.
"My parents want to go to Señor Frog's every day." (Apparently mother and daughter had a rare aesthetic meeting of the minds when Alba was 18 and they got matching ladybug tattoos on the backs of their necks.)As assimilated as Alba's upbringing was, she never felt there was a well-defined place for her in Hollywood. "Everyone wants to categorize you and pigeonhole you. "Lindsay Lohan, Kate Bosworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Biel, Rachel Mc Adams. In 1994, she got her first big break and packed off for Australia to costar in an updated Flipper, which, in a harbinger of roles to come, featured her in a bathing suit sharing scenes with actors paid only in fish.
I'm half Latin, but I grew up in the States, and I can't get roles playing a Latina because I don't speak Spanish. We have Jennifer Lopez, Halle Berry, me, and who else? That year, she was also born again and, following the tenets of the Calvary Chapel, swore off secular music and TV and logged many hours weeping for salvation with other teenagers.
I would literally get notes saying, 'Hey, why did you cut that one shot of Jessica swimming by? I'm the most boring chick ever." Though there's nothing boring about the illegal right turn she makes from the middle lane to the honking consternation of the Mercedes driver who nearly plows into her, she actually has a point.
'" Walker seems to have been similarly taken when he told a reporter in 2006 that "I couldn't take my eyes off that ass. She's beautiful" and went on to describe Alba not as the consummate actress, but rather as "the kind of girl you want to have angry sex with for the rest of your life." Nice. With some young actresses, you suspect that at the same time they complain about paparazzi, they're texting their whereabouts to a favored lensman.