Jessica Alba Elle Magazine Dec. 2010: “I Considered Quitting Acting”

Sex symbol, wife and mom, and now nude sex snap star, Jessica Alba is one of the hardest-working bombshells in Hollywood. She’s up for a bevy of roles in the coming year — including a spot in Ben Stiller’s Little Fockers and the reboot of the Spy Kids series.

So you may be surprised to learn that at one time Jessica considered giving up acting.

“I remember when I was dying in ‘Silver Surfer,’” Jessica recalls to Elle Magazine’s Dec. 2010. “The director was like, ‘It looks too real. It looks too painful. Can you be prettier when you cry?… Don’t do that thing with your face. Just make it flat. We can CGI the tears in.’”

Jessica said being directed to just look pretty made her question her talent.

“It all got me thinking Am I not good enough?” she continued. “Are my instincts and my emotions not good enough? Do people hate them so much that they don’t want me to be a real person?… And so I just said, ‘F*** it. I don’t’ care about this business anymore.’”

The actress formerly known as “Dark Angel” also owns up to some of the less than desirable roles she’s accepted.

“I know I haven’t been swimming in the deep end with some of the movies I’ve done. I wasn’t trying to. I knew what they were,” she says. “The time I’m not spending with my kid has to be worth it, 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.”

On Her Personality: “I’m shy. I don’t like being the center of attention. But when I do comedy, I lose all inhibition and introspection. I no longer care.”

On Gaining Confidence: “I’d been so afraid of criticism ever since I was young. Every time I’d get a critique or some redirection, I’d always just take it very personally, but now I have no problem with it. It’s just a chance to try things a different way. To play more with a character. It also gives me a chance to have some input, to use my voice.”

On Acting: “Good actors, never use the script unless it’s amazing writing. All the good actors I’ve worked with, they all say whatever they want to say.”

On Being a Leading Lady: “Now I prefer I’m not the lead. It’s a totally different approach—way better.”

On Her Early Comedic Inspiration: “When I was a kid, I watched Lucille Ball every day. I watched Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, and Peter Sellers.”