Creative Family Series | Jessica Alba

by , posted on February 6th, 2013 in creative family series




jessica-alba-creative-family-interview

©brooke dennis

I don’t think today’s interview needs much of an introduction. All I have to do is say her name and you’ll know her instantly: Jessica Alba!

I know, right?! She’s here. Today. On Classic Play! Ahh!

The actor, founder of The Honest Company, wife and mother of two was named Fast Company Magazine’s 100 most creative people in business. So yeah, she’s got the creative thing down solid.

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to sit down with Jessica and ask her a few questions about creativity and parenting. People, I’m just going to come out and say it: she is as charming and genuine as she appears.

Did you grow up in a creative household? If so, what were some of the ways your parents nurtured that?

I did. Everyone in my family that I grew up with, weirdly not my parents, were creative. I lived with my grandparents off and on growing up and was also surrounded by my extended family who were all artists—everything from musicians to sculptors and painters. My grandmother can sketch anything and it’s amazing. Everyone sings and everyone can pick up an instrument and play it. And they all did theater—that’s how my grandparents met actually.

Your grandparents met doing theater?!

Yeah, when they were like children—they were 13 and 16. My grandfather was playing guitar and singing and my grandmother was dancing and singing.

That’s really sweet.

Yeah, we’ve always had very creative family. It’s weird that I chose to be an actor on film. I think it’s because I never felt like I had a voice in the family. Everyone’s so over the top and so creative they all wanted to be heard. I think I became an actor on television because it was the opposite of what everyone else did. I had to find my own voice.

jessica alba

I guess they were always encouraging, a “You can do what you want to do!” kind of thing?

Yes, they never really put any boundaries or limitations on what was possible. Although, my father and his family is more traditional. They’re really into sports. I think my dad always wanted a boy so I played sports. But I always played with the boys, so I was always pushing those gender boundaries and challenging them.

I think it was difficult for my family to adjust to my mentality because I believed women could do anything men can do, if not better. I think it was hard for them dealing with it when I was younger, but now they appreciate that.

How do you nurture creativity in your home?

Everything from how I put together my house to day-to-day stuff with my daughter. I pick up a recipe book and say, “pick out something you’d want to make with Mom.” She’s four and a half. She makes a mess. There’s definitely egg shells in the eggs. She always wants to make a recipe with eggs, of course.

Really?

She’s super into eggs because she wants to crack them! We’ll do things like that and put our own twist on the recipe. I’ll turn her art work into another piece of art that we can hang in her room. We make a lot of things—we make jewelry, we pick up shells and feathers. She loves leaves. And then we take the things we find and make things out of them. So she’ll hand me thirty leaves and I say, “Okay, let’s do something with this!” (laughs)

We have a wall in her playroom where we stick her things up. We have another one in the kitchen. I’ve actually got this clothesline and I clip up her artwork.

What do you do to nurture your own creativity as a woman? I mean you’re an actor, a business woman, you have a lot on your plate.

Acting is the thing that fosters my creativity. I think playing characters that are so different than me is the most fun. And really going for it completely. What music does that person listen to? Who were her best friends? How did she grow up? It helps me approach it from a different perspective, otherwise I’d just play it as a mom and that’s never going to work. Right now I’m playing a dancer who’s sad, alcoholic, depressed, a bit of drug addict and here I’m responsible mom of two. I can’t approach it from my life, so I just try to have no judgments and approach it with openness.

****

Okay, so there’s a few things I want to say about this interview. First, how cool is Jessica Alba? Second, how cute do her grandparents sound?

I love that Jessica has created a home celebrating her children’s art and interests. Home is where our children should always feel safe to be who they are.

And finally, I’m struck by the tremendous amount of empathy she has and that she turned that empathy into The Honest Company—a company dedicating itself to helping all of us the next generation in a non-toxic environment. It’s especially great for families like mine where there’s asthma and allergies. You can check out their entire line here.


StumbleUponFacebookTwitterShare it!

Comments

12 Responses to “Creative Family Series | Jessica Alba”

  1. wendy Says:

    February 6th, 2013 at 2:05 pm

    sounds like she grew up in a great family. i love when the grandparents have such a great influence on their grandchildren. way to go jen!

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    I know, right? I love the image of her grandparents singing and dancing together. Too cute!

    I grew up seeing my grandparents once a year (maybe twice). Dave grew up seeing his grandparents ALL THE TIME. In fact, they all lived in the same neighborhood. My kids see their grandparents all the time. It’s been incredible.

    [Reply]

  2. Carla Says:

    February 6th, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Holy wow! How cool! She does seem so genuine and sweet. I love that she cooks with her little one and does something with all those leaves :).

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    The fact that she sat down with all us bloggers after doing a day of promotion at Sundance? Well I’m a lifetime super fan!

    And I thought it was incredibly charming that she does all that with her daughter too. She’s the real deal.

    [Reply]

  3. Deborah Says:

    February 6th, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    LOVE this! Such a pro interviewer Jen! I love that she hangs up her kids’ artwork and they display them in the kitchen too.

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    Yeah, Barbara Walters better watch out. ha!

    I know, I thought that was super sweet too. I thought of you!

    [Reply]

  4. Andrea :: Crafting Connections Says:

    February 8th, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    What a warm woman – and I’m pretty sure my own personal coolness factor just went up since I too hang my children’s artwork on a clothesline :) What a lovely interview – I think she has some really great insight into why she chose the path she did and its effects on her family. Great job Jen!!

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    Thanks Andrea! And aww yeah, you’re totally cool for the clothesline thing. Heck, maybe she got that from you! ;)

    I, too, was struck by her personal awareness. That’s a gift really—understanding yourself like that. I found her candor so refreshing and lovely. Inspirational too.

    [Reply]

  5. Tanya Says:

    February 9th, 2013 at 3:10 pm

    Great interview Jennifer, you asked great questions and love the “honesty” and “openness” of a celebrity sharing those tidbits about her family and her creative process at home and for self.

    [Reply]

    Jennifer Cooper Reply:

    Thanks Tanya! I have always been fascinated by people’s back-stories, especially creative people. I’m incredibly grateful she was, as you said, open and honest. I love people who are willing to share their stories. They’re very brave.

    [Reply]

  6. stacy Says:

    February 18th, 2013 at 1:32 am

    Jenn,

    You straight up rocked this interview and I love the angle you took with this, I knew absolutely none of these things about her before. Well done!

    [Reply]

  7. Happy Friday! Says:

    December 21st, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    [...] of the year is right around the corner? What an incredible year it has been. I met and interviewed Jessica Alba (she really is that cool), I got a job with Disney, and developed a series for PBS Parents. If [...]

Leave a Reply









« previous  |  next »