2. Pomona Fair
3. In her first movie, Camp Nowhere, 14 years old
4. High School yearbook
5. With Flipper
6. Big break in Dark Angel
7. As Honey in Honey
8. Working with Rodriguez as Nancy Callahan in Sin City
9. In Fantastic Four
10. Promo picture for Into the Blue
11. With penguin friends in Good Luck Chuck
12. With Mike Myers in The Love Guru
13. With Aston Krutcher in Valentine’s Day
14. Pissed off in Machete
15. In Little Fockers
16. Jessica’s thumb
17. My thumb (simulated. Erin didn’t come to work Friday so I couldn’t get my own picture)
18. She also flies
19. Playboy cover... looks familiar
20. Out with family
21. Why is Jessica considered a sex symbol?
22. Her book
23. Ms Jessica Alba
It is my great pleasure and honor this morning to give a great big happy birthday shout out to one of my favorite actresses, and thumb sister, Ms Jessica Alba!
Jessica was born as a small female infant at 1:51 PM (PDT), at a very early age, in Pomona, California. Again, like our friend Ashley Judd, within walking distance of where I once lived in Nortrhridge... if one cared to walk 56.8 miles.
Pomona is named after the ancient Roman goddess of fruit, and is famous for being the city where Jessica Alba was born, and for being the site where Los Angeles has it’s annual County Fair, wherein urban Los Angelenos can come and look and touch pigs and cows, which is very exciting for us.
Jessicas’ mom’s name was Catherine Jensen before she got married to Mark Alba. Catherine is of Danish and French Canadian descent and Mark of Mexican ancestry. Jessica also has a younger brother, Joshua, who is also an actor. Imagine that.
She has described her family as being a "very conservative family – a traditional, Catholic, Latin American family," but herself as being very liberal, like me! Jessica says she had identified herself as a "feminist" by the time she was five.
When I was five I didn’t know my ass from a hole in the ground, which just goes to prove everyone was much more focused than I was at an early age.
Jessica would later say this about growing up and being typecast:
“My grandfather was the only Mexican at his college, the only Hispanic person at work and the only one at the all-white country club. He tried to forget his Mexican roots, because he never wanted his kids to be made to feel different in America. He and my grandmother didn't speak Spanish to their children. Now, as a third-generation American, I feel as if I have finally cut loose.”
“My whole life, when I was growing up, not one race has ever accepted me. So I never felt connected or attached to any race specifically. I did grow up in a Mexican-American culture, but my mom was there the whole time. I mean, I had a very American upbringing, I feel American, and I don't speak Spanish. So, to say that I'm a Latin actress, OK, but it's not fitting; it would be insincere. If you're going to look genetically, I'm actually less Latin than Cameron Diaz, whose father is from Cuba. But she's not getting called a Latin actress because she's got blond hair and blue eyes.”
Jessica’s dad was a pro-circuit tennis player before joining the Air Force, which took him and his family away from Pomona, to Biloxi, Mississippi, when she was still a baby. Biloxi is famous for it’s Air Force Base, and for almost getting destroyed by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Hopefully Ms Alba was no where around at that time.
“My first kiss was when I was 7, and it was scandalous because he was 10! I only did it so he would pick me on our neighborhood baseball team. And at the time, I thought it was great, but then it sucked because he didn't even pick me!”
Typical male SOB.
You move around a lot when in the military, and Mark soon brought his family back to California, then to Del Rio, Texas, then back to California, Claremont, to be exact ("The City of Trees and PhD's"). Jessica was nine by this time.
Despite of all this Jessica’s childhood was marked by great difficulties. She suffered from partially collapsed lungs twice, which is no joke, had pneumonia four to five times a year, which is even more serious, and a ruptured appendix and a tonsillar cyst. She’s had asthma practically all of her life. She has acknowledged that she had suffered from an obsessive–compulsive disorder as well.
She was pretty f__ked up, which sucks, especially for a little girl. I feel sorry for her considering the only major childhood illness I ever suffered from was a mean case of the Chickenpox, and a fake peptic ulcer I displayed to get out of going to school.
Being sick so much, and moving from place to place as she did, adversely affected her social life, providing a sense of isolation, that was actually quite real.
Still Jessica had dreams and ambition. Wanting to be an actress since she was five, a feminist actress, in 1992, the 11 year old persuaded her mom to take her to an acting competition in Beverly Hills, where the grand prize was free acting classes. Guess what? She won that grand prize and began taking her first acting lessons.
Nine months later one of those big time Hollywood agents signed her up as a client, and soon after that she got a small role in what would be her first movie, 1994‘s “Camp Nowhere,” starring our old friend, Christopher Lloyd. She was signed up for a two week job, but another actress suspiciously dropped out of the film, giving Jessica her part (because her hair matched that of the other actress... suspiciously), which lasted for two months.
Two national television commercials for Nintendo and J.C. Penney soon followed. That year she secured a recurring TV role in Nickelodeon's popular comedy series "The Secret World of Alex Mack,” playing Jessica, who spent the first season torturing Alex, played by Larisa Oleynik.
She only worked on the show that first season, but the role got her more experience and exposure, which opened the door for other television work on shows like “Chicago Hope,” “ABC Afterschool Specials,” and “Beverly Hills, 90210.”
In 1995, 14 year old Jessica won the role of Maya Graham in the revival of the 1964 show “Flipper,” which was famous for producing Mitt (Mitt) Romney’s presidential theme song for the 2012 election:
Jessica’s mom was a lifeguard who had taught her how to swim before she could walk, so the part was perfect for her. She was also a PADI ( Professional Association of Diving Instructors) - certified scuba diver, which allowed her to stay underwater in the ocean for long periods of time, a place I try to avoid for the simple reason there are things down there that want to eat you. However, these skills would come in handy later on as well.
The pilot and three episodes were filmed in Pigeon Key, Florida and at the Dolphin Research Center in Grassy Key, Florida. Samuel Goldwyn Television produced the show for first-run syndication. Jessica followed the production to the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, and worked on it for the first two seasons, until 1997.
Jessica said she was delighted to be doing a show that allowed her to play with dolphins. Later she’d get penguins.
Somewhere around this time she left the Catholic Church of which her family were devoted members. She said it was because she felt she was being judged for her appearance, explaining: "Older men would hit on me, and my youth pastor said it was because I was wearing provocative clothing, when I wasn't. It just made me feel like if I was in any way desirable to the opposite sex that it was my fault, and it made me ashamed of my body and being a woman."
These incidents are an example of what is now known as the “culture of rape” occurring within our country, wherein victims of rape are persecuted for supposedly causing the rape to occur (like by wearing provocative clothing, perpetrators claiming the victim was “asking for it,” allowing them to go ahead and give it to them. I was watching the Melissa Harris-Perry program yesterday, and one of the female guests, while discussing this subject, suggested that if men and boys had such low impulse control, then they should perhaps relinquish control of the country before they blow it up, or possibly create a major financial crisis (that would never happen). I mean really guys. What is this, the Middle East? Do we need our ladies to wear the chādor in order to keep it in our pants?) rather than the perpetrators, a phenomena I find personally perplexing, revolting, and extremely difficult to understand.
Perhaps I am nieve and this “culture” has always been in place and is only now being brought to light, but at least it is being brought to light, and perpetrators and enablers are being prosecuted, victims (some of which have committed suicide due to the bullying and humiliation they had received after their rapes) are being reinforced and protected, school administrations that allow this type of behavior to flourish are being sued and brought to justice (hopefully).
But I digress.
Jessica also had objections to the church's condemnations of premarital sex and homosexuality. When she was fifteen her friends at church reacted negatively to a role she had on “Chicago Hope,” in which her character had gonorrhea, making her lose faith in the church, although she says she still believes in God.
“I have my own spiritual thing, but am not part of an organized religion. I think religion is very special and individual to each person.”
Jessica is frightened of flying birds. Many are. They’re devious creatures, the last remnants of the dinosaurs, and need to be put down.
Anyway, when Jessica graduated from Claremont High School at sixteen, she studied acting with actors William H. Macy and his wife, Felicity Huffman, at the Atlantic Theater Company, in New York.
And she continued working. In 1999 she appeared with genuinely disturbed person and alien killer, Randy Quiad in “P.U.N.K.S.,” with our lovely friend Drew Barrymore in “Never Been Kissed,” with Seth Green in “Idel Hands,” and a starring role in 2000s “Paranoid,” a film I’m positive her Catholic friends wouldn’t approve of.
Jessica was working pretty regularly, the dream of most young actors and actresses, but in 2000 she got what is considered her biggest break yet. “Titanic” director James Cameron chose Jessica out of 1,200 candidates for the role of the genetically-engineered super-soldier, Max Guevara, on the Fox sci-fi television series “Dark Angel,” which Cameron co-created.
“It's probably the most influential thing that I've ever had. Thank god for “Dark Angel.” Getting a blessing by James Cameron to star in his first television show. Really the first thing he did after “Titanic” was hire me."
Here’s a tribute clip:
This is what Jessica had to say about men:
“Men are much bigger divas than women. When I used to do the action scenes in ‘Dark Angel’ I would have to play it rough. If you hit an actress accidentally, she would usually take it on the chin and say, "Don't do that again." But with the guys, they would put ice on it, take a 20-minute break and ask for X-rays. It was unbelievable. I would tell them, "Come on, man, get over it." That's actors for you.”
The show ran for two seasons until 2002, earning her critical acclaim as well as a Golden Globe nomination. She received the Teen Choice Award for Choice Actress and Saturn Award for Best Actress for her work on the show as well.
One of her co-stars on “Dark Angel,” was actor Michael Weatherly, who was also 12 years older than her. They had a relationship, getting engaged on her birthday in 2001. In August 2003, Jessica and Michael announced that they'd ended their relationship.
She said, "I have this thing for older men. They've been around and know so much," referencing Morgan Freeman, Sean Connery, Robert Redford, and Michael Caine.
Jessica turned her attention to her work, Harley Davidson motorcycles, golf, and tattoos (she has the Sankskrit word for "lotus" tattooed on the inside of her wrist, and a daisy with a ladybug on it on the back of her neck... as do I... amazing coincidence if you ask me).
She appeared as a dancer in her next two films, 2003‘s “Honey,” and 2005‘s “Sin City,” the first time she worked with director Robert Rodriguez.
Here’s a sample of her skills:
She likes older Bruce Willis in that one.
That year she also played a genuine superhero (not one of those fake ones), Susan Storm, in “Fantastic Four.”
While filming that movie she met a guy, Cash (his real name) Warren, a member of the production crew and future producer. They started dating.
Here she is talking about him and other things to Jay Leno, the nosey son of a bitch:
She and Cash got engaged in December of 2007, and married in a very private ceremony on May 19th, 2008. They have two children, Haven Garner Warren & Honor Marie Warren.
Jessica made a lot of movies in 2005, using all of that swimming experience in “Into the Blue.”
Here’s clip of her swimming around in a bikini:
Okay, I admit Jessica is very pretty... for a girl. But this is ridiculous: “In 2001, Alba was ranked No. 1 on Maxim magazine's Hot 100 list. She said that "I have to go to certain lengths to use sexuality to my advantage, while guiding people to thinking the way I want them to." In 2005, Alba was named one of People magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People, and also appeared in the magazine's 100 Most Beautiful list in 2007. In 2002, Alba was voted as the fifth Sexiest Female Star for 2002 in a Hollywood.com poll, No.4 in the Top 10 Sci-Fi Babes, No.6 in FHM's Sexiest Girls for their poll, and ranked at No.12 in Stuff magazine's "102 Sexiest Women in the World" 2002 edition. In 2005, Alba was ranked at No.5 on the Maxim magazine's Hot 100 list. In 2006, Alba ranked No.3 on E! Television's 101 Sexiest Celebrity Bodies. In 2006 readers of AskMen.com voted Alba No. 1 on 99 Most Desirable Women, while in 2007, Maxim Magazine placed Alba on the number 2 spot of their "Top 100" Both GQ and In Style had Alba on their June 2008 covers, and in May, after eight million votes, FHM (UK and USA editions) named Alba the winner as "2007's Sexiest Woman in the World". Alba has been regarded as one of the world's most attractive women, being named to Maxim's Hot 100 in 2008. In 2007, Alba was ranked in at No.1 in FHM's Sexiest Girls of 2007 poll, in the magazine's Latvian edition. Alba was ranked No.4 on Empire Magazine's 100 Sexiest Movie Stars in 2007. In 2006 and 2007, Alba was voted No.1 as the most sexy woman in the world by the Norwegian FHM. Alba appeared in the 2009 Campari calendar. Campari printed 9,999 copies of the calendar featuring photos of Alba posing sexually in swimsuits, and high heels. In 2008, Alba was ranked No.34 on Maxim magazine's Hot 100 list, was ranked No.2 on Wizard magazine's "Sexiest Women of TV" list, and was named in GQ Magazine one of the 25 Sexiest Women in film of all time. Alba is the only woman who has made the Maxim Magazine Hot 100 list in all the years it was published; from 2000 to 2012. She appeared on Maxim's 2011 Hot 100 list, finishing 21. She was named one of the "100 Hottest Women of All-Time" by Men's Health. People named her one of 2012 most Beautiful at Every Age.” -Wikipedia
This kind of thing could go to a girl’s head after a while.
And she doesn’t do nude, maintaining a strict no-nudity clause in her contracts. "I don't do nudity. I just don't. Maybe that makes me a bad actress. Maybe I won't get hired in some things. But I have too much anxiety." For the shower scene in “Machete,” she was wearing underwear, which was digitally removed afterwards.
In 2006 Jessica sued Playboy magazine for using her picture on it’s cover without her permission. She thought that people like me would think there were nude pictures of her inside and buy the magazine, thereby making a lot of money for Playboy at her expense. It took a personal apology from Playboy owner Hugh Hefner, and a couple of donations to charities that Jessica supported for her to drop the suit.
Work, work, work. Five films in 2007 including a Sue Storm reprisal “Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer,” “Meet Bill,” with Aaron Eckhart and Elizabeth Banks, “The Ten,” with Paul Rudd and Winona Ryder, “Awake,” with Hayden Christensen, and “Good Luck Chuck,” with Dane Cook, wherein Jessica gets to play with penguins.
In this film Jessica displayed her ability to bend her thumb backwards to a 90 degree angle, a talent that I have possessed all of my life. Up until I was watching this film on TV (again) a few days ago I had never seen anyone do this before, and it wasn’t a CGI trick. She could really do it (picture above).
Wikipedia tells us: “There is a variation in the angle between the first, second phalanges of the thumb of humans, varying between 0° and almost 90° when the thumb is extended in a "thumbs-up". It has been suggested that the variation is an autosomal recessive trait, called a "Hitchhiker's thumb", with homozygous carriers having an angle close to 90°. However this has been disputed, as the variation in thumb angle is continuous and shows little evidence of the bi-modality seen in recessive traits.
Well, that explains everything, now doesn’t it.
Here’s a clip from “Good Luck Chuck,” in which Jessica displays her ability to do physical comedy:
“I chipped my front tooth doing a kiss with Dane [Cook] and he chipped his bottom tooth. We were doing this comedic 'Mr and Mrs Smith' love scene, and we were slamming into walls and breaking things and tumbling over couches and stuff. At one point, he slammed my head into a picture frame and, while my head was smacking into the wall and breaking the picture, his teeth slammed into my teeth. Now I have a bond on my tooth and when I take it off I look like Jim Carrey in “Dumb and Dumber.” I look really silly. I guess I'd be perfect for a sequel. I can definitely take the bond off of my tooth and throw people off a bit. I get to take this thing off and be somebody else for a little while. It's like a disguise.”
In 2008 she took a break and made only two movies, learning how to play the violin for the horror flick, “The Eye,” and “The Love Guru,” with Michael Myers (taking a break from the “Halloween,” franchise).
Jessica has also appeared in “Valentine’s Day,” with like everybody else, “Machete,” another Robert Rodriguez vehicle starring his long time buddy, character actor Danny Trejo (I happen to know his sister), and 2010s “Little Fockers,” which reunited her with “Machete” co-star Robert De Niro. Here’s a clip:
Upcoming this year are the Rodriguez sequels “Machete Kills,” and “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For.”
She’s done a whole bunch of other stuff as well, like annoy people in Oklahoma City with shark posters (they have a big shark problem in Oklahoma City), being an ambassador for the 1Goal movement to provide education to children in Africa, and founding "The Honest Company," which makes chemical-free products, like diapers.
So she certainly knows how to use her time wisely (she makes me tired by just writing about her).
And all of us here at Joyce’s Take wish Jessica and her family continued good health and fortune, and a very happy birthday!
Happy Birthday Jessica!