Jessica Alba Says Acting Wasn't 'Fun' for Her When She Was Younger: 'I Was My Worst Critic'

"[I was] so wildly insecure about my abilities as an actress," said the Honest Company founder in an interview on Friday

jessica alba
Photo: jordan strauss/ /Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Acting wasn't always an enjoyable experience for a young Jessica Alba.

In an interview on last Friday's episode of iHeartRadio's Let's Be Real with Sammy Jaye podcast, the 40-year-old said she was "insecure" early in her career.

"[I was] so wildly insecure about my abilities as an actress. I felt so judged," Alba told host Sammy Jaye, adding "I was my worst critic. I think I didn't feel worthy."

As a result of being "paralyzed with fear," the Honest Company founder said she "never had a real liberating, fun experience" while shooting some of her earlier films.

"I just admired people who just were swaggy on set," she said to Jaye, 17. "It felt like they were just in the zone and you could tell when someone is in the zone and when they just feel good."

At one point, Alba stepped away from acting. And she's happy she did.

"I think taking a break for so long from it and literally having no consequence to whether it works or not, it allows me to have the freedom as a storyteller to just be completely present and try things and I really love it. And it's brought me real joy," said the L.A.'s Finest star.

Earlier in the interview, Alba shared that it wasn't until she was 30 years old that she was able to focus more on the journey and less on the outcome in life.

Actress Jessica Alba attends the "Machete" premiere during the 67th Venice Film Festival at the Sala Grande Palazzo Del Cinema on September 1, 2010 in Venice, Italy.
Gareth Cattermole/Getty

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"I just think all of the outcomes were so disappointing, in Hollywood especially," Alba said in the interview. "I was like, 'This is so out of my control! Why?' You would have a big weather issue and if 80% of the country is frozen, guess who's not going to the movie theater that opening weekend? But you're slotted for that certain opening weekend. … 10 years, someone had spent on this project. You've spent at least two years of your life and you think it's going to turn out some way, and then the country's frozen over and no one can leave their house."

She continued: "Does that mean it's a failure? No. Does that mean, can they take away from your experience creating it and wanting it to be good? No. But I always looked at that final sort of outcome as what it should have been."

Retraining her brain to look at the situation from a more positive perspective is "a hard lesson."

"But in a way, it sort of releases you from what is out of your control and allows you to be present in the moment and make the most with what you've got," Alba explained.

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