Alba Anything But Invisible

Earlier this year, Jessica Alba lassoed her way through the critically acclaimed film, "Sin City". Now in one of this summer's promised blockbusters, she takes on the role of Sue Storm in the film adaptation of Marvel Comics longest-running series, "Fantastic Four."

"I like how they use the powers and made them so human," Alba tells The Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith. "That's why I was attracted to this comic book because her abilities come from her emotions. It is not just, 'Oh, Yeah. She's a superhero and becomes invisible and does force fields.' When she's pushed up against the wall, she realizes she can do it by accident. It just feels more natural."

The four characters: The Human Torch (Chris Evans), The Thing (Michael Chiklis), The Invisible Girl (Jessica Alba), and Mr. Fantastic (Ioan Grufford) are sort of a dysfunctional superhero family.

"They look at their abilities as it's a defect, essentially," Alba explains. "They get hit with this cosmic storm. They were supposed to study the cosmic storm to cure diseases. It hit them and pulled apart their DNA and put them back together. They, all of a sudden, are superheroes. At first, she's like: 'I'm going invisible. What's this about?'"

But Alba is anything but invisible. Her photo has been on the cover of almost every magazine in America this year. Recalling her childhood, she says she has come a long way.

"I didn't fit in. I had no friends. I was a dork," she says. "My dad was, like, 'Do you remember those girls that left you outside the house? They were supposed to come and you were supposed to go trick-or-treating with them and they ditched you. You were waiting out there till like 2 in the morning.' I was waiting out on the lawn till 2 in the morning crying. That was my childhood."

Today, she says she has left all that behind and life is good. Being in the middle of the fish bowl means being employed, she says.

"It's nice," she explains. "I spent so many nights crying to my dad and we would go on these long walks. I would be like, 'Dad, I don't know if I can do this for a living. What if they don't like me? What if I suck?' And he's like, 'Don't worry; you stick in it; it will be OK. And you'll get jobs.' And so this is just real nice."

The hard work has paid off, she notes.

"Doing 'Dark Angel,' I worked so hard," she says. "I worked 90 hours a week. Didn't sleep very much. I was very dedicated - 10 and-a-half months a year. I had no family around me, no friends. I know what it is like to work really hard and just struggle through it and get your name out there.

"I love to do this. This is what I've always wanted to do for a living. So it's honestly just great, whether people embrace me, whether it's guys or girls. I like that I'm doing more like Self magazine and Marie-Claire. I wanted to reach out to women because I love strong women. I want to produce and enable women to direct and write and star in more movies. That's my goal later on. Right now it is just great to be working."

About Jessica Alba:

  • Born in Pomona, Calif., on April 28, 1981
  • Moved frequently in the first nine years of her life; lived in Biloxi, Miss., Southern California and Texas. In 1990, her family settled in Southern California.
  • In 1992, she started studying acting (date approximate). The following year, made her feature film debut "Camp Nowhere." Appeared in national advertising campaigns for Nintendo and J.C. Penney.
  • In 1994, she played recurring role on the Nickelodeon series, "The Secret World of Alex Mack."
  • From 1995-1996, had her TV series debut in regular role of Maya Graham on the syndicated revival of "Flipper."
  • In 1996, she starred opposite Freddie Prinze Jr. as his pregnant girlfriend in "Too Soon For Jeff," an "ABC Afterschool Special." She also had a small role in the direct-to-video release, "Venus Rising." Appeared twice (in different roles) on the CBS medical drama "Chicago Hope."
  • In 1998, starred in the children's comedy "P.U.N.K.S." Did guest spots on television including roles in "Love Boat: The Next Wave" (UPN), "Brooklyn South" (CBS) and "Beverly Hills, 90210" (Fox).
  • In 1999, she acted alongside Drew Barrymore in the comedy "Never Been Kissed." She also had a featured role in the horror thriller "Idle Hands."
  • From 2000-Present, she took the lead of "Dark Angel," a Fox fall drama series, executive produced and co-written by James Cameron.
  • In 2003, she starred as a hip-hop dancer in the feature "Honey."
  • In 2005, she was featured as Nancy, "the sweetheart of Sin City" opposite Bruce Willis and Mickey Rourke in Robert Rodriguez's "Sin City."

Awards: Received ALMA Award for Breakthrough Performer for "Dark Angel" (2001). Received Saturn Award for Best TV Actress for "Dark Angel" (2001).