For more than a decade Jessica Alba has sat at the top of the world's sexiest lists, but now she's known for something else.
An unlikely mogul and entrepreneur, she runs a US$1.7 billion (NZ$2.3 billion) dollar business, The Honest Company, and relishes the way she's now perceived.
"People think of me differently. It's a very different level of respect I feel these days, certainly from the entertainment business. When you're on the cover of Forbes magazine, a legitimate publication that people respect, I am offered a different seat at the table," she tells news.com.au.
The Honest Company sells toxin-free personal care products, household goods and nappies. Like many business tycoons, Alba, 35, who has a reported net worth of US$340 million (NZ$475 million), comes from humble beginnings.
It taught her the value of money and motivated her towards a different lifestyle than the one her parents struggled to provide.
"I grew up where both of my parents had usually three jobs each. And we lived with my grandparents as well for a large chunk of my life and so as a kid, I just really wanted to not struggle when I grew up. I wanted to be financially secure. It was really important to me earlier in my life and I didn't want to have to live pay cheque to pay cheque.
"I didn't want to be in a relationship where I was arguing or stressing about money; it's not fun to grow up in that type of environment and so it was important to me to make enough money to be comfortable. I truly appreciate the circumstances that I'm in."
Alba formed The Honest Company because of the many childhood illnesses she suffered which included asthma, a partially collapsed lung, and regular bouts with pneumonia.
But Honest has its detractors. Six months ago the company was accused of using a chemical, Sodium Coco Sulphate (SCS) in their laundry detergents. As a movie star, she is no stranger to controversy.
"There can be a smidgen of truth in there or no truth at all and it really is about a sensational headline. And I think if you just understand that, at the end of the day you can kind of separate yourself from it and not always feel like you're on that roller coaster, for me at least."
My day-to-day job is building my company. Weirdly, my escape is going and doing an acting job. It doesn't feel like work. It feels more like fun and I've been acting since I was 12. It's part of who I am. It always will be.
In contrast to most celebrities who merely lend their name to the products they endorse, Alba says, "I work in an office every day. I have R & D teams, chemists and a lab in my office. I have a sales team, a marketing team, it literally couldn't be more different to the entertainment business. My life now is as though I'm in business school every day. I enjoy it; I'm learning as I go."
In her personal life she has been married to agent Cash Warren, since 2008, with whom she is raising their daughters, Honor, 8, and Haven, 5.
"I can't imagine not being a mum now, which is crazy. And now looking back, I realise I was tough on my parents. And I had no idea what they were talking about until I had kids and learned just how hard it is, and how much at the end of they day they sacrificed. They were just trying to do the best they could and they wanted the best for me.
"I have cried on my mom's shoulder especially right after I had the babies and just told her I was sorry for being such a brat. I didn't understand before."
No doubt, her maternal instincts helped her in her role as boss of approximately 500 employees.
I'm collaborative. I like to understand why people are making certain choices. I like to come up with solutions and help figure out how to tackle the challenges, so I'm very hands on as a boss.
"What type of boss am I?" she considers. "I'm collaborative. I like to understand why people are making certain choices. I like to come up with solutions and help figure out how to tackle the challenges, so I'm very hands on as a boss."
Evidently, this lifestyle suits Alba. "When you're on movie or TV sets, you get incredibly close and intimate with people for a very short period of time and then you usually never see them again. It's inconsistent. At the office I see the same people every day, I'm invested in their lives and I care about them deeply. I'm in a position where I can help them reach their goals and their dreams and have them fully realise their career path. So it's really neat to be able to be in that position. It's super cool."
But there are obvious downsides to this much responsibility. "Luckily haven't had to fire anybody. It would be horrible to, not a fun situation for anyone. So I'm glad that is not what I do at the company," she says.
Keeping one foot in Hollywood, she recently starred in the action movie opposite Jason Statham in Mechanic: Resurrection.
"My day-to-day job is building my company. Weirdly, my escape is going and doing an acting job. It doesn't feel like work. It feels more like fun and I've been acting since I was 12. It's part of who I am. It always will be."