Jessica storms back

Role with punch ... Jessica Alba likes playing an empowered woman in the film with (left) Chris Evans, Ioan Gruffudd and Michael Chiklis / The Daily Telegraph

Returning as the Invisible Woman, Alba reveals there's more to her than meets the eye.

Hollywood actress Jessica Alba has avoided the path of self-destruction that has been walked by fellow celebrities Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan. While some A-list stars are all consumed with hitting the party scene on the sunset strip, Alba says she'd rather ditch the red carpet for a relaxing night in.

However, the beautiful 26-year-old says she would never condemn her peers' actions because she believes their turbulent lifestyles are a way of experiencing life.

In Australia to promote her latest film project Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer, Alba says:

"I don't look at it as self-destructing. I have a moral zen attitude to it all. People go through things in life and normally it's not on a scale that is so visible, it's magnified because they are in the public eye."

Alba is gracious and thoughtful as she answers questions about her crime-fighting role as Sue Storm/ Invisible Woman in the second Fantastic Four instalment.

While she won't answer questions about her personal life "because I think that's what differentiates me from other actors", Alba does touch on an issue close to her heart - breast cancer. The illness haunts Alba's family and she hopes a deal she signed with make-up giant Revlon, which is reported to be worth $5 million, will help raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research.

"My mother, my grandmother, my great grandmother all had cancer and my little cousin has cancer at the moment," Alba says. "It's a horrible disease and I feel that it can be prevented, we just need more money to prevent it and Revlon is all about helping in that way."

In Fantastic Four: Rise Of The Silver Surfer, the foursome meet their greatest challenge yet as the enigmatic, intergalactic herald, the Silver Surfer, comes to Earth to prepare it for destruction. Alba says she has grown with her character through the two films.

"I love what a positive role model Sue is," she says. "It's nice to play a woman who is so empowered and she is not a villain, or nasty or sassy like the usual stereotype of a woman in this type of film. She is more like your mother or sister or best friend.

"She is very loving and kind and she kicks arse. It's rare to see that and I love it."

However Alba says she is vastly different to her alter-ego. "I can relate to her, like every character I play, but I am not like her," she admits. "I am a bit more of a free spirit. I am not regimented in my life. She is a scientist for a living and knows what's going on everyday and she has it planned out. I never know where I am going to be tomorrow."

Alba's rise to superstardom started at the age of 12, when she began studying with acting coaches in Los Angeles and shortly thereafter studied at the Atlantic Theatre Company. Her big break came starring in US television series Dark Angel in 2002 and since then Alba has had steady success in feature films including Never Been Kissed opposite Drew Barrymore, Idle Hands, Honey, Sin City and Into The Blue. Alba says she's beginning to feel the grip of the paparazzi's lens closing in on her personal life.

"I am definitely more visible now than I have ever been in my life and it is what it is and I really don't put that much into it," she says matter-of-factly.

"I work hard, I am a good person and I really love what I do for a living and I hope to do it for a long time. I am in it for a marathon, I am not in it for a short sprint and I think that mentality gives me a different perspective."

The Californian is now gearing up for her most challenging role yet. While Alba will be seen soon in Sin City 2 and romantic comedy Good Luck Chuck, it's her role as a blind violinist in thriller The Eye that's got her excited.

"It was really hard," Alba says of the part.

"I had gone from a romantic comedy with Good Luck Chuck and then went into this psychological thriller playing someone who is blind and has a cornea transplant, plus she is a classical violinist.

"It was the least glamorous movie I have done. I had bruises around my eyes and most of the movie they were bloodshot. It was very interesting.

"That's what I love about this industry, going from one great experience to the next."

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