Today, Jessica Alba is probably best known as the wildly successful founder of The Honest Company, an eco-minded consumer goods company that she founded in 2011 and took public in 2021 with a $1.4 billion valuation. But back in the early aughts she was better known as the breakout star of Dark Angel, a post-apocalyptic TV series co-created by James Cameron. While the series was short-lived, lasting just two seasons, it was enough exposure to help Alba’s acting career skyrocket. But behind the scenes, says her Dark Angel co-star Jensen Ackles, Alba was “horrible.”
Ackles—who has gone on to have a major small-screen career with meaty roles in Dawson’s Creek, Smallville, Supernatural, and The Boys—recently shared all the gory details of the challenges he and Alba faced back in the day while chatting with Michael Rosenbaum for “Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum.” As Page Six reports, Ackles and Alba didn’t always have the best working relationship.
“I was the new kid on the block, and I was picked on by the lead,” Ackles said of his experience working on the series. Describing their tension as the kind of “bickering” that often happens between siblings, Ackles seems to have adopted a whole new perspective on the situation with time. “It wasn’t that she didn’t like me,” he said. “She just was like, ‘Oh, here’s the pretty boy that network brought in for some more window dressing because that’s what we all need.’”
It wasn’t until Ackles decided to “fight fire with fire” that the two eventually developed what the actor described as a “mutual respect” for each other. “But we bickered,” Ackles reconfirmed. “We bickered like brother and sister.”
Now, 20 years after the fact, it seems as if Ackles has realized that life for Alba, who was being plastered across every lad mag known to man—including an unauthorized Playboy cover (an with the image taken from a movie still)—probably wasn’t all billion-dollar IPOs and biodegradable baby wipes at the time.
“I love Jess, which I know kind of contradicts what I just said,” Ackles said. “She was under an immense amount of pressure on that show. She was young, she was in a relationship and that was… causing some undue stress, I believe.” (That relationship would be with one Michael Weatherly, a noted sexual harasser and Alba’s Dark Angel co-star/one-time fiancé, who was a dozen years older than her.)
But for all the strife he claims they had, Ackles also remembers Alba as a real comfort in times of need. “My grandfather died while I was shooting it and she literally just walked into my trailer and held me for a half an hour,” he said. “So it was that kind of a relationship. If she walked in, we’d be all hugs, but she didn’t make it easy on me.”
(Via Page Six)