Jessica Alba's kids only recently found out she is an actress.

The 38-year-old star took a step back from acting in 2012 when she launched US consumer goods organisation The Honest Company following a glittering Hollywood career, but she recently told her children - daughters Honor, 11, Haven, seven, and 19-month-old son Hayes, who she shares with her film producer husband Cash Warren - about her movies when they saw her on a magazine cover.

She said: ''I've actually met a surprising number of people over the years who know me only from Honest.

''Even my kids didn't know I was in the entertainment industry because I took a step back from it once they could walk, talk, and be in the world.

''It wasn't until recently that they were like, 'Wait, why are you on a magazine cover? That's awkward, Mom.' And I'm like, 'Oh, yeah, I do this other thing sometimes.' ''

Jessica, who has since returned to acting in police procedural TV series 'L.A.'s Finest' alongside Gabrielle Union, admits her kids have ''exploded [her] body'' but she has accepted it and now gives ''zero f**ks'' about what people think of her.

She said: ''Looking back, when I shot my first InStyle cover [in June 2007], I was insecure. I felt like I needed to be someone I wasn't in order to be accepted. I allowed other people's ideas of who they thought I should be to define me.

''Who am I now? I give zero f**ks. I have three children. They've exploded my body, and I'm cool with it. And I know I'm smart.

''I don't care what everybody else thinks. I'm good, girl. I'm good.''

Jessica admits having kids inspired her to launch her company, which was an ''ambitious'' move seeing as she didn't go to college, but she was determined to succeed.

Speaking to InStyle magazine, she added: ''Having kids also propelled me to start my business, The Honest Company, in 2012.

''It was very ambitious for an actress who didn't go to college, but I knew I was good at collaborating, brainstorming, and problem-solving.''

And the star - who has appeared in movies such as 'Fantastic Four' and 'Sin City' - hasn't stopped adding to her skills, because she now wants to learn Spanish.

When recently asked what she wants to know before she dies, she said: ''How to speak another language. Even if it's terribly.

''Preferably Spanish, but I'll take anything.''