Jessica Alba Opens Up About the Toxicity on ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’

There’s no denying that Hollywood stars can be quirky. Some of them have some pretty strange demands about what they’d like things to be like on set. Of course, there’s the rather innocuous — if odd — requests like Lady Gaga’s mannequin with pubic hair or Barbara Streisand’s rose petal-filled toilet.

On the other hand, some stars have earned a reputation of being so demanding about how others behave around them as to be downright cruel. By now, most people have heard about Charlie Sheen’s on-set tirades or Chevy Chase’s battles with co-stars, but sometimes the entire culture is filled with diva-like negativity. 

This is exactly what Jessica Alba found when she guest-starred on the 1990s hit show Beverly Hills, 90210

Jessica Alba rose to fame through action flicks

Jessica Alba attends a premiere during the Venice Film Festival in 2010.
Jessica Alba | Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

Alba got her start in the acting world in the mid-1990s when she was just a teen. Like many fledgling actors, she paid her dues with small guest parts on television shows. These parts included a brief arc on The Secret World of Alex Mack and Chicago Hope.

She eventually landed a recurring role in the 1995 version of Flipper. By the late 1990s, Alba had made the leap to films and had roles on Never Been Kissed and Idle Hands. After a stint on the TV series Dark Angel, Alba landed a starring role in the dance film Honey, which received a lukewarm reception. 

That’s around the time that Alba got her big break by getting cast in Sin City and then Fantastic Four in quick succession. Fantastic Four was not a great experience for Alba, but it helped focus Alba’s persona in action flicks, and from there she gained fame and a slew of back-to-back roles.

While not all of Alba’s films have been blockbusters, she’s maintained a steady career that traverses mysteries like Awake, comedies like The Love Guru, and romances like Some Kind of Beautiful

Jessica Alba had a small role on ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’

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Back in Alba’s early days, one of her small guest parts was on the very popular Beverly Hills, 90210.

Alba appeared in two episodes in 1998 in which she portrayed Leanne, a pregnant teenager who ended up in the clinic where character Kelly Taylor (played by Jennie Garth) worked. This was at the height of the series’ popularity in its 8th season.

The show originally followed the lives of a group of wealthy high school students in the Beverly Hills neighborhood, but by this point in the series the cast had matured, and viewers had followed them into their college years. 

The ‘Beverly Hills, 90210’ cast had a harsh on-set rule

Page Six reports on Alba’s recent confession while appearing on web series Hot Ones where she opened up that her experience on the set of Beverly Hills, 90210, and it wasn’t very welcoming. There was a “no eye contact” rule put into place, and Alba had to film scenes without looking at her co-stars.

“I couldn’t even make eye contact with any of the cast members, which was really strange when you’re like trying to do a scene with them,” Alba recounts. “It was like, ‘You’re not allowed to make eye contact with any one of the cast members or you’ll be thrown off the set.’”

This diva-like behavior seems bizarre and off-putting, but it isn’t the only such rule rumored in Hollywood circles. Since Alba’s video, former castmembers have spoken out.

“I had all the scenes with her. If anybody didn’t want to have their eyes looked into, it would’ve been me, but I don’t remember ‘cause I have the world’s worst memory,” said Jennie Garth in the “9021OMG” podcast.

“I never worked with Jessica. I never met her on set. I wasn’t there, but that’s — I don’t think she heard that from anyone reputable, like, that was really around us, because that wasn’t ever our policy on set,” said Brian Austin Green on SiriusXM’s The Jenny McCarthy Show. “The one thing that we really were good about on our set was making people feel welcome and feel like they were a part of the family and what we were doing, and they were a part of the team. So I can’t imagine that at all. And I can’t imagine that she heard that from somebody close enough to us that it was a direct reflection of any one of us.”

“‘Don’t look at the stars of the show’ was never an edict that came down on our show. I don’t know who told Jessica Alba not to look at us,” said Jason Priestley on KiSS 92.5’s The Roz & Mocha Show. “We never thought we were MC Hammer.”