Dark Angel’s Sexuality Made Jessica Alba Uncomfortable

By Brent McKnight | Updated

Sure the James Cameron-produced television series Dark Angel served as a launching pad for what has been a damn successful Hollywood career, but that doesn’t mean Jessica Alba doesn’t have regrets. Though only a slight 19-years-old, the sexual way her character Max Guevera (subtle, huh?) was presented made the actress uncomfortable, objectifying her and treating her character as little more than eye candy.

The 31-year-old Alba told Marie Claire:

I had a show that premiered when I was 19. And right away, everyone formed a strong opinion about me because of the way I was marketed. … I was supposed to be sexy, this tough action girl. … I felt like I was being objectified, and it made me uncomfortable. I wanted to be chic and elegant!

Granted, Alba didn’t start out with the greatest acting chops, but her character does spend most of her time kicking the crap out of people. I recently rewatched the first season of the short-lived series—which ran on Fox from 2000-2002—and the Dark Angel does not hold up well. Dated is a word that frequently springs to mind, and there are some painful moments.

Still, Alba has a point. No matter what the situation, there’s always a bare patch of skin between where her top ends and her pants begin. The show takes every opportunity to thoroughly douse her with water. Even in moments where she’s supposed to be “chic and elegant” the emphasis is definitely more on her curves rather than style. And then there’s the time where Max pretends to be a prostitute and falls in a swimming pool.

For those of you who don’t remember Dark Angel, let’s refresh your memory. After terrorists set off a massive electro magnetic pulse (remember the late 1990s/early 2000s when EMPs were all the rage?) Seattle becomes a pseudo-post-apocalyptic police state. Max is a genetically enhanced super soldier, born and raised for combat (she has cat DNA spliced into her genetic code, which makes for some truly magical moments in the show), but she escaped and lives as a bike messenger in the Emerald City. Not only does she have to deal with the usual drama that surrounds young people living in the city, and the oppressive political regime, but she also has to occasionally fight off highly trained military forces.