Credit: Elle

Jessica Alba has checked her ego at the door.

In the December issue of Elle magazine (on stands Nov. 17), the 29-year-old actress reveals she's perfectly content to fade into the background on film.

"I'm shy. I don't like being the center of attention," Alba, who next stars in Little Fockers (in theaters Dec. 22), says. "But when I do comedy, I lose all inhibition and introspection. I no longer care."

The actress -- who welcomed daughter Honor with husband Cash Warren in 2008 -- cites motherhood as the main reason for wanting to shift the focus away from herself onscreen.

"The time I'm not spending with my kid has to be worth it, so when I sat down with my agents after I was ready to go back to work, I told them: It's all about the directors," she tells Elle. "Now I prefer I'm not the lead. it's a totally different approach -- way better."

Perhaps Honor isn't the only reason she's gunning for less screen time; Alba admits she struggled with criticism she received early on in her career.

"I know I haven't been swimming in the deep end with some of the movies I've done. I wasn't trying to. I knew what they were," she acknowledges. "I'd been so afraid of criticism ever since I was young. Every time I'd get a critique or some redirection, I'd always just take it very personally, but now I have no problem with it. It's just a chance to try things a different way."