Jessica Alba thinks being a mother was "helpful" to 'Spy Kids 4'.

The actress - who has daughters Honor, three, and Haven, one week, with husband Cash Warren - plays a retired secret agent who is married to a spy-hunting reporter and is raising three children in the movie sequel and thinks her own experiences gave her a good insight into the role.

She said: "I think it was helpful. I don't know if I would have even done this movie if I wasn't a parent, so I actually brought my real life experience to work. It was more natural and I've been in a lot of those circumstances for sure."

Jessica also praised the fact that the movie shows her character struggling to juggle all her different priorities in an honest way.

She said: "It was nice to see someone in the movie who struggles with it, and who isn't perfect at doing it all, and is also torn between working or staying home.

"Those are all things that moms can, or parents really, can relate to. It's tough to go back to work and it's tough to spend so much time away from your kid, but then you have to make a living. It's also important to hang on to your own identity and be a good Example. There's all these things that you struggle with as a parent and I thought it would be nice to have that in the movie."