Stopping by "The View" on Wednesday, the Brazilian model revealed that when she arrived in America at age 19, she couldn't speak much English and worked as a maid.
"I come from a simple background, so I couldn’t call my father and say, 'Come pay my bills,'" the 31-year-old said, "so I had to get out there and work."
The mother of three -- Levi, 4, Vida, 3, and infant Livingston -- credits her father for her work ethic.
"My father always told me, 'Before you become a queen you have to learn how to take care of your own things.’ So I knew how to do all of it, but I had never really done it on a daily basis. So I was cleaning houses and I started working restaurants," she said.
Her life cleaning homes didn’t last long – she became romantically involved with McConaughey in 2007 after meeting him at Hollywood club Hyde.
"We met at a bar, at Hyde of all places," she told Access Hollywood last summer of the former celeb haunt.
"We had two interactions at the bar, and I had no idea who he was! At the time he had a [beard] and was covered up in a big rasta hat," she said, noting her man was with cyclist Lance Armstrong.
"It was a time when he was always with Lance, you knew they were always together so then [I knew]," said Alves of the then-inseparable pair.
Alves is currently the face of Macy's in-house brand I.N.C. International Concepts and served as host for 2010's third season of the Bravo series "Shear Genius."
More recently, she's one-half of Hollywood's hottest couples and apparently a miracle worker in the gym. Alves has garnered much praise for getting back into model shape after having delivered on Dec. 28.
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