Minka Kelly Talks About Being The Sexiest Woman Alive

'I've never done a sexy photo shoot before,' she tells Esquire.

Minka Kelly dates Derek Jeter and has steamed up the small screen on "Parenthood" and "Friday Night Lights." She's set to bring her good looks to the big screen as Leighton Meester's lookalike co-star in "The Roommate." So it's probably not much of a surprise that Esquire named her their Sexiest Woman Alive.

How does Kelly feel about all the attention? "I've never done a sexy photo shoot before," she

target="_blank">told the mag. "I've never really honestly tapped into that side. It was really liberating. It was exciting. I would look at the pictures, like, that's me?"

Kelly recently turned 30, which may be why she's more comfortable with flaunting her sexy side. "Done with the twenties. I'm confident — confident in my skin, and I'm cool with my flaws and all that stuff. It just feels nice to be at peace with yourself. I think my thirtieth birthday gave me permission to have all that," she said. "The twenties were a pain in the ass — figuring it all out. What am I doing? Where do I go?"

With her attractive looks come impeccable manners, a trait appreciated by her Yankee boy toy. "My boyfriend noticed that about me, too," she said. "He's the same way, and he said it was a good way to judge someone's character [is if they say 'thank you']. It's actually unfortunate, in a way, that you would notice that. It blows my mind that anyone could be unkind to anyone. The guy clearing our plates is a person. I don't care if you're sweeping the floor. I don't care if you're cleaning my toilet. Not that I have someone to clean my toilet — I clean my own toilet."

Perhaps Kelly is so grounded thanks to her roots; she watched her mom struggle to make ends meet. "She — for most of my life, she was a dancer. An exotic dancer. She was a stripper," Kelly confessed. "Um, so she would come home at like three, four o'clock in the morning, and sometimes she would have a really great night, and so she would wake me up in the middle of the night and we'd go to Ralphs and go grocery shopping. And that was so much fun. We'd have the whole grocery store to ourselves, and we would have a blast and buy a hundred dollars in groceries. And it was just the best day ever. The best day."