EXCLUSIVE: Jessica Biel Dishes on Husband Justin Timberlake's Reaction to Her Dark Role in 'The Sinner'
By Zach Seemayer
In Jessica Biel's new psychological thriller series, The Sinner, the actress goes to a dark place for her role as an emotionally disturbed young mother who commits a violent murder in front of dozens of witnesses, and has no idea why she did it.
"I don't think he was scared [of me], because he's been along with me this whole journey. I, of course, told him what the book was, what it was about, what happens, so he has been in the know for a long time," Biel shared.
"But I think it was definitely weird for him to see me like that," she added. "I hope that means that we're doing a good job and we're making it look really realistic."
The Sinner -- which sees Biel's character, Cora Tannetti, stab a man to death on the beach in front of her family and a slew of on-lookers in the premiere episode's opening minutes -- was rife with emotionally challenging scenes that Biel said she had no choice but to put behind her when she went home for the day.
"You don't have a choice. It's called get in the car, open the front door and you better be Mom, because nobody cares what you did all day. My work, I leave it at work," Biel said. "I don't bring it home."
"I mean, yes, I'm exhausted and sometimes I need like, a glass of wine and to just hang out. But you got to let it go. You have a 2-year-old who just wants to play with you and that's what's most important," she added, referring to her and Timberlake's adorable son, Silas
For The Sinner, Biel not only stars but also serves as one of the show's executive producers, and she was one of the driving forces behind getting the eight-episode series -- adapted from a novel of the same name by author Petra Hammesfahr -- on the air.
"Honestly I just was really interested in the book. The book was a compelling read, the character is so complicated and I liked the fact that she's this unreliable narrator that you're not quite sure when you can trust or if you can trust," Biel shared. "Yet she's very authentic to what she believes, so it was an incredibly interesting psychological challenge for me and seemed terrifying and seemed like a lot of fun."
In the series, Biel stars opposite Christopher Abbot, who plays her husband, Mason Tannetti, and Bill Pullman as Detective Harry Ambrose, who is investigating the murder she committed.
In one scene in the series, Biel and Pullman were required to get into a bit of a scuffle that included the actress leaping on top of the 63-year-old screen legend, and they both ended up getting a little roughed up.
Biel reflected on the physically challenging shoot, and how the duo ended up getting a few real scrapes along the way.
"There's this one scene [where I] leap on top of him and I was encouraged by our [stunt team] to really go for it," Biel recalled. "So we really went for it and we were both bruised and beat up by the end of the night."
"I felt pretty bad about it, but he's a very strong person and, you know, was obviously fine, but our jobs are weird. Sometimes we do weird stuff at work," Biel added.
The Sinner debuts Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET/PT, 9 p.m. CT on USA.