On My Screen: ‘The Sinner’s Jessica Biel Discusses Her Film & TV Favorites

Deadline | 8/17/2018 | Antonia Blyth
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As Cora Tannetti in USA’s The Sinner, Jessica Biel brutally stabs a young man to death in front of dozens of people on a beach. Why would she do that? Cora doesn’t know exactly, but what ensues is a twisting ride on the coattails of a fantastically unreliable protagonist. As each thread of the mystery is pulled, Biel is believable, vulnerable, and deliberately unreadable all at once. As she says, “There’s almost like a multiple personality in one person. I do feel that it’s as if a small village of people live inside her mind.” And she plays them all seamlessly—a task that was, she says, “a real, real challenging thing, but so cathartic.”

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Emmy - Nomination - Role - Feather - Cap

Her Emmy nomination for the role is the feather in the cap of a distinguished career. Celebrating from Sweden, where she’s on tour with husband Justin Timberlake, Biel gives us an insight into her passion for screens big and small.

It would really be 7th Heaven. I remember speaking to one of our camera operators when I was 14 years old. It was the first season, and I literally had to get up from my chair in the scene and walk someplace. The DP and the camera operator were teaching me how to stand up smoothly and then walk, because, see, when you’re a kid you get up jerkily and awkwardly. I missed my light. I didn’t even know there was a light. I remember that as a formative first television learning experience, in a family-oriented, safe place where people were helping me and teaching me mechanical stuff. I remember the technical stuff more than I remember even my emotional stuff, or the real acting stuff.

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I wanted to be a lot of...
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