Jessica Biel is an American actress, model, and singer who gained fame from the soap opera "7th Heaven". Audiences remember her from such films as "Next", "The Illusionist", "Hitchcock", and many others.
Actress Jessica Biel
Childhood and Youth
Jessica was born in March 1982 to a family from Ely, Minnesota, far removed from the creative world. Her father was an entrepreneur, and her mother took care of the home and children. Jessica was the first child in the family, later followed by a younger brother.
The family frequently moved due to her father's job when she was a little girl. Eventually, they settled in a small town called Boulder, Colorado. It was here that the future celebrity began to practice singing.
Jessica Biel in childhood
Initially, Jessica participated in local musical performances, and at 12, she took part in a large-scale competition by the International Association of Models and Talents in Los Angeles. There, the abilities and bright appearance of the young girl were noticed by specialists in the modeling business.
Since then, Jessica has appeared in television commercials, and her photographs have shown up in print media as well. At the same time, she played one of the leading roles in the children's rock opera "It's a Digital World" (1994).
Jessica Biel in the movie “It's a Digital World” (1994)
When once asked about the moment she decided to become an actress, adult Jessica was at a loss and suggested asking her mother, as she as a child Jessica would persistently insist on being taken to auditions.
At the age of 14, after several unsuccessful attempts to get involved in a creative project, Jessica hit the jackpot. She landed a role in Aaron Spelling's series "7th Heaven", which became a television hit, remained so for eleven years, and was recognized as the most successful project of The CW channel.
Jessica Biel in her youth
The plot revolved around Pastor Eric Camden, his wife, and their seven children of various ages. Jessica played Mary Camden, the second oldest child and the eldest daughter. She was, in essence, the black sheep of the devout family: constantly getting into trouble and not too discerning in her relationships. Biel's character appeared in every episode of the first six seasons, after which she became a "guest" character.
Jessica Biel - Interview on the set of 7th heaven (1999)
Of course, filming a soap opera of this kind came with its obligations. Jessica, like the other actors, had a strict contract that forbade her from changing her appearance, even her haircut or hair color.
Jessica Biel in the series '7th Heaven'
"Once I cut my hair, and I had a lot of trouble because of it. I had to apologize to everyone, and that became a kind of my thing in '7th Heaven'. I had to apologize for everything," Jessica recalled later, referring to the scandal that erupted shortly after her 18th birthday.
Jessica Biel on the set of the series '7th Heaven'
Just before her birthday, she did a revealing photoshoot for the men's magazine Gear. In the photos, the girl was posing topless, covering her chest with her hands, in underwear only.
After the photos were published, an unprecedented uproar ensued. Jessica, in her own words, couldn't look the crew members in the eye.
Stephen Collins, who played the pastor father in the series, gave an interview in which he called the photos "child pornography" (since they were taken before Biel's 18th birthday) and condemned the actress for "setting a bad example for his child". Ironically, in 2014, Collins himself was involved in a sex scandal: it turns out that in the mid-90s he had made advances on minors three times, one of whom was only 10.
Scandalous photo of Jessica Biel
Jessica admitted that this experience taught her to stand up for her own opinion. She wasn't fired from the show, but her character moved to study in another city and started appearing on screen much less often. However, this was more related to her admission to Tufts University, not the aftermath of the scandal.
Nevertheless, in 2002, Jessica dropped out of university to pursue an acting career, which she sometimes regrets:
I studied at Tufts for a year and a half. It was a wonderful time! No obligations other than going to classes, taking exams, and living with friends. But cinema pulled me in, and it was hard to combine the two...
The new millennium began for the actress with the comedies "Summer Catch" and "The Rules of Attraction". In 2003, she played the lead role in the slasher "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", where she portrayed a strong female character.
Jessica Biel in 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre'
Journalists often reminded her of the scandal with the photoshoot for Gear, accusing her of exploiting her sexuality, but Biel responded:
I have no intention of being a sex symbol. I can't change my looks. I prefer to downplay my sex appeal. I mean, I really want this movie [The Texas Chainsaw Massacre] to be viewed as scary and realistic, not just another opportunity to see my chest.
In 2004, Biel starred in the third part of "Blade", taking on the character of Abigail Whistler, the agile and ruthless companion of Blade (Wesley Snipes). Preparing for the role, the actress spent a lot of time in the gym and changed her views on proper nutrition.
Jessica Biel in 'Blade: Trinity'
She also appeared in the futuristic action movie "Stealth", where she played the pilot Kara, and in the romantic tragicomedy "Elizabethtown" with Orlando Bloom, after which Jessica decided to take a break from genre cinema.
Jessica Biel in 'Stealth'
Despite several outstanding works in her filmography, Jessica Biel admitted that she was not taken seriously in the film world for a long time. She hated auditions, considering them humiliating. Even after establishing a solid position in her profession, she took rejections hard.
Jessica Biel in 'Elizabethtown'
Biel calls the film "The Illusionist" (2005) her first real success, which earned her credibility in Hollywood. As the actress confessed, she got into this project with great difficulty. In the movie, she played Sophie - the fiancee of the Crown Prince of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the beloved of the main character of the film, illusionist Eisenheim, portrayed by Edward Norton.
Jessica Biel in 'The Illusionist'
In the movie about the Iraq war, "Home of the Brave" (2006), she worked alongside Samuel L. Jackson. Biel played American soldier Vanessa Price, who returns home without a hand and struggles to adapt to life, finding even the simplest tasks extremely difficult.
Jessica Biel in 'Home of the Brave'
Before starting work on the film, Biel volunteered in an organization that helps veterans. So she spent a lot of time communicating with people with amputated limbs and even found a female veteran with a prosthetic arm who helped Jessica transform into her character convincingly.
Jessica Biel on Being the Sexiest Woman Alive
As a romantic character, Jessica Biel appeared to viewers in the film "Next", where the main role of a prophet who could see the future a few minutes ahead was played by Nicolas Cage. Biel was given the role of his beloved Liz.
Jessica Biel in 'Next'
For her role in the adventure action movie "The A-Team", she underwent military training alongside her male co-stars. She was taught attack and defense techniques, as well as how to handle a machine gun.
Jessica Biel in 'The A-Team'
After this, a dozen more films of varying degrees of prominence were added to Jessica Biel's creative biography. This includes the 2012 remake of the 1990 blockbuster "Total Recall", where she starred alongside Kate Beckinsale and Colin Farrell, and the romantic comedy "Playing for Keeps", where she met Gerard Butler on set.
Jessica Biel in 'Playing for Keeps'
And, of course, the biographical drama "Hitchcock" (2012), in which she played actress Vera Miles, whose talent the famous director highly appreciated and was happy to cast her in his films, including "Psycho" and "The Wrong Man".
Jessica Biel in 'Hitchcock'
In 2017, the TV series - crime drama "The Sinner" featuring Jessica Biel, who also served as the producer of the film, was released. This was not the actress's first experience as a producer. In the 2016 drama "The Book of Love", she not only played one of the main characters but also joined the production team. Thanks to "The Sinner", Biel was nominated for a Golden Globe and an Emmy for the best female role.
Jessica Biel in the series 'The Sinner'
In the same year of 2017, another film featuring Jessica Biel, "Shock and Awe", was released, telling the real story of a group of journalists who doubted the truthfulness of the government's statements about the preparation of weapons of mass destruction by terrorists, which served as a pretext for the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Jessica Biel in 'Shock and Awe'
Jessica Biel's Personal Life
At the beginning of the 2000s, Jessica Biel was in a relationship with actor Adam LaVorgna. Their relationship lasted for four years. Then, she had a six-year-long affair with actor Chris Evans.
Jessica Biel and Adam LaVorgna
In 2007, fate brought Jessica together with Justin Timberlake. They met at the after party of the Golden Globe Awards. As Timberlake recalled, they just started talking at this party. Later, through a mutual friend, Justin asked permission to call her. After getting her permission, he convinced her to go on a date after a long persuasion.
Jessica Biel and Chris Evans
Before their wedding, which took place five years after they met, the press caught the singer trying to cheat on his girlfriend several times. He was rumored to have affairs with Rihanna, Ciara, Kate Hudson, Olivia Munn, and Mila Kunis. Timberlake later released an autobiography in which he confirmed that he was indeed unfaithful to Biel. According to Justin, their relationship with Jessica evolved slowly and he wasn't sure if she was the one, so he allowed himself some transgressions.
Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake
In any case, in 2012, the star couple officially tied the knot. The wedding took place in Italy surrounded by family. A year later, Jessica changed her surname to her husband's, but she continued to act under the name Biel.
The wedding of Jessica Biel and Justin Timberlake
In 2015, Timberlake's first son, Silas Randall, was born, and in 2020, their second son, Phineas, was born. The birth of the star couple's second son was only revealed six months after the event. The actress gave birth during the coronavirus lockdown, and Justin was able to attend miraculously.
Jessica Biel with her husband and children
In 2016, the couple opened a restaurant designed for family recreation. However, the establishment only lasted a couple of years.
In 2019, Timberlake again gave reason to accuse him of unfaithfulness. Paparazzi caught him in a restaurant in the company of actress Alisha Wainwright, his co-star in the movie "Palmer." They were sitting together and chatting pleasantly, and everything would be fine, but Justin took off his ring and held Alisha's hand. "There was nothing between me and my co-star. I drank too much that night and I regret my behavior," Justin publicly apologized.
Justin Timberlake and Alisha Wainwright
In her free time, Jessica loves to travel. Her favorite sports are surfing and golf. She even calls working out in the gym her personal addiction.
Best Friends Challenge with Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel
Jessica Biel Now
In 2022, the actress celebrated her fortieth birthday. The year of the anniversary marked the premiere of the miniseries "Candy", based on the real story of killer Candy Montgomery and her victim Betty Gore. Jessica Biel played the central role in the series and also served as the executive producer of the five-part series.
Jessica Biel in the series 'Candy'
Interestingly, another actress, Elisabeth Moss, was initially cast for the lead role in "Candy". However, due to her busy schedule, she couldn't participate in the project. Jessica Biel appeared in the series in an unusual look, with curly short hair and half-face glasses.