Jessica Biel Talks About Her New Dark Role in “The Sinner”

Jessica Biel opened up to ET’s Sophie Schillaci about her husband Justin Timberlake’s reaction to her dark role in the new crime thriller series, The Sinner.

“I don’t think he was scared [of me], because he’s been 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 said at the premiere of The Sinner in New York City on Monday.

“But I think it was definitely weird for him to see me like that,” she continued. “I hope that means that we’re doing a good job and we’re making it look really realistic.”

In the premiere episode’s opening minutes, Biel’s emotionally disturbed character, Cora Tannetti, stab a man to death on the beach in front of her family and dozens of witnesses, and has no idea why she did it.  The series was filled with psychologically challenging scenes but Biel said she have to put it 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,” the 35-year-old actress 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 continued, referring to her and Timberlake’s son, Silas.

Biel is also one of The Sinner’s executive producers and she was one of the major forces into getting the eight-episode series on air. The series was adapted from a novel of the same name by author Petra Hammesfahr.

“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 explained. “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.”

The series also stars Christopher Abbot, who plays Biel’s husband, Mason Tannetti, and Bill Pullman as Detective Harry Ambrose, who is investigating the crime she committed.

Biel also shared one of the physically challenging scenes where she and Pullman got into a wrestle and the actress leap on top of the 63-year-old actor and they ended up getting few 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 said. “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 continued.

Timberlake took to Instagram on Monday to send his love and support for his wife and her performance on the series.

“Ok, I know I’m not exactly fair and maybe biased here, but my wife’s new show – @thesinnerusa – is amazing,” the pop singer wrote. “It’s like nothing I’ve seen her in before, and she’s incredible in the role.”

The Sinner debuts on Wednesday at 10pm ET/PT, 9pm CT on USA.