Star mum Jes­sica Biel is mak­ing a killer ca­reer come­back


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Jes­sica Biel must surely be liv­ing the dream right now. The dropdead gor­geous 35-year-old ac­tress has just cel­e­brated five happy years of mar­riage to Mr Sexy­back him­self, Justin Tim­ber­lake, and the pair are par­ents to adorable two-year-old son Si­las. And now, af­ter a cou­ple of years fo­cus­ing on moth­er­hood and her LA restau­rant Au Fudge, Jess has made her crit­i­cally ac­claimed re­turn to the small screen in The Sin­ner.

‘I think ev­ery woman at least once in her life­time should push her­self phys­i­cally be­yond what she thinks she is ca­pa­ble of,’ Jess says. ‘Whether that’s run­ning a marathon, climb­ing a moun­tain, or swim­ming a mile in the ocean, be­cause it changes you men­tally.’

Not that she sees her­self as some kind of su­per­woman! With whis­pers of The Sin­ner re­turn­ing for a se­cond sea­son al­ready, Jess has us fan­girling over her once again – but there’s one per­son who’s been hooked all along. ‘She’s a re­ally, re­ally, re­ally spe­cial per­son,’ JT gushes. ‘Plus, she’s re­ally, re­ally hot!’

Here, Jess talks life, love, moth­er­hood and why play­ing a mur­derer was the ca­reer choice she just had to go with right now…


Jes­sica grew up in Boul­der, Colorado, with her spir­i­tual healer mum Kim­berly, her dad Jonathan – a busi­ness con­sul­tant –

and her younger brother Justin. While Jess har­boured dreams of be­com­ing a vo­cal­ist or a sur­geon, she was also a soc­cer-lov­ing tomboy who spent most of her time out­side – and that came with her par­ents’ bless­ing.

‘My par­ents were out­doorsy moun­tain peo­ple. My fa­ther would al­ways say, “Go out and don’t come back un­til you have some­thing to show me,” which meant he wanted me to come back with a scraped knee or an in­jury,’ re­calls Jess of her very down-to-earth up­bring­ing.

But it wasn’t long be­fore Jess ditched her med­i­cal school dreams for some­thing very dif­fer­ent. ‘When I was 11, I was in a com­pe­ti­tion spon­sored by the In­ter­na­tional Mod­el­ling and Tal­ent As­so­ci­a­tion. You paid a cer­tain amount of money and they taught you to walk a run­way, present a comedic mono­logue, a dra­matic mono­logue, a dance rou­tine, and a song,’ she ex­plains. ‘My run­way look was a one-piece bathing suit, a top hat, and a bow tie. The com­pe­ti­tion was in LA, and after­ward I got a man­ager and an agent. I tried out for a bil­lion things, and af­ter three years, I was cast on the show 7th Heaven.’


Jess met pop star Justin Tim­ber­lake, 36, early in 2007 and the cou­ple were soon in­sep­a­ra­ble, al­though at the time they pre­ferred to keep their re­la­tion­ship on the down­low. ‘Justin is the one part of my life that I own and is not for any­one else,’ Jess ex­plained.

How­ever, since the pair walked down the aisle in Italy in Oc­to­ber 2012 – af­ter a short break from their ro­mance in 2011 – Jess hasn’t been able to hide her hap­pi­ness. ‘We have sim­i­lar val­ues, we be­lieve in loy­alty, hon­esty. We like a lot of the same things.’

A smit­ten Jess also fre­quently posts loved-up mes­sages to her ‘huz’, as JT calls him­self, on so­cial me­dia. ‘My ten­der heart is yours, now un­til for­ever,’ she cap­tioned a sweet video on their Oc­to­ber 20 an­niver­sary.


Fans ap­plauded Jes­sica in June when she posted a very un­flat­ter­ing sleep­ing snap of her­self in the pas­sen­ger seat af­ter a long day’s work. ‘SPOT­TED!’ she cap­tioned the shot. ‘In her nat­u­ral state, no­tice the slack jaw, deep sleep and pal­pa­ble fa­tigue of this


crea­ture. Yes, it is a work­ing mum.’ And her fel­low ma­mas loved her for it! ‘Thank you for be­ing so re­lat­able to the ev­ery­day work­ing mum. It is so truly ap­pre­ci­ated!’ com­mented one, while an­other joked, ‘Look, even Jes­sica sleeps with her mouth open!’


What do you do if you’re su­per-fa­mous and want to en­joy the spoils of eating out with your kids, at a place that of­fers healthy meal op­tions as well as some­thing a lit­tle bit naughty? You open your own restau­rant, of course! In 2016, af­ter years of try­ing to get her kid-friendly eatery idea off the ground, Jess opened Au Fudge in LA. ‘My friend group, my friends who had kids be­fore I did, wanted to go hang out with them, but they were stuck go­ing to Chuck E Cheese’s birth­day par­ties,’ she ex­plains. ‘Or, they had kids and they didn’t have a babysit­ter. What do you do, where do you go?’


‘You think you’re a self­less per­son, and then you re­alise you’re not,’ Jess says of moth­er­hood. Af­ter wel­com­ing her first child with Justin on April 8, 2015, Jess turned her back on Hol­ly­wood. Then, in 2017, she made her big re­turn af­ter dab­bling in smaller projects – a de­ci­sion she grap­pled with as a mum. So be­fore she took on the lead role of Cora in The Sin­ner, she knew the script had to be a good one to take her away from Si­las.

Jess plays a young mother who com­mits a se­ri­ous vi­o­lent crime in the eight-part TV se­ries, which earned her rave re­views. ‘I wouldn’t be able to do this role if I didn’t know what it was like to be a mum,’ the ac­tress says, tear­ing up at the thought of be­ing im­pris­oned, just like Cora. ‘If I wouldn’t be able to see my son ev­ery day… I get emo­tional just think­ing about it.’

The show, which is avail­able now on Net­flix, has al­ready given Jess a thirst to jump in front of the cam­era again. ‘It’s like a drug, like an adren­a­line rush,’ she ex­plains. ‘There’s a real cathar­sis… you’re ex­hausted, you are free; you feel a lot of dif­fer­ent things. For me, it’s like a re­birth. Like I’m a phoenix ris­ing up out of the ashes.’

It also helps that the show blew au­di­ences, crit­ics and the rat­ings out of the wa­ter. ‘When I read the book, ev­ery step of the way for me was a shock,’ she says. ‘I just feel like noth­ing can shock me any­more. Like, I’ve seen it all, there’s noth­ing that weird, noth­ing that dark. We all have seen it all, I think in a sense. But ev­ery time there was a sur­prise, it was gen­uine sur­prise for me. It just felt in­cred­i­bly rare to find a piece of ma­te­rial that you didn’t ex­pect ev­ery twist and turn of the way. And then it was just gen­uinely self­ish! I just wanted to play that girl and get to be a lit­tle nuts.’

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