Jessica Biel may be a dream date worth $30,000 at today’s market rates, but she doesn’t usually play the glamour girl. Except for on magazine covers, we usually see Biel kicking ass in practical gear. A vampire killing nightstalker must dress in leather, a jet fighter pilot obviously wears a flight suit and a Leatherface victim will always be covered in dirt.
With her role as a magician’s love interest in turn of the century Vienna in The Illusionist, Biel hopes to mark a turning point in her career. “I think it’s pretty important,” she said. “I hope that it will open up my opportunities to do different things. It will show people that I’m capable of different types of acting, subtle types of acting. I can be gentle and soft and feminine because I do feel I might be at times in some of my other films tougher and harder and less feminine. So I think it’s important, really important. I hope that it does what I’m foreseeing.”
Jessica Biel Talks The Illusionist
It seems surprising at first that Biel would not automatically be considered for such roles, but when you consider her body of work, she’s almost typecast herself. “I think it’s because the projects that I’ve been a part of. Texas Chainsaw Massacre, really tough and action, running and strong. Blade, extremely strong, muscular. Stealth, really muscular. It’s very physical and strong characters and tough character and sort of maybe even unattainable or unrelatable characters. I think that maybe somebody doesn’t feel like they can be friends with a fighter pilot, or a vampire hunter, which I sort of get. I sort of understand that. But I think that might be why. I don’t regret doing the projects because of it. I just want to make the steps to be able to have all options spread out in front of me.”
Not that she had her choice of any role in Hollywood either. “I was having to fight for pretty much everything and I’m still having to do that, so I think it was just the path that I happened to take. I was interested in doing Texas Chainsaw so I did it. So what happened after that? Blade sort of happened. And I thought, ‘Oh, cool.’ I naturally sort of am interested in a strong, powerful woman, emotionally, mentally and physically. So for me, it was like, ‘This is easy. I can do this. I know how to do this well.’ I’m a physical person. I can do that and I like doing that. So I just enjoyed doing it. I don’t think I ever thought about I better be careful about my image. I was younger them and I was excited about working and interested in doing these different action movies. It was also a way to get overseas marketability, work with studios. It was sort of like the stepping stones that I was taking to get to the place where I am now a little bit more so that I might have a little bit more options. I think it was less of a conscious effort and more of my journey. I just thought this was the way that I go.”
The Illusionist comes to theatres on August 18th.
For the trailer, reviews, more interviews and additional movie info, go to The Illusionist Movie Page.
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