Jessica Biel Was Ready To Leave Showbiz If ‘The Sinner’ Series Wasn’t Sold

Getting The Sinner made required the patience of a saint.

Jessica Biel revealed on the podcast The Bright Side that she intended to quit Hollywood if she couldn’t sell The Sinner, which eventually went to USA Network after a long shopping period and won her an Emmy and Golden Globe nomination.

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“Doors did not open at all, even being in the business for so long,” Biel said. “I’ve had this production company with my partner, Michelle Purple, for 20 years… I started it with her when I was 22, and for the first 10 years, we had almost no success at all. We had a very challenging time getting any story told.”

Then they came across The Sinner, a police procedural about unlikely culprits and their motivations. Biel said she and Purple “built that show from the ground up.”

“Michelle and I looked at each other and she said, ‘If we don’t sell this show, I’m quitting,'” Biel recalled. “And I said, ‘Me too, I’m quitting. If this show doesn’t sell, I don’t know what people want. I don’t know what to bring them. I don’t understand this business anymore. I just don’t get it anymore.'”

Biel called the struggle the pair encountered a “humbling” experience.

“I don’t find that my industry — or being an actor or producer — is easy in any way, shape, or form. It is so much blood, sweat, and tears that you put into getting these projects made, and so many of the things we work on never, ever come to fruition.”

Biel starred opposite Bill Pullman in season 1 of the series, which premiered on USA Network in 2017 and marked her first role as a series regular since her days on 7th Heaven. Biel then shifted to a role as an EP.

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