Jessica Biel is The Sinner

A psychological drama about a homicidal woman


BY: Zak Wojnar

Jessica Biel is arguably more famous for being the wife of pop superstar Justin Timberlake than for being an actress, but she’s making an effort to change that unfair opinion. Though her career seemed promising after her star-making turn in the wholesome family drama 7th Heaven (modern Stephen Collins revelations notwithstanding), her prospects started fizzling out following supporting roles in testosterone-laced action flicks like the ill-advised Total Recall remake and the surprisingly competent A-Team adaptation.

For her next project, Biel is emerging as a full-on leading lady on the small screen in The Sinner, a miniseries event on the USA network. In addition to good-natured popcorn fare like Royal Pains and Psych, the cable channel has made strong strides in terms of more self-serious content, with recent hits like Mr. Robot and Shooter, and The Sinner looks to be the network’s most intense drama yet.

Based on the novel by Petra Hammesfahr, The Sinner is about Biel’s character, Cora Tannetti, who brutally attacks a stranger in public. Did she have a psychotic break? Was she programmed by mysterious forces? Does she have repressed memories? The show follows Tanetti, but also a detective tasked with cracking the case, played by Bill Pullman.

The show promises to be a tantalizing mystery and a showcase for Biel’s talents; she’s already earning rave reviews for her performance as a regular person suddenly thrust into unbelievable circumstances, and we think she’s already a shoo-in for awards season.

The Sinner premieres August 2 on USA.