Jessica Biel recalls agents trying to make her an action star like Angelina Jolie: ‘It wasn’t creatively fulfilling for me’

Jessica Biel on Hollywood trying to model her career on Angelina Jolie
Jessica Biel opens up about how her agents wanted her to be an action star like Angelina Jolie (Picture: Rex)

Jessica Biel has revealed how Hollywood agents tried to model her film career on Angelina Jolie by pushing for her to do action movies.

The actress first found fame on popular series, 7th Heaven, before she went on to star in a string on hit action flicks including Stealth and The A-Team.

However, the actress had initially been hoping to carve out a career path more in line with the likes of Glenn Close and Meryl Streep – while her agents focused more on Mr & Mrs Smith star Angelina.

Speaking about her inspirations at that time in her career on Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast, the Total Recall actress explained: ‘Being a woman [in Hollywood] you’re always looking at someone like Meryl Streep.

‘That’s the dream career – you just do anything you want and it goes forever while she’s the classiest and coolest. Also, Glenn Close and even Julia Roberts at that time.’

When Dax quipped that he ‘would have picked Angelina Jolie’, the 39-year-old actress continued: ‘I think my representatives had that goal. I was feeling Glenn Close while they were thinking “Let’s do Tomb Raider and A team, shoot some guns and wear tank tops”.

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider starring Angelina Jolie
The actress recalled being pushed to do blockbuster movies after she launched her film career (Picture: Moviestore/REX/Shutterstock)

‘By the way, that worked for me for a while. That was my jam for a while. Those were cool experiences. But I feel like I look back at my slate and I’m like “I don’t know who that is. Who is that person?”‘

The Stealth actress added: ‘It was cool, doing all the different things in ones career all happens for a reason so I can’t regret anything. But there was a lot of times when I was on the Angelina Jolie kind of path, but it wasn’t creatively fulfilling for me.’

Jessica was quick to share her praise for Angelina’s career as she stated: ‘She’s amazing and she’s done super interesting things. She’s amazing.’

Jessica Biel at the Limetown premiere
The actress has since gone to land an Emmy nomination for her role in The Sinner (Picture: Andrew H. Walker/Shutterstock)

CHiPs star Dax then noted it was unfair that women in Hollywood had to follow in the footsteps of someone else’s success, compared to men who are allowed to be themselves.

‘It’s very true,’ Jessica agreed. ‘It’s getting better for women thanks to television and streaming platforms with the different opportunities, but women are still dealing with the same bulls**t.’

She continued: ‘We’re dealing with the physicality of being a woman and do you use that or not use that? Are you being encouraged?

Matt Bomer, Jessica Biel, and Bill Pullman attend the premiere of USA Network's The Sinner Season 3
Jessica serves as an executive producer for The Sinner and new series Cruel Summer (Picture: Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

‘It’s confusing to try to know how to handle the way, historically, women have been categorized and put in boxes.’

Jessica starred as Mary Camden in the family drama series 7th Heaven from 1996–2006 before she went on to star in action films such as Blade: Trinity, Stealth, The A-Team and Total Recall.

The star – who shares two children with her husband Justin Timberlake – has gone on to find success as a producer, following her critically-acclaimed performance in her hit drama series The Sinner.

Elsewhere, her production company Iron Ocean studios is enjoying success with Freeform series, Cruel Summer.

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