Watch Out, Justin — Jessica Biel Says Playing a Murderous Wife Is "Like a Drug"

Jessica Biel is well-known for her cookie-cutter role on 7th Heaven back in the '90s and early 2000s, but now she's breaking new ground as a murderous, middle-class mother on USA's The Sinner. In a promotion for her eight-episode thriller, the actress graces the cover of Marie Claire's August issue. Aside from giving us a sneak peek at her dark side — something she says is "like a drug or an adrenaline rush" — she also opens up about her personal life with husband Justin Timberlake and how becoming a mom to their 2-year-old son Silas has made her even more selfless than before. See her best quotes ahead.

  • On exploring her dark side with her character: "I have challenges standing up for myself sometimes. Times when I don't trust my own voice. And that's the stuff I needed to bring out and explore to understand Cora. [exploring her dark side] It's like a drug, like an adrenaline rush. 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."
  • On being a child actor in Hollywood: "My Hollywood experience as a young person was never one of those True Hollywood stories where I was left alone to my own devices with no parental supervision. There was always somebody with me."

  • How she makes her relationship with Justin work: "We have similar values; we believe in loyalty, honesty. We like to have fun. We like a lot of the same things. Also, in the business, we're all very career-oriented, and you have to be a little selfish. I understand that about my peers — about being focused and driven — and if you can find that and someone who shares the same values as you, it's like: Score!"
  • What she's learned from being a mom: "You think you're a selfless person, and then you realize you're not. These little people come around, and they require so much, and your schedule is really not your own, nor is it important anymore, and it's very clear that it's your life now revolving around this dude. I'm not that person who feels like, 'Oh, my whole life changes for my kid,' but it does."