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Jessica Biel Debated 'Quitting' Hollywood If Production of 'The Sinner' Was Unsuccessful: 'We Had a Very Challenging Time'

jessica biel quitting hollywood production the sinner unsuccessful
Source: MEGA

May 17 2024, Published 2:26 p.m. ET

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Jessica Biel almost gave up — until she finally struck gold on the other side of the rainbow.

The 42-year-old recently revealed she almost ditched Hollywood after her production company, Iron Ocean Studios — which she founded in 2007 alongside her friend and producer Michelle Purple — struggled to find its footing in the industry.

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jessica biel quitting hollywood production the sinner unsuccessful
Source: MEGA

Jessica Biel contemplated 'quitting' Hollywood if 'The Sinner' wasn't successful.

Prior to the business' success with The Sinner, a 2017 murder mystery series now available for streaming on Netflix, Biel and Purple were left high and dry as far as opportunities and advancements for their company.

"Doors did not open at all, even being in the business for so long," Biel, whose acting career started at the young age of 14, confessed during the Wednesday, May 15, episode of "The Bright Side" podcast. "I started it with [Purple] when I was twenty-two, and for the first ten years, we had almost no success at all. We had a very challenging time getting any story told."

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jessica biel quitting hollywood production the sinner unsuccessful
Source: MEGA

Jessica Biel and her friend Michelle Purple founded Iron Ocean Studios in 2007.

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Running Iron Oceans Studios became "a labor of love" for quite some time, she admitted, noting things were looking down until the company was "introduced to The Sinner."

Only after Biel, Purple and their team of producers "built that show from the ground up," did they finally start tasting sweet success.

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jessica biel quitting hollywood production the sinner unsuccessful
Source: MEGA

Jessica Biel produced 'The Sinner' and starred in its first season.

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Jessica Biel
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"When we were actually selling that show, Michelle and I looked at each other and she said, 'If we don't sell this show, I'm quitting,'" Biel — who shares Silas, 8, and Phineas, 3, with Timberlake — recalled of the USA network crime anthology series.

She continued: "And I said, ‘Me too, I'm quitting. I'm not doing this. I don't know – 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.'"

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jessica biel quitting hollywood production the sinner unsuccessful
Source: MEGA

Jessica Biel first started acting at age 14.

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"And then we sold it in the room," Biel shared. "It was so weird."

Biel not only produced the series, which ran for four seasons through 2021, but she starred in its first season, too. The 7th Heaven actress' portrayal of the character Cora earned the mom-of-two her first ever Golden Globe and Emmy nominations.

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Source: OK!

Reflecting on overcoming obstacles within running a production company, Biel confirmed it has "absolutely" been "a very 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," she explained.

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