Jessica Biel is the latest Hollywood ingenue who’s desperately trying to transition from sex symbol to leading lady. Biel, 30, is reportedly furious over losing the role of Catwoman in the “Dark Knight Rises” to Anne Hathaway.
“Jessica was fuming when she heard she didn’t get the role of Catwoman,” an insider told the New York Daily News. “She really thought she was going to get it, but when Christopher Nolan [the film’s director] handed the role to Hathaway, she was devastated.”
Biel (who has never really been in a serious film role) is also upset that she lost the starring role in “Les Misérables” (which also went to Hathaway) because she was desperate to play Fantine. Of course, it bears noting that lots of actresses wanted that role, and it’s questionable that Biel was a front-runner in the casting process.
Sources say Jessica, who’s most famous for her slammin’ bikini body and for being married to pop star Justin Timberlake, needs to be more discerning when it comes to choosing projects. Still others point out that Biel just doesn’t have the acting chops to pull off a dramatic leading role.
“She may be a gorgeous girl, but her acting ability just isn’t where it needs to be,” said a source. “She hasn’t proven that she’s a real actor.”
Interestingly, Biel once lamented that being too hot has hampered her acting career. “[Being beautiful] really is a problem,” she said in 2009.
“If you don’t like the audition, then don’t hire me,” she said. “But if you don’t even want to see me, that’s hurtful.”
It’s an old Hollywood cliché that when beautiful actresses are young, they want to be taken seriously for their acting, only to find that when they hit middle age, they desperately want the validation of being considered sexy.
A good example is the late Farrah Fawcett, who vaulted to superstardom after starring in “Charlie’s Angels.” Fawcett left the hit TV series after one season (yet continues to be remembered more for that role than any other) and earned critical acclaim for her gripping performances in the off-Broadway show “Extremities” and in the TV movie “The Burning Bed,” among others.
After earning the industry’s respect for her acting, an older Fawcett tried to revive her sex-symbol status, even going as far as posing nude for Playboy in 1997 at age 50. By that time, the bloom was off her rose, and there were plenty of young starlets around to fit the bill of sex icon, and Farrah just seemed lost and desperate until her tragic cancer-related death in 2007.
Farrah isn’t the first to have gone down this road, and she won’t be the last. Demi Moore is the latest example of a Hollywood hottie desperately trying to cling to her sex-symbol status.
Maybe the moral of all this is that youth is fleeting, and so is stardom. So appreciate it while you have it.