Jessica Claire Biel, born March 3, 1982, has instantly moved
herself to the spotlight with a controversial layout in Gear
magazine in which even her own television dad on 7th Heaven,
Stephen Collins, has called 'child pornography'. Jessica's
18th birthday is about 3 months after her photo shoot with
the Bob Guccione Jr. backed magazine. By Jessica's own admission,
the cheesy topless layout was done to provoke Aaron Spelling
into releasing her from her contract. She has said that Spelling
angrily told Biel "I own you!" though Spelling denies
the charges. Those who read TV Guide saw this tension coming
as in a March '99 interview with them she caught the ire of
7th Heaven producers by saying she'd like to see her character
"have sex with one of the bishops or something."
She also upset the crew by cutting her own hair before the
start of the '99 season, where she exclaimed "The producers
were pissed. I told them, 'Hey, it grows back.' But they didn't
see it that way." Jessica's attitude leads many to compare
her to Shannen Doherty, the controversial former 90210 actress
who also heated up the Spelling set with hissy fits and controversy.
Insiders at 7th Heaven have labeled Biel a 'bitch' right from
the start as an inside source tells E! Online "She's
always been unhappy with her storylines". In the Gear
interview, Biel shows her tremendous immaturity by saying
of her television sister, Beverly Mitchell, "I'll grab
her by the t--- and be like, 'Look at the size of these things,'
It really p--- her off."
Most of Jessica's concern is her inability to land the sex
oriented roles that many of her teen oriented peers have,
though she recently won the role opposite Freddie Prinze Jr.
in Summer Catch. Her family oriented role as Mary Camden she
says has caused movie producers to shy away from her and she's
worried about getting typecast. She says of her character
on the show "I'd kick her f---ing ass. I'd kick the s---
out of her and then she'd apologize for hurting my fists."
All this has done nothing to change Spellings feelings about
her staying on the show, as a spokesperson has stated she's
under contract for the next two seasons and they are looking
forward to working with her until that ends. Just recently,
Jessica said she regretted the entire Gear magazine stunt
and counts the entire ordeal as a learning experience.
Certainly Jessica's younger days were tamer, where she was
born in Ely, Minnesota and raised in Boulder, Colorado. Jessica
started doing plays at the age of nine with roles in The Sound
of Music, Annie, Beauty and the Beast, and Anything Goes.
In 1994 while attending Diane Hardin's Young Actor's Space
in Los Angeles, Jessica was discovered by her current manager
(and incidentally, he and Jessica's father were at the Gear
photo shoot when the pictures were taken) Jeff Morrone at
Innovative Artists. What followed were several modeling covers
including Sassy Magazine in '96, Teen and Moxie Girl in 1998,
and the huge honor from People Magazine in '99 when they named
her one of the worlds 50 most beautiful people. Her on-screen
career began in 1996 where she played Mary Camden, the oldest
daughter of a minister couple in the aforementioned 7th Heaven.
She also branched out to the big screen with parts in Ulee's
Gold in '97 and I'll Be Home For Christmas in 1998, where
she played opposite Home Improvement's Jonathan Taylor Thomas.
The question remains now what will be in the future of Jessica's
acting career and what will the repercussions of her childish
ranting and posing partially nude as a minor have on her ability
to score future roles in Hollywood.