Why Hollywood won't cast Jessica Biel anymore

Seriously, when's the last time you saw Jessica Biel in a movie? Or, rather, when is the last time you saw a movie because Jessica Biel was the star? Things have been relatively quiet for Mrs. Timberlake over the past few years. Jessica Biel has pretty much flown under the radar for years now. What happened to her starring roles?

Easy to overlook

An insider explained to The New York Daily News, "There is nothing extraordinary about her, like Carey Mulligan or even Amy Adams, so she's not on the studios' radar unless they're love-interest roles." Salon notes, "She's been the female lead in just about every recent movie that barely has a female lead at all. Her strange husk of a career—working all the time, but called upon to stretch herself never—is the consequence of a Hollywood machine that needs actresses to exist in order to look pretty and sell tickets, but has no earthly idea of what to do with them." We hope she can step it up with her recent indie movie roles.

Hired for looks, not talent

According to The New York Daily News, an agent warned that Biel "should get an acting coach and do an independent film or two that would show off her talent, not her beauty." It sounds harsh, but the agent added, "She may be a gorgeous girl, but her acting ability just isn't where it needs to be. She hasn't proven that she's a real actor." We think she just needs more standout roles.

She relies too much on Justin Timberlake for relevance

An insider told The New York Daily News, "Being married to Justin Timberlake is her calling card at the moment." Another top talent agent agreed, telling Vulture, "Her claim to fame is marrying Justin Timberlake." Maybe if she married a nobody, or even just a B-lister, she'd have had more luck shining alongside them. We just hope she can escape JT's shadow.

She's competing with Oscar winners

The New York Daily News reports that Biel was in the running for Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises, but the role went to Anne Hathaway. "Jessica was fuming when she heard she didn't get the role of Catwoman," the insider dished. "She really thought she was going to get it, but when Christopher Nolan handed the role to Hathaway, she was devastated." It wasn't the only role she lost to Hathaway. Biel also auditioned for the role of Fantine in Les Miserables, for which Hathaway won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar.

Underwhelming box office numbers

Out of Biel's movie franchise attempts, none of them broke $100 million: The A-Team, Total Recall, and Stealth didn't break $80 million; and her starring role in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre netted $80 million. Biel's projects that did break $100 million, I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry and Valentine's Day, had other noteworthy stars like the then-golden Kevin James, Adam Sandler, and Julia Roberts doing the heavy lifting in terms of ticket sales. None of her other movies broke the $60 million mark, which studio heads read as Biel not being able to open a movie by her lonesome.

Her big breakout role never saw the light of day

David O. Russell directed a film called Nailed in 2008. Biel starred as a woman who became a nymphomaniac after a clumsy workman got a nail stuck in her head and she couldn't afford insurance. It was a timely film speaking about an important issue in an interesting way. However, because of studio financing problems, the project was shelved indefinitely. It finally came out in 2015 as Accidental Love in a limited release, and it was put together so sloppily that David O. Russell changed the directorial byline on the film to "Stephen Greene." Critics agree that the film could have had potential if it hadn't been flatlined by financial problems.

Her agents may be to blame

"Nailed was a [smart] choice," a PR whiz told Vulture. "She should be picking better projects, but I think she's doing things for the money. I don't think this is a PR problem—it's an agent problem. I mean, doing Total Recall is what Prince of Persia was for Jake Gyllenhaal: Seemed like a good idea at the time." To be fair, Prince of Persia makes Biel's Total Recall remake feel like Casablanca in terms of quality.

She's a mom now

Biel's time away from the spotlight may also have been slightly deliberate. In April 2015, Biel and Timberlake welcomed their first baby, son Silas, who has understandably consumed a good chunk of their day-to-day lives—or at least their social media accounts, anyway. "[Motherhood] is an amazing experience," Biel told the Today show in October. "[It's] incredibly hard, the hardest job in the world and I've never been more thankful and grateful to my own mother … What you have to do for your kid—it's an amazing responsibility and the biggest joy ever.'" Seriously, who needs an Oscar when you've got that much joy in your life?

She's also doing other things

Like many other actresses before her, Biel has recently decided to extend her skill set well beyond the famous Hollywood sign. In 2016, the actress teamed up with a bunch of famous foodies and other LA types to open Au Fudge, a restaurant in West Hollywood designed to please both kids and adults. "The shabby-chic spot has all the trappings of a typical celeb-magnet WeHo spot—organic and seasonal everything, lots of champagne, fresh fruit-forward cocktails—but this one also has its own kids playhouse," wrote Zagat in its preview. "So, you know, have lunch in the stylish dining room or on the patio, then send off the wee ones to the playroom and 'treehouse,' which is staffed with babysitters (called au pairs)." Hey, we never said Biel was relatable.

Her resume was never that good to begin with

If you're going to debate why Hollywood won't cast Jessica Biel anymore, you have to consider the fact that her filmography was never really all that good to begin with. In fact, she's co-starred in enough bombs to fill an entire DVD discount bin at Best Buy. Among her worst offenses: the poorly-timed Adam Sandler-Kevin James movie I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry, for which she received her first Razzie nomination; a botched remake of The A-Team; the ridiculous and convoluted Garry Marshall romcom Valentine's Day, which received some of the worst reviews of 2010; and Total Recall, for which she received her second Razzie nomination to date. With those kinds of bombs under he belt, nobody should be surprised that Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg aren't knocking on her door.

Her big shot at prestige movies failed

Before her career took a quality nosedive, Biel had a brief run co-starring in highly anticipated prestige dramas. The first came in 2005, when she played the ex-girlfriend of Orlando Bloom in Cameron Crowe's big followup to Almost Famous, Elizabethtown. That movie never really made it off the ground, though. The reviews were terrible, and Biel's part was pretty innocuous to begin with. With one botched effort to her name, Biel then turned to the magician drama The Illusionist, opposite Edward Norton. To her credit, the film received pretty decent reviews; even the toughest of critics seemed to give Biel a pass. Unfortunately, the movie was overshadowed that year by another movie about magic, Christopher Nolan's The Prestige, which had the massive star power of Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale, as well as the popular following of Nolan. Casting Biel in Oscar hopefuls just didn't seem to take; by the following year, she was co-starring opposite Nicolas Cage in the jaw-dropping disaster, Next. That about sums it all up.

Her career never really matured

Many teenage actors struggle—and admittedly fail—to keep their career momentum going as they begin to age. Such has been the case for Biel, who still feels trapped in a time when the TV channel The WB still existed. Ask anyone to name something that Biel has done, and they'll probably say either 7th Heaven or the awkward teen romcom, Summer Catch, co-starring Freddie Prinze Jr. The fact that she never actually matured out of the 1990s doesn't exactly bode well for the coming decades.

She thinks her beauty holds her back

If you ask Biel why she can't get work, she thinks she's just too hot. She whined to Allure, "I'm in there with everybody else, fighting for the good parts. Yes, The Illusionist has made a difference—but a huge, massive difference, so I can pick and choose what I want? No. I just want an opportunity. If you don't like the audition, don't hire me! But if you don't want to even see me—that's hurtful. And why? You know nothing about me!" When the mag asked if her beauty is holding her back, she replied, "It really is a problem. I have to be blunt." Weird, it doesn't seem to be a problem for Megan Fox, Jessica Alba, or Scarlett Johansson.

She's working on a major comeback

Jessica Biel's career may be "down" but it's certainly not out. Indeed, in April 2017, multiple outlets reported that the 35-year-old actress will star in the new USA Network series The Sinner, about "a young mother (Biel) who, in a fit of unexplainable rage, seemingly kills a stranger," according to Entertainment Weekly. The series, which co-stars Bill Pullman, is set to premiere on August 2, 2017.

If that wasn't enough, that same year, she's also scheduled to co-star in the Rob Reiner-directed Shock and Awe, opposite Woody Harrelson and Tommy Lee Jones.

A new show on a network that notoriously lets shows run for, like, eight seasons on average? Looks like Biel could be sticking around for quite some time.