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Jessica Biel Discusses the Dramatic Movie "Home of the Brave"

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Jessica Biel Discusses the Dramatic Movie

Jessica Biel in "Home of the Brave."

© MGM

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The Evolution of the Love Scene in Home of the Brave: “That scene was actually not really in the script,” explained Jessica Biel. “There was definitely like the skeleton of the love scene, with a kiss and then maybe moved down onto the bed. It was very serious. I just had a problem with it from the very beginning. I just was talking to Irwin [Winkler, the director] about it. ‘I feel like for her to actually really start to chip away at this hard shell that she's put around herself, there needs to be humor. I feel like laughter is the cure,’ and there hadn't been any in the movie. I thought for my character, for me, she needs that.

There was something cathartic about laughing because there isn't really a moment where she like ‘breaks down’ breaks down. It could have been at the moment when she's unbuttoning the clothes, and it could have just been this total release. But she wasn't emotionally ready for that yet. I felt like it either had to be just tears or it had to be laughter. I just kind of came up with this idea and I was talking to my other actor, my co-star Jeff [Nordling] about it. ‘It's got to silly; it's got to be awkward.’

I mean, the first sexual intimate experience you have with somebody is never perfect. It's always weird. Right? Right? Okay. (Laughing) Right, which is exactly what we were trying to get away from. You know, something awkward, something funny. She's never done this before. How do you get your shirt out? How do you be sexy? And so it was kind of my idea to let it just go kind of wild and funny. And also there was so much passion. She probably hasn't been touched in maybe a year. Maybe 8, 9 months, and this man finally doesn't care. He wants to know, he's going to ask her straight out, ‘Well what happened? Tell me.’ Which blows her mind that this guy is just going to ask her about it and not think that she's a freak and not look at her that way. So that's kind of how that happened. It's just one of my favorite scenes in the movie, too.”

Home of the Brave Isn’t a Political Statement for or Against the War in Iraq: “I think it was really important to avoid the politics,” said Biel. “I feel like we see a lot of war films with politics, and I just didn't really care that much to do a movie about that. I was really interested in watching people, broken people, people who experienced such traumas, coming back into this normal kind of society and dealing with it. I was interested in seeing vulnerable men, vulnerable soldiers breaking down and trying to figure out if they want to go back, if they don't want to go back, their lives, their families. I was interested in that struggle, not about is the war right and is the war wrong? And should we be there or should we not be there?

I was really happy that that's not what this movie was about. I don't think that it should have been at all stressed more. I think this is way more interesting. We've never seen a film like this before. Not like this, at least. Or at least, not in a while. You know, there's some great movies that I also watched, like Coming Home and Born on the Fourth of July, that gives you another perspective of what it's like to deal with injuries and come back from war. We haven't seen it in a while.”

Biel’s Anxious to See How Veterans React to Home of the Brave: “I haven't really spoken to many veterans who have seen the film yet, honestly. I'm curious to know what they have to say. I didn't really get to experience much of the camaraderie with the men because my time in the battle sequences was so short, because everything was really about when we were at home. I just didn't really experience that much. I'd be really curious to hear what veterans think about it. That's the people I'm really curious to know because we want to portray their stories and their experiences truthfully, as close as possible.”

Up Next – I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry: “I'm in the middle of shooting that now, and I'm having the best time of my life. I mean, it's just fun. We're having such a good time. And Adam [Sandler] and Kevin [James] and everybody, they're just fantastic. Comedy is so fun. It's so different. It was hard to keep a straight face a lot of the time. I'm loving it. I'm really having a good time.”

Biel added, “I am a gay rights attorney and I am Adam and Kevin's attorney defending them against the state, because they are pretending to be gay. Then I fall in love with Adam, but he's gay, so that's complicated. And he's falling in love with me, but I'm his lawyer, so... (Laughing) It's sort of a really funny, interesting little plotline going on.”

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