Jessica Biel, The Sinner


You've never seen Jessica Biel quite like this before.

When the actress makes her long-awaited return to TV in USA's upcoming limited series The Sinner, the former 7th Heaven star will be taking a trip to the dark side. And we mean "happy wife and mother who randomly and brutally stabs a man to death and doesn't know why" dark.

Meet Cora Tannetti, the aforementioned happy wife and mother who commits a heinous act during a family trip to the beach and has no idea why. "Cora initially is seemingly very normal. She has a family, has a son. She's doing well at her job. it seems like a pretty normal life," Biel says of the character in this sneak peek of the new series, exclusive to E! News. "We start to sense that there's unrest there. There's something that she's maybe battling with, internally."

"I think that she believes that when she commits that crime and she's in prison, now she's almost safe. It's over," Biel adds. "She doesn't have to pretend anymore. There's a relief. It's easier to be here than it is to live in the real world."

It's only when a dogged investigator played by Bill Pullman takes up the case, determined to figure out why Cora did what she did, that prison isn't so easy anymore. As they begin to examine what's going on in her mind—and what went on in her past—things will prove to only get darker. "She does not want to get into her past," Biel teases. "Her past is such a place of shame and of fear. She's living with these big secrets."

For more from Biel—and for a first look at her in action as Cora—be sure to check out the video above.

The Sinner premieres Wednesday, August 2 at 10 p.m. on USA.

(E! and USA are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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