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How Jessica Biel landed husband Justin Timberlake for a 'perfect' cameo in 'Candy'

Ashley Lee, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

Shortly before filming their first-ever scenes together — outside of a "Saturday Night Live" cameo in 2009, in which Biel "was dressed as Jessica Rabbit, with a giant fake butt and giant fake boobs, but I don't count that," she says — Biel and Timberlake were instructed to hide their characters' interior lives.

"I asked them not to talk to each other about it," says the episode's director, Tara Nicole Weyr. "They're incredibly different characters with very specific points of view, and I didn't think that any of their thoughts about their own character should influence the other person."

Biel and Timberlake, along with Ritter, are first onscreen together during an interrogation, and Candy seems to have an ironclad and agreeable response for each of their probing questions.

"You start to see how committed Candy is to believing the lie, but you also see quite clearly that even though everyone around Candy was believing her, Deffi wasn't," says Weyr. Veith describes the scene as "a little bit like jousting or poker — they're all trying to get somebody who's bluffing to fold."

After taking Candy's fingerprints, Deffi asks to take a photo of Candy's battered foot. "I got those playing with my kids — I bruise if the wind hits me wrong," she explains to him without flinching.

Between takes of this tense exchange, Weyr and the actors experimented with their physical positioning. "There was this hilarious moment where Jessica was seated and Justin was on his knee, trying to be at her eye level, but it looked too much like a proposal," Weyr recalls. They ended up with Biel in the corner and Timberlake in front of the door, practically threatening to block it until she answered his direct question about killing Betty.

"We were like these two lions, standing our ground and saying, 'I'm not breaking, are you gonna break?'" says Biel. "I knew he was going to put me in a situation to try to make me, as Candy, feel uncomfortable. I didn't feel that way because I felt so confident while playing Candy, like nothing was gonna shake me.

 

"But it was interesting to do that with him because we don't do that in our personal lives; we communicate and tell the truth," she says with a laugh. "This is the person I see every day. He's seen me at my absolute worst. He knows my greatest flaws and fears and doesn't use those against me."

Though they're together onscreen for just under three minutes, Biel and Timberlake were, "individually and together, both incredibly collaborative, open to direction and willing to try anything," says Weyr. "I have to be honest: I completely forgot they were together while we were working because they were very committed to their characters and being true to them on set."

Biel is thrilled that Timberlake's role has remained under wraps as planned and says she enjoyed acting opposite him for the first time.

"God, it was just perfect," she says. "Hopefully we'll do it again."

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©2022 Los Angeles Times. Visit latimes.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
 

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