In her new film, the character-driven thriller Bleeding Heart, Jessica Biel portrays an introverted yoga instructor named May who discovers she has a half-sister, played by Girls star Zosia Mamet. A female-centric drama, Bleeding Heart serves as a commentary on female relationships and explores how real-word violence can strike close to home.
May resides with her equally spiritual boyfriend Dex while her sister lives with her violent and abusive pimp/boyfriend. The two women live two entirely separate lifes and the realization of what her sister does for a living turns May’s life upside down and opens her up to the harsh realities of the world. In an interview with EW, Biel, who is an advocate for women’s rights, opened up about how she approached her role and how she could relate to her character’s awakening.
“Obviously, we all feel a lot of things all the time, everyday, but I try to be careful on subjects where I’m not an expert necessarily, whether it’s political or economical or social. But for the things I know something about, yeah, I want to stand up and hopefully use my voice to help”.
In the film, that becomes May’s mission – to try and comprehend her sister’s dire situation and ultimately help her. In an exclusive scene from the film, available on EW’s website, May is seen asking her half-sister about her line of work. “May has this sense of, ‘If I can understand who this other person is, then maybe I can understand myself a little bit more’”, Biel told EW. “So she’s probing very gently, even though she knows the answer. She’s trying very had not to have an opinion and to not pass judgment and to be diplomatic”.