USA’s new series The Sinner poses a different kind of murder mystery. Within minutes of the premiere, star Jessica Biel brutally stabs someone on the beach before she’s arrested. The question is: Why did she commit this crime?
It’s an incredibly visceral and disturbing sequence and one which Biel admits was equally challenging to film. “It was almost an out-of-body experience for me I think,” Biel tells EW. “We didn’t have a lot of time. We shot the whole sequence in one day. We had the chance to choreograph it with all the actors a couple days before and the night before we walked through it again. We all really knew technically where we needed to be.”
Most interesting is that the gore shown in the scene was mostly added later in post-production. “We had some blood but it was just too crazy so we stopped using it and did pretty much all CG. When we were doing it, it didn’t seem as awful. So to watch it back, I was really like, Oh my god. It was such a bright beautiful day and everyone is just meandering around.”
Biel also credits the direction and other actors for adding to scene’s surreal terror. Says the actress, “As it was happening, I loved what our extras were doing because some people didn’t see it and were just standing around because I think that’s how it would actually be if something happened as swiftly as that. I think you’re in such shock when you witness something you don’t believe your own eyes. I understand why people just stand in shock when something crazy happens.”
The Sinner premieres tonight at 10 p.m. ET on USA.