Jessica Biel is just 16, but she already is a cast member of the family TV drama, 7th Heaven, and now she's costarring with Jonathan Taylor Thomas in the new movie I'll Be Home For Christmas.
The plot centers around the lessons Thomas learns after he finds himself stranded in the California desert dressed in a Santa Claus suit, and journeys to New York. Biel plays Thomas' girlfriend, and their scenes include a hot kiss.
"Yeah, it was great," she says. "Why not? He has great lips."
The movie is meant to spotlight the true meaning of Christmas. "It's about being with your family, and grateful for everything you have, celebrating the holiday with people you love," Biel tells CBS This Morning.
But Biel owes her popularity to the success of 7th Heaven, in which she plays Mary Camden. Stephen Collins and Catherine Hicks play her parents. The series is now in its third season on the WB network.
"All my friends see it, all my family sees it, my grandma loves it," she says of the program. "It's pretty amazing, because there are so many great-looking people out there. You're like, why did they pick me?"
Before landing her TV role, Biel worked as a model. The series helped bring her the role of Casey in Ulee's Gold (1997), starring Peter Fonda. On stage, the actress has starred in regional theater productions, including Beauty and the Beast, Annie, and The Sound of Music.
Home For Christmas costar Thomas praises Biel's demeanor, saying, "She's so grounded, has a great head on her shoulders. She's an unaffected normal person."
Down-to-earth she may be, but when it comes to sports, watch out!
Biel's character on 7th Heaven likes basketball but in real life, the actress is wild about soccer, and also lists among her hobbies in-line skating, ice skating, and mountain biking. Does she worry about outdoing the guys in sports? "Are you kidding me? Are you nuts?" she scoffs. "You just school 'em!"