NEW YORK, April 22 (UPI) -- For actress-producer Jessica Biel, bringing the drama The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea to the big screen was a journey that took nearly a decade to complete.
Co-written and directed by Bill Purple, the movie debuted last week at New York's Tribeca Film Festival. It follows nice-guy, New Orleans architect Henry as he finds new purpose by helping impoverished teen Millie build a raft so she can see the world after his pregnant wife Penny -- a free-spirited artist -- dies in a car crash. Biel plays Penny, largely in flashback scenes, while Jason Sudeikis portrays Henry and Maisie Williams is Millie.
"Bill and I have been friends for, I don't even know how long now, a long time," Biel told reporters during a roundtable interview.
"We're just film buddies," she went on. "We talk about film and care about film and he has always been writing and has always been wanting to direct. So, when I started my company with Michelle, who happens to be Bill's wife, we wanted to do something at least to just sort of put our mark on something and we found this really, very charming short-film script and Bill directed it for us, so that showed me and Michelle, who is totally hardcore and if he sucked, she would have been like: 'He sucks. Don't work with him.' But he doesn't, thank God, and we love him for that, so we did the short film together and I just love the way he directed it. I loved his vision and I trust his eye and I trust his creative abilities and, so once we did that and we had such a good experience, we just wanted to do something in the long form and that's kind of initially how we got involved with, 'OK, let's find the right thing.' We found this and then nine years later, we finally got the right people who actually wanted to do this with us."