Easy Virtue | EW.com

Movies

(Giles Keyte)

Starring: Jessica Biel, Colin Firth, Kristin Scott Thomas, Ben Barnes
Directed by: Stephan Elliott
Release date: May 22

For her turn as a brazen American in stuffy 1920s-era British society, Biel didn’t really need to engulf herself in too much research. ”I was literally the only American on set,” the actress says of her work on Easy Virtue, shot last year in the English countryside. ”I definitely felt like a fish out of water. It was helpful.” In the story, based on a Noël Coward play, Biel’s sassy Larita woos a younger English gentleman (Barnes) into impulsively marrying her, much to the chagrin of his dour mother (Scott Thomas), whose constant disapproval makes the new bride feel unwelcome. Still, Larita vows to remain poised despite her new mother-in-law’s anti?charm offensive. ”She is not going to play these silly games and try to change herself to make this family love her,” Biel says. ”She’s kind of a badass.”