At twelve, Biel attended The International Modeling and Talent Association conference in Los Angeles where she was discovered and signed by a talent agency.
She began modeling for print advertisements, and appeared in commercials for products such as Dulux Paint and Pringles.
Biel's film career blossomed when she played a turn-of-the-century duchess in the period piece The Illusionist, co-starring Edward Norton and Paul Giamatti.
Biel played an Iraq War veteran in the 2006 film Home of the Brave, a drama about soldiers struggling to readjust to society after facing the hardships of war.
In late 2007, Biel signed on to play a stripper in Powder Blue, alongside Forest Whitaker (who also produced the film), Ray Liotta and Patrick Swayze.