Jessica Biel: 'Restaurant criticism hurt my feelings'
Actress Jessica Biel was hurt when critics took aim at her family-friendly restaurant project before the doors opened.
The Total Recall star recently launched Au Fudge, a kid-friendly eatery which incorporates a mostly organic menu of California-French comfort food with an imaginative play space supervised by au pairs, in Los Angeles, but she wasn't prepared for the backlash from people who were quick to compare her business venture to those of other Hollywood stars, like Gwyneth Paltrow, Jessica Alba, and Reese Witherspoon, who have left the film sets behind to start successful lifestyle initiatives.
One critic even suggested Jessica's Au Fudge was little more than an exclusive celebrity play pen.
"You can't help but get your feelings hurt," she admitted to C California Style magazine. "You think, 'Well, hold on a second. I'm just trying to do something cool for my community. Why is this getting so turned around?' But it inspired us to keep moving forward because we know our hearts are in the right place."
The mother-of-one has also credited the support of her co-owners and husband, singer Justin Timberlake, for helping her ignore the critics who didn't have anything nice to say.
"He's not one of those people to pooh-pooh an idea or a passion," she explained. "He is the person who says, 'Do it. And if it fails, it fails. But you did it'. I'm sure he was probably thinking, 'It's going to be hard.'"
Now Au Fudge has opened, the feedback from visitors is encouraging, and Jessica hopes the venture will expand to other venues and cities in the future, especially as one very special regular seems to enjoy his time there - her one-year-old son Silas.
"Silas doesn't really talk yet - he says some words, but he hasn't given me any real feedback," she laughed. "But he eats the food."