Arnold Schwarzenegger wasn’t the first actor to be elected to high public office in the US and he won’t be the last if Ben Affleck’s political ambitions grow unabated – and his wife Jennifer Garner thinks she would make a perfect First Lady.
“Sometimes,” says a smiling Jennifer Garner, the TV and movie star who is also the mother of Affleck’s two daughters, “I feel like Ben married me because I would be a good First Lady.”
While her comment no doubt is tongue-in-cheek, Garner does, however, acknowledge her 36-year-old husband’s aspirations.
Knowledgeable and articulate, Affleck was called on frequently for comment by America’s news networks during the presidential election and has openly expressed his interest in one day running for Congress.
“He’d be great,” says Garner, 37. “But it would be a long time from now. He needs to direct some (more) movies.”
In the meantime, she says, it is all they can do to raise Violet, three, and Seraphina, or “Sera”, who arrived in January, while also juggling their respective careers.
In one recent week, Garner helped move their family into a new home in Los Angeles; flew to Boston to visit Affleck, who is shooting The Company Men opposite Tommy Lee Jones and Kevin Costner and returned to LA for the premiere of her latest movie Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past; then went to New York to walk another red carpet.
“I just have to be super-chill about it,” she says. “I just take one thing at a time and don’t panic too much when work comes up because we’ll figure it out.
“When you get down to the nitty gritty it always seems to be fine. As far as balance is concerned, I used to do nothing but work, so now my life is much more balanced.
“I just really love, love, love being pregnant and being home and diving into the whole world of it, making dinner and baking bread and taking my daughter to school.
“You know, balance can be a nightmare for any working woman and I count myself among them, but I have help and support from my husband and I can hire people to help me do what I need to do, so I’m a very lucky working mum.”
Described recently by InStyle magazine as “girl next door gorgeous”, Garner, the former star of TV’s Alias, has been married to actor, director and Academy Award-winning writer Affleck since 2005.
It is her second marriage while Affleck was previously was engaged to singer and actress Jennifer Lopez.
Garner and Affleck became friends while working together on Pearl Harbour (2001) and also co-starred in Daredevil (2003) at a time when her first marriage, to her co-star from TV’s Felicity, Scott Foley, was disintegrating.
I was at a very vulnerable place in my life but he (Affleck) never hit on me, and that’s why I liked him,” Garner says.
“It was a surprisingly slow evolution, but once it evolved we were just like, `OK, let’s have a baby and get married’.”
In the romantic comedy Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past, Garner plays Jenny Perotti opposite Matthew McConaughey as Connor Mead.
Once childhood sweethearts, she’s now a doctor; he is a celebrity photographer and shameless womanizer.
Affleck originally was attached to the role of Connor, but Garner thinks real-life couples on screen don’t work.
“It would be weird,” Garner says. “It just wouldn’t work well for us or for the audience.
“I’m not saying never again, but just don’t expect to see us fall in love on screen. To me that would just be creepy.
“I would be in another film that he’s in, of course, if it makes sense, and I would love to be directed by him.”
But her biggest relief, after her action movie, The Kingdom, was at last being able to dress up again.
“I thought, `Oh, thank goodness I’m in nice clothes and my hair’s pretty and I smell good and I get to be a girlie girl and I get to kiss the boy!’ “Really, that’s how it works for me.”