There’s only one word to sum up life for Jennifer Garner right now – boring. At least that’s what she wants us to think.
Even with today being her 37th birthday, Jen is playing her own party pooper on her big day and with life in general.
The truth is that she doesn’t do parties or wild nights our or even breakdowns like other celebs because she’s quietly going about what she really loves – motherhood mixed with just a little Hollywood.
With three-year-old Violet and baby Seraphina, born just four months ago, Jen and husband Ben Affleck have found the kind of happiness denied to so many famous couples. The couple first met as friends on the set of Peal Harbour ten years ago but didn’t become more than that until teaming up in their skintight jumpsuits for comic book movie Daredevil in 2003. At the time Affleck was living the popstar life with another Jennifer – Lopez. Now he and Garner have clearly found their place with each other and their young family.
Jen is making what has become one of her rare returns to Hollywood over the past few years with romantic comedy Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.
The movie sees Jen play bridesmaid to her soon-to-be-wed sister and her womanising groom Matthew McConaughey. With Matt’s character struggling with a bad case of cold feet it takes a ghostly and Christmas Carol-like revelation to put the wedding back on track.
Here Jen talks about juggling babies with box office, how she’s coping with life as a famous mother and why she’s doing everything she can to keep her perfect life as boring as possible.
Q: Happy birthday, by the way.
JG: Thank you. You know, this year it just doesn’t feel like a birthday…life is full. I don’t need to celebrate. Normally, I am the person that says, ‘You know my birthday is in three weeks? Just so you know. I’ll see you tomorrow. It’s my birthday,’ But not this time.”
Q: How are you enjoying motherhood second time around?
JG: “It’s the same thing but crazier (laughs). No, everything is going really well, thank you very much. Everybody is happy and healthy. It feels like it’s only one more but it feels like three more.”
Q: What is your secret to keeping your family out of the tabloids?
JG: “We try to be boring (laughs). I try to stay away from it. Ben taught me that you cannot read that stuff, that it’s poison. It is horrible to read anything written about you. I would read the positive stuff if somebody read it through for me beforehand.”
Q: Did you learn anything from this movie?
JG: “Well, I think yeah, of course, there are messages to the movie: that you have to take a chance on love. That it’s worth the risk.”
Q: How weird was it to act out the scenes when Matthew is a ghost and invisible to your character?
JG: “It felt like he was an audience of one. It just gave it a different twist. I liked it. It informed the scene to have Matthew there. It was quite nice to just ignore him (laughs).”
Q: Have you had any experience of wedding angst like your character in this movie?
JG: “I am usually part of the disaster of a wedding if I’m a bridesmaid which I’ve been lucky enough to be several times. One time I had my dress altered and had not tried it on again and there was four-to-six-inches left of the hem and we had to duct tape it up. It was all last minute because I never get ready until the last minute because I’m hanging out and chatting, doing girls’ makeup which I should not be doing. I went to walk down the aisle one time in front of my friend and the curlers were still in my hair. So I’m not a good bridesmaid in that way.”
Q: Did you always want to be famous?
JG: “No. The whole movie stardom ride is totally unexpected. I certainly never expected to be in front of a camera even for one day of my life. Even when I was studying acting, I wouldn’t even go into the film school of my school. I was only about stage. I was a total snob. Then when I moved to New York and was trying to get a job on stage and was broke and got offered a TV movie, I was like, ‘Hot dog! Put me in front of that camera. Let’s do it!” So now that it has continued to evolve, I love my job.
Q: You’re doing another movie with a wild concept, a world where no one’s ever lied.
JG: “That’s right. Ricky Gervais wrote it with Matt Robinson and they directed too. It’s just one of those little movies but it has a very big idea which is to imagine a world with no artifice whatsoever. So for example, an ad for Coca Cola would say, ‘Coca Cola, it’s bad for you but it’s sparkly and tastes good. Please continue buying Coca Cola. It’s really famous.’ Ricky’s character is the one exception to the rule. He learns how to lie and just that one person learning how to lie changes the entire world. It’s really, really fun and there are a lot of great cameos in it. It’s just a kooky little movie.”
Q: What was it like being directed by Ricky Gervais?
JG: “He is very specific about things. The worst thing about Ricky as a director is that if something is funny, if something is funny at all and it was very improvisational, he breaks and laughs and ruins your take. I would say, ‘It’s your movie. Just leave. Just go in another room. Let me just do it.’ He’s like, ‘Just do it again.’ I said, ‘Ricky, it’s not the same. You suck!’ But he knew exactly what he wanted.”
Q: Would you like to do more romantic comedies or are you itching to go back to action roles?
JG: “I’ve been lucky to be able to change because I did become known out of the gate so much for action. I’m really happy that I didn’t get stuck there. The whole point to me of being an actor is to get to do different things or else you might as well just go to an office and show up every day. Of course, you’re always looking for how to flip it for yourself, as well as how can I surprise people. That’s the fun.”
Q: Would you like to do another movie with Ben?
JG: “A big part of it is that somebody’s got to raise the kids, so if we’re both at work, that’s a bummer for them. But there’s no rush. We’re not looking for anything to do together just now.”