This native West Virginian’s relaxed, unpretentious style has made her arguably one of the most respected public mothers in America and still a draw at the box office.
Her walk is brisk and to the point as she joins me at a table in the back.
In an unassuming Italian restaurant in Santa Monica, I wait for Jennifer Garner.
You’ve seen thousands of photographs of her: jeans, sweater, thick chestnut locks swept up in a ponytail—the definition of what it is to be California casual.
“She is becoming the person that I could see in her that she almost couldn’t see in herself,” he says. I think she went from someone that wanted to take care of everybody to be someone who said, ‘In order to do that I have to really take care of myself.’ ”Garner has just completed filming written and directed by Robin Swicord, based on E. Doctorow’s retelling of a Nathaniel Hawthorne tale.
She plays the wife in this drama, due out later this year, about a husband (Bryan Cranston) who fakes his own death in order to watch his spouse from their attic.
She was next to her helping her know she was strong enough to get through it, and I wanted to be in her skin.” She adds: “I certainly was never on set thinking of my own life, except for my own gratitude.
One of the great gifts of the movie was the perspective that came with it.”—set for release right before Easter—will also put Garner before the public eye for the first time since the divorce announcement, and force her to deal with all the media chatter about her private life.
“She’s smart-funny—she makes you want to be funnier and smarter, and you know that when you throw the best you’ve got her way she’ll make it better. But no one’s Jen Garner.”Abrams, whose broke box-office records last year, makes no bones about wanting to work with Garner again. She really is on the cusp of the most interesting, the most complex and satisfying roles as an actor.”It was also on —which ran for five seasons before going off the air, in 2006—that she met the veteran actor Victor Garber, who played her father, Jack Bristow. (He is also Violet’s godfather.) “From the first moment we met,” he says, “there was this inexplicable chemistry and connection, this understanding that we were on the same page.“I turned on CNN one day,” she says, “and there we were. I took a silent oath with myself last summer to really stay offline.I am totally clueless about all of it.” In this constant, 24-hour media age, unplugging takes real discipline—which can be interpreted, by some, as indifference. I need to move with the big picture always on my mind, and the kids first and foremost.”Garner won America’s hearts 14 years ago as the star of J. Abrams’s popular ABC series in the 1970s that audiences saw a sexy, badass female action hero.After all, Garner and Affleck were a glamorous version of normal that almost defied believability. Garner plays a real-life Texas mother, Christy Beam, whose young daughter Annabel (played by Kylie Rogers) is ill with a life-threatening disease that miraculously heals after a near-fatal fall from a tree. Her pain, the daughter’s pain, what it did to the family.(The film is based on Beam’s best-selling memoir of the same name.) Think with a fair share of spiritual overtones. Christy was so steadfast; she didn’t try to whitewash what was wrong with her daughter.“When you haven’t been kissed for over eight months,” she says, “it’s strange. It’s nine in the morning and you think, I could really use a shot of alcohol.