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.
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.
“Ben says, ‘Oh, you just don’t care,’ and I say, ‘No, it’s the opposite.’ It hurts me so much, and I care so much,” she says, choosing to not “give a shit” how the divorce looks to the outside world. “I don’t remember having more fun working with anyone than I’ve had working with her,” Abrams reflects.
“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.
According to the Nielsen ratings, she is, in fact, the No.“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.Then, after a take or two, after everyone has seen your boobs and love handles, you just want to take every crew member and be like, ‘Please have mercy on me!A month later, plastered over the tabloids and gossip sites, came reports that Affleck was having an affair with the family nanny, 28-year-old Christine Ouzounian, something his camp adamantly denies. (After a few inappropriate Instagram moments, the nanny has since dissolved into the background.)“When I can’t sleep—and I am not someone who typically has that problem, but I really have in the last year—and I need something to switch my brain off, it has been Tina Fey and Amy Poehler,” Garner says. I used to think I would never watch television on my phone, but there I am, because I am sleeping next to my daughter.” Garner tells me she and Violet have become temporary roommates.“I’m happy to have her; she’s happy to have me.”We live in a visual world, where a picture paints a thousand words. It’s not great for your kids for [a nanny] to disappear from their lives.” Months later, she’s still assessing the damage.