Jennifer Anne Garner (born April 17, 1972) is an American actress and film producer. Garner gained recognition on television for her performance as CIA officer Sydney Bristow in the thriller drama series Alias, which aired on ABC for five seasons from 2001 to 2006. For her work on the series, Garner won a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild Award.
While working on Alias, she gained minor roles in hit movies such as Pearl Harbor (2001), with her current husband Ben Affleck, and Catch Me if You Can (2002). Since then, Garner has appeared in supporting as well as lead roles on the big screen in projects including Daredevil (2003), 13 Going on 30 (2004), Elektra (2005), a spin-off of Daredevil, and Juno (2007). Garner is married to actor and director Ben Affleck, with whom she has three children.
Garner was born in Houston, Texas. Her mother, Patricia Ann (née English), was an English teacher from Oklahoma, and her father, William John "Bill" Garner, worked as a chemical engineer. When she was four years old, her father's job with Union Carbide relocated her family to Princeton, West Virginia, and then later to Charleston, West Virginia, where Garner resided until her college years. She has credited her older sister, Melissa Lynn Garner Wylie, who resides in Boston, Massachusetts, as a source of inspiration to her. Her younger sister is Susannah Kay Garner Carpenter.
Garner's conservative upbringing included going to church every Sunday, not wearing make-up or a bikini, and waiting at least until the age of 16 to be allowed to get her ears pierced, which, she later joked, made her family "just a step away from being Amish." She said: "I'd hate to say it was strict. It was just not condoned. I never felt hemmed in." She began taking ballet lessons at the age of three and continued to dance throughout her youth, but she did not envision herself becoming a classical ballerina. Garner attended George Washington High School in Charleston and graduated in 1990. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in drama from Denison University, where she was initiated into
the sorority Pi Beta Phi.
Garner did not plan on becoming an actress: "I wanted to be a doctor, a librarian. ... (Acting) wasn't possible to me. The more I learned what there was to learn about this field, the more hungry I became for it. It comes out of wanting to learn more, as opposed to 'I want to be a star.' I never felt that way," she said.
Career[edit source | editbeta]
Fashion[edit source | editbeta]
As of July 17, 2013, Jennifer Garner is the first and, currently, only celebrity spokesperson of Max Mara. Starting in September, the campaign will appear in Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Elle, W, InStyle, The New York Times, and the International Herald Tribune.
Acting[edit source | editbeta]
In 1994, Garner appeared in Atlanta productions of two Shakespeare plays, The Merchant of Venice and A Midsummer Night's Dream, by the Georgia Shakespeare Company.
In 1995, Garner started pursuing theater in New York City and earned $150 a week as an understudy in the play A Month in the Country for Roundabout Theatre Company. She was then cast in her first television role as part of a made-for-television movie Zoya, based on the Danielle Steel novel. In the late 1990s, she made brief appearances in individual episodes of Spin City and Law & Order while also securing roles in two short-lived television series, Significant Others and Time of Your Life.
Garner made her first big screen appearance of the 21st century in the comedy Dude, Where's My Car?, playing Ashton Kutcher's character's girlfriend. In 2001, she appeared as the supporting character of a nurse in the big-budget epic Pearl Harbor, starring her future husband Ben Affleck.
Later in 2001, J. J. Abrams, the producer of Felicity, in which Garner had played a recurring role since 1998, approached Garner to audition for the role of Sydney Bristow in his new spy drama Alias. Garner, who up until then had mostly played weepy waifs, did not learn that she "might have to throw a punch or kick" until the first few days of the audition. Told that she "throws like such a girl" and with no background in martial arts or gymnastics, she enrolled in a month-long, private Taekwondo class to prepare for the audition. Even as Garner was cast after several auditions, Abrams revealed that he remained panicked with the thought that she might not be able to pull off the role, especially as, on the first day of shooting, he was told by Garner herself, "I don't think I can do this." Garner later commented, "I was such a girlie-girl then. I didn't even know how to punch." While she performed many of the action sequences during the series herself, the dangerous explosions and complex fights were handled by her stunt double, Shauna Duggins. The first few episodes of season one of Alias, which averaged about 10.2 million weekly viewers, earned Garner the award for "Best Actress in a Television Series — Drama" at the 2002 Golden Globe Awards. Garner's salary for the show began at $40,000 an episode and rose to $150,000 per episode by the series' end. During the show's run, Garner received four consecutive Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Television Series Drama nominations as well as Emmy Award nominations for her lead performance. She won the Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series in 2005. That same year, during the fourth season, Garner directed the Alias episode, "In Dreams", which aired in May. She received producer credit during the series' final season. The series concluded in May 2006 after a shorter fifth season that was abbreviated from 22 to 17 episodes due to Garner's pregnancy, which was written into the season's storyline.
After the initial success of Alias, Garner made a big screen cameo in the Steven Spielberg film Catch Me if You Can in 2002; Spielberg had seen her on the show and wanted her to play that small role. Her breakout film role came when she played Ben Affleck's love interest as Elektra Natchios in the action movie Daredevil (2003), an adaptation of the comic book. Garner stated that her training for Daredevil was more gruesome than her work on Alias, and revealed that as she got hung up on wires several times during fight sequences, Affleck became "in charge of reaching up and saving [her]." She was involved in a potentially serious accident on the set of Daredevil when, entangled in wires with her arms stuck and unable to move while doing a flip, she came crashing towards a wall "head-first with such velocity, that [she] was about to smash [her] head into the wall". Recalling how she was rescued by Affleck, she said in 2003, "out of nowhere comes this 6 ft. 4 in. red devil who just kind of put his arms out and shouts: 'I've got her!' I'm telling you, it was like, 'I've got my own superhero.'" While Daredevil got mixed reviews, it was a box office hit.
Garner starred in her first leading role in 13 Going on 30 (2004), a moderate commercial success. Reviewers praised her performance as "radiant" and "effervescent without ever being cloying", and The Christian Science Monitor commented that "while Garner is no Tom Hanks, she's consistently appealing". Her second lead role saw her reprising the character of Elektra in the 2005 Daredevil spin-off titled Elektra, a box office disaster that was panned by critics. The Boston Globe stated, "Based on Garner's humorlessness, lack of vocal inflection, and generally bland disposition, "the Way" she has yet to grasp seems to be that of acting," whereas USA Today concluded that "Jennifer Garner ... is far more appealing when she's playing charming and adorable, as she did so winningly in 13 Going on 30.
Garner in 2009 at a press conference for The Invention of Lying.
Garner performed the Frank Loesser song "My Heart Is So Full of You" on the 2006 charity album Unexpected Dreams – Songs From the Stars. She appeared in the films Catch and Release (2006) and The Kingdom (2007) alongside Jamie Foxx, Jason Bateman and Ashraf Barhom. She then appeared in the Jason Reitman-directed comedy/drama feature Juno, which became a sleeper box office hit, grossing over $230 million from a production budget of $7.5 million. After that film's premiere at the Toronto Film Festival, Entertainment Weekly declared Garner's work the best female supporting performance of the festival, saying, "The star of Alias and The Kingdom does no butt-kicking in this sweet comedy. Instead, as a young wife desperately hoping to adopt, she's funny, a bit tough, and unbelievably touching."
Garner made her Broadway debut on November 1, 2007, playing Roxanne in Cyrano de Bergerac alongside Kevin Kline at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on Broadway. The show was originally set to run until December 23, 2007, but it was extended through January 6, 2008 due to the Broadway stagehand strike in late 2007.
In 2010, Garner appeared in the ensemble romantic comedy Valentine's Day, directed by Garry Marshall, which also starred Ashton Kutcher, Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Anne Hathaway, Julia Roberts, and former Alias co-star Bradley Cooper, among others. She portrayed Patrick Dempsey's girlfriend. The film was a commercial success, grossing over $215 million worldwide. In 2011, she starred in the 2011 remake of Arthur. In that same year, Garner was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In 2012, Garner appeared in the films The Odd Life of Timothy Green and Butter.
She will next star in the 2013 film The Dallas Buyer's Club, reuniting with Matthew McConaughey. On April 24, 2013 Garner started filming Summit and OddLot Entertainment's dramedy Draft Day in New York and Cleveland, Ohio, which also stars Kevin Costner. The film is directed and produced by Ivan Reitman. In April 2013, Garner joined Steve Carell in the Disney adaption of the popular children's book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Filming is set to be from August through October 2013 in Los Angeles. In May 2013, Garner joined the cast of the movie Imagine alongside Al Pacino, Annette Bening, Bobby Cannavale and Michael Caine. Filming is set to begin in late June or early July in Los Angeles.
Producer[edit source | editbeta]
In 2006, Garner founded a production company called Vandalia Films. The first film she produced was Butter, released in American theaters in 2012.
Personal life[edit source | editbeta]
Marriages and family[edit source | editbeta]
On October 19, 2000, Garner married actor Scott Foley, whom she had met on the set of Felicity in 1998. After separating from Foley in March 2003, Garner filed for divorce in May 2003, citing irreconcilable differences, and the two were officially divorced on March 30, 2004. Following her separation, Garner dated Alias co-star Michael Vartan from August 2003 to March 2004.
Sometime in early to mid-2004, Garner started dating Daredevil co-star Ben Affleck and the two made their first public appearance as a couple by attending the Boston Red Sox's opening World Series games in October 2004. Since her relationship with Affleck, first as girlfriend and then as wife, Garner has been a tabloid staple. "Ben taught me that you cannot read that stuff, that it's poison," she said in 2009. On Garner's 33rd birthday, Affleck proposed to her with a 4.5 carats (900 mg) diamond ring from Harry Winston. Affleck married Garner, who was four months pregnant at the time, on June 29, 2005 in a private ceremony in the Caribbean, officiated by family friend and Garner's Alias co-star, Victor Garber, at the Parrot Cay resort on the Turks and Caicos Islands. The couple have three children: daughters Violet Anne Affleck (born December 1, 2005) and Seraphina Rose Elizabeth Affleck (born January 6, 2009), and son Samuel Garner Affleck (born February 27, 2012).
Stalker[edit source | editbeta]
Garner had been stalked since 2002 by a man, Steven Burky, who was eventually arrested in December 2009, after violating a 2008 restraining order. Burky was charged with two counts of stalking, to which he pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity; in March 2010, he was ruled insane and sent to the California state mental hospital with a court order to stay away from the Affleck family for 10 years if released from the hospital.
In the media[edit source | editbeta]
In 2002, Garner topped the Maxim Hot 100 list. In December 2007, Garner was named The Charleston Sunday Gazette-Mail's 2007 West Virginian of the Year "for her dedication, work ethic and unique role as role model and ambassador for West Virginia." People named her one of 2012 Most Beautiful at Every Age.