DD Int: Jennifer Garner
For some time now I've been on the fence about Jennifer Garner and particularly about whether she could pull off Elektra. Well having seen DAREDEVIL and having sat next to Ms. Garner herself, I can easily say I've fallen off the fence - head over heels. I think there are two types of celebrities - those who look so awful in person you can't believe the amount of make-up necessary to put them on the big screen, and those who are ten times more beautiful than you could've imagine. Jen Garner falls into the latter. She's nothing like her tough counterparts on "Alias" and in DAREDEVIL and is very petite, shy, polite, funny, charming and all the other adjectives you could think of. I didn't even mind when she busted my chops about not watching "Alias"...
Did you follow comic-books at any point in your life?
I do now. Now I can't pass em up. I have to stop and see if there's a new "Elektra" out or a new "Daredevil." I am one of three girls so I followed "Anne of Green Gables," "Emily of New Moon," and "Little House on the Prairie." Not comic books. But now I'm a fan and I wish I had read "Elektra" when I was growing up cause I think she's really empowering to young women.
Doing a movie like this does it bring out any kind of childhood fantasy?
I didn't realize I had the fantasy before I did it. But there were times when I'd be losing the hair at night, taking out the green contacts, losing the great clothes and putting on my sweats and feeling like, "I like her better." She's cooler than I am.
Does it enhance your imagination?
Yeah, it's a little daunting cause, first of all, you have all these comic books to draw from; to build this character from. And you have all these fans that think of this character in a specific way before you even say one word. And there is a weight of responsibility with that. But at the same time, it's a comic book character so you can go anywhere with it, so it can go as big as you want or as crazy as you want. So you definitely have to take some time to find your way but it was great to start with the physicality of it. Just working with the sais, which I did for four months during lunch at "Alias" with this young guy named Don Lee, who's kind of the sai-martial-artist-expert or whatever. That's such a violent weapon, this three-pronged Japanese sword Elektra uses. That's the first thing that really made me feel like Elektra. Cause it's so brutal. You can really hurt yourself with them.
Are you really a tough girl like people think you are?
I'm a strong person, but I'm not tough. I am NOT violent. I can't even watch violence. Now I can watch a fight scene with a little bit more interest than before because I like to see, was that a miss, was that a good reaction, was that a good kick?.
Colin seems to think he could kick anyone's ass.
I mean, I could kick Colin's.
Can you talk about getting - and staying - in this great physical shape?
Well I got into shape for the "Alias" pilot with a trainer named Valarie Waters, who I owe a huge debt of gratitude to. And I've been with her ever since. She's very...her approach is one of being consistent. She doesn't want you to freak out in any direction. I work out as many mornings as I can. Almost always in the morning cause then you can't skip. Even if it's 4 in the morning. 4:30, 5:00 even. Not 3:00. I won't work out at 3 or 3:30 in the morning. That's just my limit. But it usually ends up being 5 days a week and never more than an hour. But I don't miss. I don't take a week off cause it's inconvenient. Or sleep in cause I'd rather... I get up and do it.
What is the workout?
It's a combination of cardio, weight circuit, more cardio to keep the heart rate up. A lot of injury prevention like rotator cuffs, knees, back, ankles, that kind of stuff. A ton of stretching. All around you just leave feeling great. She never works me out so hard that I can't do a fight later.
Are you trying to get out of that physical world now and look for something softer?
I wouldn't say I'm worried about... I love this physical stuff, that's why I wanted to do DAREDEVIL. To learn what DAREDEVIL could teach me. On "Alias" I learn a fight and immediately do it the next day and just trying to get better, as where working on that scene I don't really have time to train. So I wanted the training I knew DAREDEVIL would give me. This next summer, I'm doing a comedy and of course, as an actress you want to do the opposite of what you're doing.
You're doing a comedy?
Yes, it's called 13 GOING ON 30. Gary Winnick is going to direct it and Mark Ruffalo is gonna play my love interest...from YOU CAN COUNT ON ME.
Your celebrity is really on the rise. How do you deal with the onslaught of fame?
I'm really glad that show is critically acclaimed, I'm glad the show is doing well. I love that job more than anything in the world. As far as fame is concerned, it hasn't really hit me yet. Not to sound naive cause I know there's an awareness about me, I know that I'm on the cover of a magazine, but I'm at work so much of the time that I don't live my normal life, so I don't see it. Normally I would be watching Extra or Access Hollywood or ET and know kinda what was happening. But now, I might do the interviews but I never see them so it's kinda...just got my head down and doing my job.
Do you read what's written about you?
I read some of it. I don't not read it on purpose.
Are you interested in the lives of other celebrities and things like that?
Not in the way that they're told there, cause I don't necessarily buy it. But I'm interested in people. But if I'm getting on an airplane, yeah I'll pick up a People.
Do you have any advice for people who are trying to get into "Alias?"
Did you see the Super Bowl episode?
I didn't cause I know I'm not gonna understand what's going on.
Alright I'm sitting with you right now. But if you miss Ethan Hawke tonight...you can just turn your tape recorder off and never talk to me again. It's sooo good and so easy to understand. Ken Olin directed it. It's so easy to understand. Get over it, it's not that difficult. It's a television show. It's got great characters, great drama and there's action - watch a few times and you'll get it. My roommate's dead. My roommate's dead. There, watch it tonight. Watch the show!!
The acclaim for "Alias" is kind of preceeding the audience. Why do you think that's true?
Well, I think we're doing very well on the network we are on. We are doing very well with the lead in that we have. And ABC has done nothing but support us and be great for us, and we're trying to help them rebuild and they're trying to help us build. But we're doing fine.
Many of my female friends love "Alias" but kind of tease about the wardrobe and the skimpiness of it. Especially with the Super Bowl episode.
Well yeah, we did it with a wink and a nod. We knew that's what we were doing. As long as Sydney is Sydney and we do things like that, with the same edge we do everything else, with the same bit of spin and kick, then it's OK with me. Is it my favorite thing to spend my day in my panties? With the crew trying not to look at me? No, it's not my favorite thing in the world. But it's not the worst thing either. I'm so comfortable with them and they're so used to me. We just kind of went on about our business. And I love that Sydney is in control of the situation. We'll never see her...I don't think it'll ever be gratuitous on our show.
JJ Abrams (creator of "Alias") has said he wouldn't be opposed to a feature film?
Wouldn't that be fun? We've never really talked about it but I'm so up for it. I think it would be so fun. I just love these actors. I would work with them in any way, shape or form.
But clearly there's life after "Alias." That's why you do movies like this and a comedy next to branch out. Do you think about the future beyond the TV show?
That's why I am working this summer. Right now it's still so consuming getting every single episode out, it takes up so many pure hours on my part that I don't spend a lot of time speculating on when "Alias" is over. I'm just trying to enjoy it while it's here and prepare for the future during the summers with things like CATCH ME IF YOU CAN or any small roles I can do on the side. And I'm thrilled to be given roles right now. I never have been before. I was out there auditioning for a long time.
Why are there so few female superheroes?
I don't know why there are so few but I think they're accepted more. And the one thing I love about Elektra is that she's Daredevil's equal. She can take him physically, she's as smart as he is, she is absolutely capable of taking care of herself. She's an incredibly complicated woman. And has a very feminine side. She's not masculine in any way. She's just tough.
Did you ever get to meet Frank Miller who actually created Elektra?
I did. He came to the set. I was so nervous to meet him when he came to the set when we were doing reshoots in New York. And he was so nice to me and so thrilled about the movie that it was nothing but a great meeting. I have a picture of the two of us together up at home.
What project or type of project would you like to do in the future?
The one time I've had real envy of someone else's career was with these musicals. I grew up singing and dancing and I can hardly stand it. So I would stick myself smack in the middle of one of these musicals and spend the year, instead of kicking and turning my foot in and making it ugly, I would go back to what I know how to do.
A CHICAGO fan I guess.
I can't stand it I'm in so much pain I wasn't in that. I just wanted to be in the chorus. I wouldn't even care!