In Jennifer Garner’s latest film, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, she plays maid of honour for a wedding imperiled by her caddish ex, played by Matthew McConaughey. But to hear Garner tell it, she’s often the one more likely to wreak havoc on someone else’s nuptials.
“I’m usually part of the disaster of a wedding if I’m a bridesmaid, which I’ve been lucky to be several times,” Garner says, smiling sheepishly. “One time I had had my dress altered and hadn’t tried it on again, and there was six inches left on the hem,” she remembers.
“We had to duct tape it up. You can fix anything with duct tape.”
Garner’s own wedding to Ben Affleck wasn’t so fraught, and the two have become an anomaly in Hollywood: A normal, happy family.
“The rule with marriage is the less you talk about it, the better, as far as I can tell,” Garner jokes.
Garner and Affleck recently welcomed their second daughter, Serraphina. Juggling young motherhood and working isn’t easy, but Garner counts herself lucky to have the kind of job she does.
“I work really intensely, but in a place where if I need to take a break and feed a baby, they let me, which isn’t always the case for women in the corporate world,” Garner explains.
But forget being a working mother — Garner is surprised she’s working in film at all. “I never expected to be in front of a camera, even when I was studying acting,” she says. “I wouldn’t even go into the film school at my school. I was only about the stage. I was a total snob.”
Luckily she abandoned that snobbishness, and went on to find success in television and film, including her breakthrough roles in the TV series Alias and in the film 13 Going on 30, another romantic comedy.
And Garner will continue in comedy for the time being, appearing soon in Ricky Gervais’ The Invention of Lying, about a world where everyone tells the truth. But working with laugh-happy Gervais proved tricky.
“The worst thing about Ricky as a director is that if something is funny at all, he breaks and laughs and ruins your take,” Garner says. “I would say, ‘It’s your movie. Just go in another room and let me just do it.’”
Surely nothing a little duct tape can’t fix, though.
• Ghosts of Girlfriends Past opens in theatres next Friday.