Jennifer Garner The Kingdom, L.A., Four Seasons



What special features is there going to be on the DVD?

Jennifer Garner: A lot of behind the scenes stuff. You can watch for Peter Berg punching me in the stomach behind the scenes. He was showing off for the camera, for the guy who was getting B roll, which is stuff just for the DVD. He was showing off for him and saying, "What do you do with actors who misbehave?" and he hauled back and punched me. He punched me and so he knocked the wind out of me and thought he wasn't really going to hurt me because I was wearing a Kevlar vest, but Kevlar doesn't do anything for impact. It just protects you from an actual lead bullet. It wasn't a real Kevlar vest, it was a costume! So he's such an ignoramus. So we had the medic come over and I pretend like I'd broken my rib. And he got so scared that he turned to the B roll camera and said, "Cut, cut, cut!" Because he thought he was going to get in trouble. I don't know how much of that will make it on there, but it should. Peter pulled a lot of pranks. He's a dodo. I was shooting something in a morgue and it was really intense and serious and focused and I was working on someone who was supposed to be a cadaver, and suddenly he sits up and starts screaming in my face and I had jumped out of my skin. Pete had told him to do that. There were all kinds of moments like that.


Did you get a payback?

Jennifer Garner: I did, but involved another one of Pete's pranks that isn't very nice so I don't feel like I should talk about it. Okay. Pete arranged for a couple of people to interrupt a scene and pretend like they had an issue with my character. And I found out beforehand that he was going to do this and so instead of going with it, which would be my natural thing, I pretended to start crying and stomped off the set. And Chris Cooper was part of it as well and he knew about it as well and he threw a fit and he's the last person you would ever expect to throw a fit. He said, "I can't believe you are so unprofessional!" And he was pretending, and he stalked off the set. And Pete was terrified because he thought we were both...he had tried to pull this prank and it had gone way wrong and he was so upset! It was great.


It's amazing that you can do this with such a tight schedule?

Jennifer Garner: You just do it anyway. He's a fast enough director that he can get away with stuff like that.


The DVD sounds great already. What else can you reveal about it?

Jennifer Garner: There will be a making-of documentary and director's commentary. We all did interviews for the documentary too.


What do you want audiences to know about the making of the movie?

Jennifer Garner: I want audiences to know that we were trying as hard as we possibly could to be conscientious, to be as authentic as possible, and to be as respectful as possible to every culture that is in the movie.


What did you learn about yourself from this movie?

Jennifer Garner: I was reminded of how important it is not to look at someone with a stereotype in mind and to see the whole person. This movie was a good reminder for that and it does break down stereotypes and it does make you think, "Do I see people in the way that they dress or the accent of the country they are from? Or do I see them for what they are?"


How old was your daughter while shooting?

Jennifer Garner: I6.5 or 7 months when we started.


So you did this movie right after giving birth. How come?

Jennifer Garner: I didn't even think of that. I loved it so I wanted to do it. I didn't think about the challenges of being up in the middle of the night with the baby and then starting work at 4 in the morning in the desert and being in the heat while I was nursing. None of that really crossed my mind, but we made it through. What I did think about and what was great about this movie was I had days off. I was home to give her a bath and put her to bed almost every night. She was able to come with me to the set. It was very comfortable for her. They were very accommodating about letting me nurse her and take care of her. So that's the stuff I was thinking more about, her, instead of, "I'm going to spend two nights in a hospital from heat stroke." (laughs)


Were there precautions for breastfeeding?

Jennifer Garner: I didn't even think of it. I eventually did talk to my doctor before I went and she said, "You'll be fine." It wasn't until after this had happened that someone said to me that you can't put your body in that kind of extreme situation. Yes, you are fine in the heat, you are fine to be nursing. Standing outside for 8 or 10 hours in that kind of heat, that is a different ball of wax. That is so extreme that your body goes into panic mode and it gives everything you need to the baby.


Did you do most of the stunts yourself?

Jennifer Garner: Yeah, I did the stuff. I did all the stunts. There was nothing that scary. I wasn't jumping off a building or anything. I was never in danger. So it was just uncomfortable stuff, that's what stunts usually are. So yeah, I did them.


Being an action star are you also wearing the pants at home, are you the tough one?

Jennifer Garner: I am only when I have to (laughs), only when I really need to clean up, you know, and make sure I'm listened to. No, my husband is a teddy bear. I don't have to get tough with him. He's a nice guy.


How was it to work with Jamie Foxx?

Jennifer Garner: Jamie is such an incredible actor. He's the perfect guy for this role because he's such a leader and it comes effortlessly to him. You can tell that he's always been someone that people around him have looked up to and have asked advice of. I certainly did while we were working together. I know this has nothing to do with who he is, but it seems representative of who he is to me: He was the only one who never seemed affected by the heat. He was just mellow and he would stand in the shade and just chill out. And the rest of us are going, "Huh!" I'm in the hospital and Jason is throwing up. Jamie was just as cool as a cucumber. He was just charming and funny.


Are action scenes like riding a bicycle for you; easy once you've mastered them?

Jennifer Garner: It was tough. It was different from anything I'd done because we were really trying to kill each other. It was very savage and very raw, and Pete was very clear that he wanted it to be as real as possible and not pretty and not choreographed, and so it wasn't. He just was like "scratch, kick, bite", so I had these scratch marks across my face that were huge and had to be covered with makeup for the next week. I had bruises from where I hit the wall and hit the ground.


How did you get in that shape?

Jennifer Garner: It's not that you are in shape. Right now, if you punched me I would just flip out. It would hurt so much and I would be such a wuss about it, "Why did you hit me?" But if you are in the mode and you know that's what you are doing that day at work, your adrenaline gets going and you take on this whole "Ahhh!" kind of thing and the double, Shauna and I, she and I helped each other to get there. It's like men before a football game. It's really gross. But it's so much fun! And things like when he threw us against the wall, I just assumed Shauna would do that because I'm trying not to take as many risks as I once did, and it looked like that could be a tough one, but she said, "Put a little pad here and it's really fine." So we'd get it and I asked them to throw me harder, so we did it again and he did it again and I almost went through the wall. It was a set so it wasn't real so they had to tap the wall closed again. Somebody had to be back there to make sure I didn't come through. It was fun. We were giggling the whole day.


Why did you do such a political movie?

Jennifer Garner: I wanted to do it to work with Peter and Jamie, first and foremost. And you kind of can't play politics. You can play a person, so I was looking at her and who she was and her role in the movie. It seemed like something I wanted to play. And then the politics were interesting to me because I like that you see things from both sides. I like that it's not just the Americans going in and saving the world and pretending that we know everything and we'll fix it. And instead it's just more complicated and real.


How did it feel when you were hitting the bad guy in the fight scene?

Jennifer Garner: It was so fun! At first he didn't want to wear protection, and I said to him, because I knew what I was going to do, "Dude, go find something and put it on." He said he was fine and I said, "Sala, I'm not kidding, I'm going to take this whole day out on you about right now in a way you will not forget, so go find something and put it on." So he did and after he said he was so glad I told him to do that.


How come you picked an action movie instead of a romantic comedy so soon after Alias?

Jennifer Garner: I almost didn't want to do this movie because I had just finished Alias and I wondered if it was too much action in a row? Then I just thought, "You can't live your life that way. If people stereotype you they stereotype you." And I just wanted to do it so I did it. I've done romantic comedies before and I'll do them again. It's not that I think I'm an "action actress" by any stretch. It's just a weird little niche that I've learned that I like to do.


Does your daughter go to sets with you now?

Jennifer Garner: I haven't shot anything since this. I have a lot of stuff we are developing, but that takes forever and you never know what will happen with those. But I did have a little tiny independent movie called Juno. I play a woman who is trying to adopt a baby and Jason Bateman plays my husband. She was there with me for that and of course she'll go with me, but we try to go as a family because we don't want to be separated.


So you want to produce more now?

Jennifer Garner: Motherhood will impact my career, but not in a way that will be so huge. You can only make so many movies a year anyway. When I was doing a TV show that was 9 months a year and I could make one movie and that was 3 months a year so I worked every day of the year except Christmas and Thanksgiving. But I'm not doing that anymore. That's part of the joy of doing movies. You work a few months and then you take some off and then you work again and you take some off. I've just taken a year off and this movie is just now coming out. It's so weird to think of the timing of things. Now I'll probably need to go back to work a little bit.


Do you think the next president could be an African American or a woman?

Jennifer Garner: I personally am supporting Barrack Obama. I hope to see him be president. I don't think about his ethnicity. I just think about him as a leader. I've heard him speak and he's really a compelling speaker. So I hope so, but we'll have to see. We'll fight for it.


Can a movie like this influence opinion?

Jennifer Garner: I don't know if this will influence the election per se, but hopefully it will influence people to tear down stereotypes in their own mind.


What should the next president do to help stop terrorism?

Jennifer Garner: I hate when actors are pretending to be experts. My husband really is knowledgeable so he's somebody you should talk to about this, but I am not. But it just seems common sense to me that maybe we would stop sticking our nose in everywhere and leave people alone a little bit, and maybe they wouldn't be so mad at us.


How is celebrity life in Hollywood?

Jennifer Garner: I don't like it. If I could live somewhere else, where celebrity stalking wasn't just accepted, I would, but it would mean being separated all the time from my husband because one of the other of us would need to be here and we feel like we'd rather be a family and deal with it than not.


How does it affect your everyday life?

Jennifer Garner: My life is great, first of all. I'm really lucky. I have nothing to complain about. But if you are asking me then I'll just tell you that these people want my child. I don't even care if they want me, they want pictures of my child, and in this country we don't blur out the kids faces, we exploit the kids and it makes me sick and there is nothing I can do about it.


So it's there all the time?

Jennifer Garner: Every day, all the time. A lot of it. They live outside my house.


Would you like to work with Ben?

Jennifer Garner: Ben Affleck and I are not dying to work together because it would be creepy if we had to kiss on screen since he is my actual true life man. That seems creepy to us. And also, if he directed me, if he did a really juicy small role, which he better do soon, that would be welcome and very much expected, but as far as being a lead in one of his movies, one of us has to raise the kid. So it wouldn't work.




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