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Jennifer Garner Calls Ben’s Acceptance Speech the Biggest Compliment

04/04/2013 at 03:00 PM ET

Ben Affleck Jennifer Garner Oscar Speech
David Livingston/Getty

When Ben Affleck took the stage to accept the Oscar for Best Picture for his film Argo, his speech to his leading lady in life left the crowds swooning.

But when the actor thanked wife Jennifer Garner for working on their relationship, people began speculating that Affleck was actually alluding to troubles in his 7-year marriage to the actress.

“I know Ben, I knew he meant it as the hugest, warmest compliment in the world,” The Odd Life of Timothy Green star, 40, tells The Telegraph.

“I think he was saying, ‘Look, what we have is really real and I value it above all and I’m in it with you and I know you are in it with me.’ That’s the way I took it.”

Consistently supporting her husband from the audience during awards season, Garner has taken on the load on the homefront, caring for the couple’s three childrenViolet Anne, 7, Seraphina Rose Elizabeth, 4, and Samuel Garner, 14 months — while he was on location.

“I definitely work less because Ben is so busy, but we have three kids, that’s just part of the deal,” she explains. “I want to be a mom. I’m happy for him that he’s as energized about work right now as he is.”

But according to the mom-of-three, the roles will soon be reversed. After starring in only a handful of films over the last few years, she’s staking claim on this summer, suggesting it will be her comeback to the big screen.

“Ben’s always saying, ‘You need to work. It’s a part of you and you’re a different person when you’re working,'” Garner shares. “I’ve reserved this summer [for work]. It’s mine.”

She continues, “I feel a bit like poking my head out of the fog. It’s been a lovely mishmash of fog, but I feel my turn is ’round the corner. I don’t know what it’s going to be, but I’m ready for it.”

Although Garner once believed being a working mother would be totally doable, she admits giving birth to her eldest daughter changed her way of thinking.

“I really thought when I was pregnant with my first that it wouldn’t affect my work at all, it would just be a baby that grows up on set,” she says. “And I was absolutely wrong. For women, the high point of their career and needing to have babies just don’t really go together.

Despite happily settled with her successful career and tight-knit family of five in California, Garner can’t help but long for her hometown across the country.

“I miss West Virginia very much,” she admits, adding her brood often trades the glitz and glamour for the open blue skies. “It’s really important to me that my kids spend a certain amount of time there because I feel there’s something much more concrete about West Virginia [than Los Angeles].”

As for the ongoing debate on whether the star couple will add another baby to the mix, Garner reveals she and Affleck have finally come to an agreement.

“I am done. I really don’t see how I could have more,” she says. “My husband was keen on a fourth, but I think he has come round to my way of thinking.”

– Anya Leon

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Showing 48 comments

Robin on

I love, love, LOVE this couple! They are very grounded and down to earth!

MommytoanE on

I’m with you Robin. I absolutely love Jennifer and Ben. They are just too cute for words, their children are cute and they are one of the most real couples in Hollywood.

I agree with Jen tho…marriage DOES take work. But then any relationship worth having takes work. Its not just something that happens and is perfect. Those who work at it, remain married. Those who don’t, divorce.

OTdina on

My bet would be that all those people out there speculating that by their marriage taking work, Ben was implying that they had problems, are all in failed/failing marriages. There is no healthy marriage that doesn’t take work. Marriage is a lot of work. But you do it, because it is worth it. Those that don’t work on their marriages are those either think that it just isn’t worth it, or those who think buy into the fairy tale idea – regardless – they both lose their marriages in the end.

They sound like a couple of really well grounded, intelligent people. Which is likely why they are still married.

Megan on

I never, for the life of me, could understand what all the hubbub was about to begin with–I watched that speech and thought–“wow there’s a man who loves his wife and they make it work” Anyone who doesn’t think a marriage, or any relattionsihp for that matter, takes work at some point, is delusional…instead of people ridiculing and speculating about them, people should be using Jen and Ben as a model…almost a decade and three kids later, and they seem more in love and more grounded in their relationship than ever–something i think we should all appreciate and aspire to…KUDOS to Jen and Ben–they are doing it RIGHT–and those three kids are incredibly lucky…and ADORABLE I might add!!

Anonymous on

MommytoanE- To be fair, sometimes couples end up divorcing even when they’ve worked on their marriage and tried everything they could to work through their problems. So it’s not neccesarily always true that those who work at marriage stay married.

However, I DO agree that those who don’t work at marriage inevitably end up divorcing, and I agree with your point whole-heartedly! :)

Anyway, Ben and Jen are a breath of fresh air. How refreshing to see a celebrity couple that actually realizes that marriage takes work and that loving someone doesn’t mean you’re never going to have disagreements with them (in fact, having disagreements is a sign of a healthy relationships. If there aren’t any disagreements, that’s when there’s something wrong with the relationship!)!

Kayte on

Love this family. They’re exactly the type of people anyone would love to have living next door.

kjc on

I love this couple. I’m so happy to see how Ben turned everything around when he got together with Garner. He was starting to become a bit of a joke when he was with JLo, which is unfortunate because he’s obviously got a lot if talent. Here’s to their happy marriage!

julie on

I hope they are as happy as everyone wants to believe they are for their sakes and the benefit of their children. Speeches and photos aren’t the best judges of a relationship. I hope they are happy.

Rachel on

she sounds like such a wonderful woman and mother. her kids ALWAYS look happy. i know all kids have bad days or moments, and i dont judge a celeb parent when their child is crying in pictures, esp with all the cameras, but these kids are smiling ALL THE TIME. she must be doing an amazing job with those kids. (and ben too). good for them. awesome family.

Terri Quinn on

I love Ben and Jen and I love the fact that they are a real couple. I think when he dated Jennifer Lopez it was for publicity, but Jennifer Garner is the real deal. I hope they survive the horrible hollywood curse of star couples.

Also love the fact and I am proud that Jennifer wants her kids to spend time in our beautiful state of West Virginia. We are proud that she came from here. She is such a good person! LOVE HER!

Anonymous on

Love them both!!!. Intelligent, kind, loving & excellent parents. The rest of Hollywood should be ashamed.

KiKi on

I had no idea she was from WV. Always knew he was from Boston and see pics of them visiting there but never visiting WV.

Anonymous on

I hate their politics but I love how real they are. I love how much time they spend with their kids and how they try to give them a sense of normal life. And they seem happy and settled in for the long haul.

Nikita on

Lovely couple! Truly refreshing to see they have their priorities straight.

T1111 on

What a wonderful family! So nice to see solid families in show business. I thought Ben’s mention of his wife working on their marriage was simply an expression of gratitude for her support throughout his busy work times. I thought it was very nice.

Nannyto1 on

Sweet… love them both. And their kids are the cutest!! Marriage is work and those that don’t work on their marriage are the ones that end up divorced. I’ve been married for 28 years and still happily working at it every day.

DarLai on

Ben’s acceptance speech and his words to Jennifer brought me to tears. How that could be construed as anything other than a real man in a real loving marriage is beyond me. I must have rewound and watched it 5 times that night.

Anonymous on

great family, love hearing about them

tina on

Great family, love em.

Ginger McClure on

I agree with something someone pointed out a few weeks ago about this couple and their children: tv/screen/stage celebrities can “fake it” for the camera easily enough. But every picture you see of these children they look so content and happy. Children cannot “fake it” for paparazzi!! Apparently they are “family first”, which is why I adore this family! God bless ‘em!

Annie on

Jennifer – you are such a classy lady. We can see your love for your family and you put your kids and husband first – before your career. You’ll be glad you did. You are beautiful inside and out. Enjoy your kids. You are to be admired.

This Needs to End on

You posted the happy parts of the article. You should ALSO post the parts of the Telegraph article about the daily paparazzi stalking this family incurs. Her scanning of the bushes throughout this interview. The 7 SUVs that followed her to the interview and home. And then maybe People.com should step up to the plate and stop posting paparazzi pictures of Jennifer and her children on their site and in their magazine on a near daily basis. Yes, we like her, but NO ONE should have to live like that. It’s dehumanizing, ridiculous and scary. This should not be our culture. We are better than this.

rlb237 on

They are such a great couple, love them together now (took me a few years to warm up to them)

susan schweitzer on

They are the best Hollywood couple by far.

Nancy on

I love Ben &Jen. I think the majority of people knew he meant his comment in the best way. I’ll tell ya – if this couple gets divorced then I will be very surprised and VERY disheartened!

Finally! on

Finally!!! An article with positive comments! Nice to see for a change. Love this couple. They seem very grounded and down to earth.

dsfg on

“For women, the high point of their career and needing to have babies just don’t really go together.”

Really? Is that how all women feel? But just women, not men, right?
Speak for yourself, lady, not all women feel exactly how you do, and there’s no need to make sexist generalizations!

dudley doright on

that speech did not sound complimentary at all. But i do like these 2 together, they look like a nice family. ALL of his speeches were horrible @ award season…he spoke way too fast, rambling & sounded nervous. He sounded spazzy.

Lola on

This article sounds like Jen just settled. She’ll go back to work when Ben tells her to? After Ben makes all the movies he wants, then she’ll go back to work for a summer? Wow.

Anonymous on

Ginger McClure- Right on! If the Affleck kids had an unhappy home life, they wouldn’t be smiling and giggling in practically every picture we see of them!

cool on

one of the very rare celebrity couples that IS REAL

don’t know how they do it but I totally agree with her strategy of getting the kids out of LA as much as possible

soldiersdreamz on

<3

Heidi Quayle on

So nice to hear that women are not trying to be all things to all people. It is impossible and for me, it ruined my health for a couple of years. It was just too hard and I have to choose my priorities which, like Jennifer, are my family. I could have a very different career than the one I’m in, a much more lucrative one, but my family wouldn’t be as close as they are to me and my marriage would be in trouble. There is no contest when it comes to my family vs work, I’d rather have accolades from my children and husband than from a career.

They sound like they have a real marriage and I’m glad for them. Hope Jennifer lands a great project this summer!

Kat on

I LOVE this couple, but it’s been two months since that speech – can we move along? However, truth be told, I would rather see an impressive film experience like Argo than another rom-com starring Jennifer Garner.

ginae on

As a fellow West Virginian we are proud of what you have achieved. I hope you continue to have a happy life.

Carmel on

I’ve never liked her, when she was married before she hit on my brother who was a CTV cameraman when she was filming Alias, it always grossed me out! But I thought Ben’s speech was weird; I wouldn’t appreciate my husband saying HOW MUCH CONSTANT WORK being married to you is!

Dee on

Him conceeding that he’s not going to persuade her isn’t ‘an agreement’. It sounds as though if it were up to him they would have another, he hasn’t changed his mind about wanting a fourth, he’s just accepted he has no choice but to accept her not wanting to since she’s the one who has to have it.

Miss ChiChi on

Such a lovely couple! :)

dorele on

Ben had an affair with Blake Lively a few years back (when they did a movie together). Jen turned a blind eye, negotiated and hence, little Samuel…..Everyone in Hollywood knows this story.

namia13 on

All I can say is some of the stars in Hollywood should not take pictures with their husbands or significnt other, a picture is worth a thousand words they don’t lie. Jennifer Gardner is one of them. Never mind the words take a good long look at their picture together.

monica on

golden couple, and i totally agree with robin, they are very grounded and down to earth.

Anonymous on

namia13- It’s true that they don’t show a lot of PDA, but I think that’s just because Ben in particular prefers to keep their romantic life private for the most part (and after the whole “Bennifer” fiasco, I don’t blame him a bit!)! :)

Anonymous on

I also meant to say that it’s a pretty well-known fact that Ben doesn’t like the paps and doesn’t like having his picture taken by them or having his family photographed by them (there are even a few photos of him trying to shield Violet from the cameras when she was younger).

I imagine that’s a huge factor in the discomfort we see on his face in some pictures.

Brandy on

I adore Jennifer Garner. She has great personality and character. She is the woman a guy wants to settle down with. But I do believe that Ben still pines for J-Lo…even though I doubt it would’ve lasted. The proposal to and the ring for JLo speaks for itself. Very impressive, beautiful, romantic…a girl’s dream. In their pics, he seemed so proud to be with her (JLo).

Now, I am not saying that he doesn’t love J. Garner and yes, we love every person differently…but is some of the love because of obligation or true love?? I’m hoping that he truly does love J Garner and that when he looks at her, his heart still flutters. Because of the two, she is the best the choice!! He has a great family…a great life!!

tammy on

I’m disturbed by the fact this woman thinks acting is “work”.

Anonymous on

tammy- I suggest you watch some “making of” documentries. Acting may seem like all glitz and glamour and no work, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth! It can even be hazerdous at times (Kristin Chenoweth’s serious accident is a perfect example of that!)!

Michelle on

I’m a previous single mom of three (son 19, Daughters 16 & 11) who used to work full-time up until 6 years ago thanks to my amazing fiancé, I have to agree with Jen’s statement. My children were quickly going off the rails when I was working & couldn’t spend enough quality time with them. As soon as I was able to stay home with them, watch them more closely, & whip them into shape they all did a 180. I’m don’t mean to insult working moms at all. Some moms need to work outside the home to find fulfillment, & others need to stay home. It’s all about finding your bliss.

Also I must disagree with your comment about her view point on the subject being sexist. True that some dads are great stay-at-home dads, but I fully believe that moms are the backbone of any family & kids need their moms around to keep them grounded. The majority of woman are more in tune with their children’s needs & the maternal instinct is very powerful in those type of women.

frazzledchick on

It is absolutely annoying to hear some women think that they’re speaking for all women. Men can do just as good of a job being a parent as women and when they have to, most will do just that. As someone commented that women are the backbone of the family, well you didn’t get married by yourself. And to say that family and a woman’s career just don’t mix well is crap also. There are many of us who may love our family, but we also love our careers.

Celebrities kill me with their waxing poetic about their lives when they leave out the fact that they have help and lots of it. There is never a one-size fits all woman and we don’t practice group think. And what about those women who are happily single and without kids or happily married and along with their husband, decided they don’t want kids? They do exist (in great numbers) and they’re neither sad, lonely, selfish or pathetic. This is the 21st century and there is no one set way for women to be happy. These two seem like nice people and that’s really where it ends.

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