Jennifer Garner: My Favorite Role Is ‘Mommy’

03/03/2015 at 11:00 AM ET

Jennifer Garner Danny Collins Press Day
C Flanigan/Getty

When in need of some life advice, there’s one gal pal that Jennifer Garner can always be sure to rely on: Reese Witherspoon.

“If I run into Reese, she and I have so much to talk about,” Garner, 42, told PEOPLE at the press day for her new film Danny Collins, in which she stars alongside Al Pacino. “We’ll be on the street corner and just be like, ‘What do you do about this, and how did you handle this?’ ”

She continues, “I’m so grateful for that very specific kind of friend.”

A typical juicy conversation that takes place between the two hard-working Hollywood mothers may specifically consist of whether or not a role is worth (temporarily) departing from motherhood.

“I have such a big thing to balance [jobs] against that it has to be something I love so much,” Garner says of feeling “surprised,” but grateful every time that she gets handed a new offer and has to think about calling in the in-laws for some long-term babysitting.

While stationed at home and playing her favorite role as mommy, Garner makes it a point to keep her routine consistent.

“I make sure everyone has notes for their lunch box every day and [figure out] who’s having something special, and deciding who I read extra to [in the] morning,” Garner says of how a morning plays out with her and husband Ben Affleck‘s children, Violet, 9, Seraphina, 5, and Samuel, 3.

And, coming up on 10 years of marriage, being a wife is something that she sure excels in, as well.

“I’m going straight to New York from here, and then I’m going to visit Ben [on set in Atlanta to] make sure he’s good,” Garner says about her special trip to see Affleck, 42, while filming his new role in The Accountant.

She adds, “It’s just what you do [as a mom].”

From an actress to a mother and a room mom to a Girl Scout troop leader, there’s not much that Garner hasn’t tried.

“I’ve been the room mom for pre-school and kindergarten this year, and I’m the Girl Scout troop leader for third grade,” Garner shares. “When I’m home, I dive in, [and] I try to Betty Crocker it up as much as I can.”

And when the going gets tough, the actress gets going. “It just happened the other day where I was like, ‘I think I’m ready to be on set and talk to grownups,’ ” Garner jokes. “Send Batman in.”

— Nicole Sands

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kaye on

Surprised to read that she goes to Reese for advice as they seem like polar opposites — Jen is such a “hands on” mom, constantly seen with her kids and Reese seems to be into Reese. Also, Garner seems very low maintenance and casual in her appearance whereas Reese never has a hair out of place.

S on

Reese just makes sure to take some extra time to get ready before leaving the house- some people prefer to do that.! The only Reese you ‘know’ is the one you see in photos- maybe 5 mins out of her day! I am sure she’s also ‘into’ her kids and family!

kaye on

A number of other actresses with children have also said that they are very particular about what films they do too e.g. Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts, Cate Blanchett to name a few. Actresses like those I’ve noted seem to gravitate towards Oscar worthy roles and usually receive critical acclaim for their work. Unfortunately this does not seem to be the case with Garner and the work she chooses.

Vic on

I agree her roles in the last movies she did were not note worthy. They are solid films but her roles are nothing special. Hopefully, she will choose better in her upcoming projects. Tired of seeing her playing mom since I see a lot of those pictures on the web with her kids.
Surprised that she is friends with Helen Mirren. Is she?

Vic on

Maybe she should do another Selena with Wigs. She was so good in it. Stop talking about being a mom all the time.

Guess on

She looks very pretty in that photo.

Lexie on

Jennifer Garner is so adorable. I love how she seems so natural in a world of phoniness. Keep it real, Jen!

Catherine on

I think she and Reese are both “Type A” personalities, but I think Jennifer is probably more realistic about her flaws. I can see how they would be friends though.

lulumaebarnes on

It’s funny to think of celebrities “running into” each other on street corners. Why can’t I ever just see one celebrity? Haha. Although, I don’t live in LA, so that’s probably the reason. 🙂

Ginger on

I am pleased she talks about being a mom. Surely family trumps any movie or award.

Cricket2.0 on

I don’t think she meant importance as in Oscar worthy or popular roles, but maybe ones that personally held weight with her.

Also nothing wrong with talking about being a mom. It’s one of the most important jobs in the world and is seriously undervalued. More moms should be more into their kids.

Amy on

I love this woman (Jen)….so much!! She has a beautiful way of balancing all aspects of her life. I realize that she is privileged and I don’t want to take that out of the mix. But, pound for pound, Jen is more real — and realistic — than most other women I know. Just sayin.’ Love you, Jen!!!! XOXO Mom’s Girl

Rick on

No surprise Interviewers ask her about her role as a mom when she walks the red carpet??? That’s all she talks about. She acts as if she is mother of the year all the time. And then complains about the double standard in Hollywood. Other female celebs don’t get asked as much because they don’t market the mother image as much as Jen Garner does.

Anonymous on

Aww, I love the part about the notes in the lunch boxes. My mom did the same thing (though she didn’t get the chance very often- I actually preferred the hot lunch most of the time!). 🙂 Jennifer always sounds so refreshing!

PG on

Jennifer and Reese seem doesn’t have same personality, kinda surprised she is asking Reese for advise.

kaye on

She makes it sound like she is holding out for “quality work” when in fact it is the opposite — look at Rotten Tomatoes! Other actresses have proven that just because you’re a mom, you don’t have to settle for cr*ppy movies – many examples besides Nicole & Naomi mentioned above – look at Kate Blanchett, Kate Winslet, Julianne Moore. Maybe that’s what she should be talking to Reese about.

R on

I don’t understand why people feel that if you have a lot of money you cannot be a “good Mom.” Just because she has more help than the average person does not mean she is not an attentive Mother. She always talks about her kids because that is the main focus in her life right now. I think she is genuine and trying to balance out life just like every other Mom out there. Women/Moms really need to stop judging each other. Most of us have the same struggles and concerns when it comes to our children and we should be more supportive of each other.

Sadie on

Unfortunately, from the rumours….Reese’s advice is most likely “Have a Stiff drink…or 5”

May on

I would prefer for her not to talk so much about her family/kids. She complains about how intrusive we are on her family life. She can control what questions the press ask her. She has her publicist to do that. Please change the conversation because it is getting boring to listen to her usual stuff. Don’t bring in your personal life all the time. It is tiring and please ditch the bangs. JG looks prettier and younger without the bangs. Time for reinventing yourself! Look your husband do that all the time. I miss her being Sydney Bristow with all the different looks.

kaye on

May – it’s partially the media’s fault for focusing on her family in interviews and asking the questions as well as web sites that purchase photos of her with her kids. She was instrumental in getting a law passed prohibiting intrusive photos but we still seem them, just not as much.

Brooke on

She is that stereotypical 1950’s mom who pretends her housewife life and family is perfect, while her rat of a husband cheats, gambles, and parties every chance he gets.

Get a spine Jennifer and divorce the jerk! You are wasting your best years on a loser!

notagoodsign on

Mind boggling some comments here criticizing her for embracing being a mom and talking about being a mom. What’s wrong with this country???? I wish there were more women like her in this world and less mean spirited, vicious critics.

anonymous on

Jennifer looks like a mom, maybe she is good playing mom roles in movies.

Anonymous on

Then I guess she’s pretty much “enjoying” it while doing the film Alexander and the …. Very Bad Day, then?

Anonymous on

Me- How nice that you want three kids to grow up in a broken home (especially when the “reason” is tabloid gossip!)!

Anonymous on

Exactly! I’d also like to point out that if she DID try to control what questions are asked about her, she’d be jumped on for that, too (it’s happened with celebs in the past. For example, when Angelina Jolie was doing promotion for A Mighty Heart, a letter was sent to the studios and magazines instructing them not to ask questions about her personal life. Said letter wasn’t even sent by her- it was sent by the movie studio- but she was still ripped to shreds for it!).

Really, she is in a no-win situation here.

Anonymous on

Oh, and as far as her choice in movie roles go- Maybe she chooses the one she does because those are the ones she enjoys the most. Shocking thought, isn’t it?! 😉

Anonymous on

Saw on picture Jen is with her mom, she looks so like her mom.