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Interview with Jennifer Garner

From "13 Going on 30"


Jennifer Garner Mark Ruffalo 13 Going 30

Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo star in "13 Going on 30."

Columbia Pictures
Were you cast before Mark Ruffalo?
I was and the movie took a leap for me when Mark Ruffalo was cast.

Did you play a part in choosing him?
The second they breathed his name, I said, “Please, please, please, yes, yes, yes.” If you would've said five years ago, “If you could work with five actors, who would they be?” He would've been number one. So the fact that I could wish that and then it could happen…

Was it as good as you thought?
Absolutely. He's a dream of a person. He's a fantastic actor and he's just so fun to hang out with. Talk about grounded, he's really the bee’s knees.

How difficult were the dance sequences?
They were just fun. I mean, they were pure joy and fun. I grew up doing musicals and so to me, it was the perfect marriage of what I had grown up loving and doing, and what I do now. And there were huge cranes and cameras and great backup dancers that were full of energy. Mark [Ruffalo] was sure that he was gonna die on the spot when we were rehearsing. He took a lot of pep talks but he so got it and so nailed it, so we just had a blast. I mean, we really did. We had so much fun.

He isn’t a dancer?
He was not a dancer, but he worked really, really hard and he more than got it down. He was groovin'.

Is it harder to learn dancing or fighting?
They're very similar. They're actually very similar and I love doing both. It doesn't matter. I love being physical and acting at the same time.

You have a musical theater background. Did you ever look into a career in musicals?
Musicals were just what I did. They were what was available to me in my home town. I was a ballet dancer and that kind of bled into musical theater. I was constantly in rehearsal for one thing or another. You would've thought that I was trying to be a professional in Charleston, West Virginia, but I just loved it so much and I was happy to be backstage. I was happy to have a role of any size or no size at all. And I still feel that way. I was just happy making “Pearl Harbor” and having four lines and I was doing this. Really, it's just kind of like I'm kind of good to go with whatever.

Who were your favorite musicians at 13 and now?
I'm always the disaster of the group when it comes to this. I always feel like, “Ask Mark Ruffalo.” He's always like, "Yeah, I love The Stingers." I'm like, “Who the hell are the Stingers?” When I was 13, I was pretty much Top 40. I have to say, I didn't pay a lot of attention. I just listened to whatever. I remember taping a couple of songs off the radio, “You're My Inspiration” by Chicago - that kind of thing. And now, I still really don't care that much but now I have music playing all the time at home, which is a first for me. Whatever. Everything from Ani DiFranco to Dave Matthews to Jack Johnson and Norah Jones.

At what age did you start dance?
Three. I mean, just like a little kid in a ballet class. It's not like my parents sent me to New York City and said, "Go take class." They just stuck me in class.

Did you want to be a classical ballerina?
No. To become a classical ballerina, you have to move to New York when you're 12 or 11 and that becomes your life. I just wanted to be good in my company in Charleston and I wanted it to always be part of my life.

Are you prepared for “Elektra?”
I am. I'm starting in May.

Does it take place after “Daredevil?”
It is. It's not a prequel. It's a sequel to her story in “Daredevil” and I've been training for the past couple of months. I trained after the junket last night and got up this morning and will go again tonight, and I'm loving it. I love that aspect of it. I don't know if it's because of dance or but we've added in Pilates because I need to add the flexibility. I'm just loving that. I'm working with my sai guy because the sais are my swords.

What will be different her as a character?
I think she has such a rich storyline of her own and we're really mining that storyline in this movie. A lot of the Frank Miller stuff for “Elektra,” [we’re] really using it. It's quite dark. I mean, her story is quite dark. She's an assassin. She's an assassin for hire; she's a woman for hire although we don't go there in this movie. But as far as what would be different, I don't know. I think it will be its own thing naturally.

Any wardrobe surprises?
I think that the wardrobe so far seems to be more reminiscent of what people associate with Elektra, although what I wore in “Daredevil,” she wears all kinds of different things. She's known mostly for this red outfit that you can't seem to wear any underwear underneath, so we could never quite figure out how to make it work. But she also wears a lot of black, so when we did “Daredevil,” we were kind of slammed for the wardrobe, but actually it was something taken directly from one of the comic books. And now what I'm wearing will be a little more familiar to people who like the comic books.

Interview with Mark Ruffalo
"13 Going on 30" Photos, Trailer and Credits

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