When the words “Jennifer Garner Tells All” popped up on my Twitter timeline, I nearly popped the popcorn and poured myself a big glass of the sweet nectar, because I was ready for her to fill my head with all sorts of juiciness, like how she went Sydney Bristow on Ben Affleck and The Nanny after she caught them fucking on the kitchen counter. But Jennifer Garner has a reputation as Hollywood’s most wholesome mom to uphold, so she didn’t go there. BOO! She does, however, manage to throw a sweet Southern burn at Ben Affleck’s Choose Your Own Adventure back tattoo.
In her interview with Vanity Fair, Jennifer comes off as gracious and she never says anything like, “Fuck Ben Affleck!” I mean, they still go on vacation together. But she does say that Ben is ~complicated~ and when he’s warm, you can bake your skin on him, but when he’s cold, he makes you feel like Nicole Kidman getting an ice water enema. She also pretty much confirms that Ben and The Nanny had something going on. I’ve heard Jennifer Garner talk about how much she loves Ben’s brain before and she does it in this interview too. She says that he’s always the most brilliant person in the room. She didn’t go on to say, “if nobody else is in the room.” There’s a bunch of quotes after the cut including my favorite burn about his Ed Hardy back tattoo of horrors:
On how their marriage wasn’t fake and they didn’t do shit for the cameras (“Inneresting,” said the paps at the farmer’s market):
“It was a real marriage,” Garner tells me. “It wasn’t for the cameras. And it was a huge priority for me to stay in it. And that did not work.”
On if THE NANNY home wrecked her marriage:
“Let me just tell you something,” Garner says. “We had been separated for months before I ever heard about the nanny. She had nothing to do with our decision to divorce. She was not a part of the equation. Bad judgment? Yes. It’s not great for your kids for [a nanny] to disappear from their lives.” Months later, she’s still assessing the damage. “I have had to have conversations about the meaning of ‘scandal,’ ” she says, with her children.
On how she’d marry Ben Affleck on the beach again even though it didn’t work out. (Her running on the beach comment is very Nichols Sparks):
“I didn’t marry the big fat movie star; I married him,” she says. “And I would go back and remake that decision. I ran down the beach to him, and I would again. You can’t have these three babies and so much of what we had. He’s the love of my life. What am I going to do about that? He’s the most brilliant person in any room, the most charismatic, the most generous. He’s just a complicated guy. I always say, ‘When his sun shines on you, you feel it.’ But when the sun is shining elsewhere, it’s cold. He can cast quite a shadow.”
On how they accidentally ran over a hitchhiker once and buried the body in the woods (that’s how I read the last part):
Of course this is not what I imagined when I ran down the beach, but it is where I am,” she says. “We still have to help each other get through this. He’s still the only person who really knows the truth about things. And I’m still the only person that knows some of his truths.”
On how she deals with the sads:
“When the earth shakes,” she says, “you go to what you know from childhood. All of a sudden I’m sitting down at the piano. I went back to church. I sat down and wrote bad poetry all day because I was so sad. I needed a dance class; it reminded me of my fight scenes [in Alias] and how I missed that. I feel the need to be physical and I feel the need to punch someone. You know what I look forward to? I look forward to getting past the pity stage. I look forward to just having a sense of humor.”
On how her kids love their father and she’ll forever be his friend because of that:
“It’s not Ben’s job to make me happy,” she insists. “The main thing is these kids—and we’re completely in line with what we hope for them. Sure, I lost the dream of dancing with my husband at my daughter’s wedding. But you should see their faces when he walks through the door. And if you see your kids love someone so purely and wholly, then you’re going to be friends with that person.”
On Ricky Gervais making fun of Ben Affleck at the Golden Globes:
“I laughed. People have pain—they do regrettable things, they feel shame, and shame equals pain. No one needs to hate him for me. I don’t hate him. Certainly we don’t have to beat the guy up. Don’t worry—my eyes were wide open during the marriage. I’m taking good care of myself.”
On if there was one moment that she realized her marriage was done:
“That’s a really hard question. I’m a pretty hard worker. It’s one of the pains in my life that something I believe in so strongly I’ve completely failed at twice. You have to have two people to dance a marriage. My heart’s a little on the tender side right now, and it’s always easier to focus on the ways that you feel hurt, but I know that, with time and some perspective, I’ll have a clearer sense of where I let the system down, because there’s no way I get off in this.”
And finally, that tattoo.
Jennifer Garner said this about that mid-life crisis skid mark:
“You know what we would say in my hometown about that? ‘Bless his heart.’ A phoenix rising from the ashes. Am I the ashes in this scenario?” Garner says with a wink. “I take umbrage. I refuse to be the ashes.”
Through most of the interview, I sort of just nodded and said “k,” but when I got to her beautifully bitchy “bless his heart” comment, I said, “Jennifer Garner, I think I love you.”
Pics: Vanity Fair, FameFlynet