Jennifer Garner’s Parenting Advice Is Too Profound to Miss

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 8,426
    n Men, Women & Children, Jennifer Garner plays a mom who takes her teenage daughter’s online safety very, very seriously. We caught up with Jennifer at the Toronto International Film Festival to speak about her role in the film, which is actually a reunion with director Jason Reitman, who was behind the lens on Jennifer’s 2007 film Juno. Jennifer spoke about dealing with her own three children’s freedom on computers and phones, sharing sage advice about preparing her kids for what they’re bound to encounter online.

    Allie Merriam: Man, women and children raises some big questions about the role that screens play in our lives. So we should be worried?

    Jennifer Garner: Yeah, we should be worried, but I think we already are, I think that this is just the first piece of entertainment that's really dealt with it head on and thank goodness that it couldn't be in better hands then, you know the topic then Jason Reitman.

    Allie Merriam: And now your character takes a hyper vigilant approach to monitoring her daughter online, how is your approach to playing that character affected by the fact that as a mom you are going to have to make these decisions yourself?

    Jennifer Garner: Well, to me it's easy to take a character who has a singular point of view about something and to make her into a character or to let her become a character. So I hopefully try to fight against that and make sure that she was just coming from love because I can't see going a little crazy with this stuff, I -- in my heart I want to go a little crazy with that. And I know that you can't and I am, you know, I get it but Patricia in the film makes perfect sense to me up to a point.

    Allie Merriam: Definitely! And now this film between yourself director Jason Reitman and your costar J.

    K. Simmons, its a little Juno Reunion which was fantastic for fans. Now had you guys been looking for another way or another project to collaborate on.

    Jennifer Garner: You know we have collaborated in different ways that people might not know about it I had asked his advise on something he is always been incredibly helpful to me and very important to me as just he is younger than I am and yeah he still has a feeling of mentor because he is just so smart about movies and making films.

    So it just reminded me there is just nothing better than that sense of trust that you have when you have already worked with someone I feel like we should all be working in repertory companies. But I loved it, I walked on the set and just feel immediately a peace and I had so much trust and also worked with Judy Greer before whom I love like a sister and Rosemarie DeWitt, had played my sister, I love her like a sister and Adam Sandler is my neighbor, so there was just -- there was such a good feeling making the film.

    Allie Merriam: Yeah. It's sounds really fun now. In particular your conservative character has a great foil in Judy's more liberal mother you could say, so how was it playing opposite her when you guys are really great friends in the life?

    Jennifer Garner: Well it was heaven because we have wine in the hotel bar every night, so that was the best part of the whole movie, it was like built-in girlfriend time, when my kids visited I was like putting the kids to bed, wait for me Judy I am coming, but anyway, yes. So yeah it just made perfect sense to play opposite Judy and she is such a beautiful actress and it was so cool to have a chance to be in a couple of scenes with her again. And my character, you know, she thought my character was nuts and we kind of are that way in real life a little bit like she thought that my character was nuts and I kind of feel like, you know, my character telling you something you should listen to.

    Allie Merriam: I love it. So having made this movie what would you say to people who do want to monitor the children online but not metal?

    Jennifer Garner: I don't think that I have it figured out yet, I mean my kids are little, I am much more in the question asking position, where I feel like I would be saying to people with kids older than me what did you -- what are you doing and how is it working and I mean to me it seems like you need a combination of education, communication and trust and because you can't just take it away it's not going to go away, so we have to find, you know, I had one parenting class with them the teacher kept saying, you know, you prepared your child for the road not the road for your child, you can't prepare the road for your child. So if this is the road that they are going to take then let's make sure they have the tools they need to be safe on it.