Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

Arts and Entertainment

Jennifer Garner Dishes On Break Up With Ben Affleck In Revealing Interview

Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

Vanity Fair nabbed an interview with actress Jennifer Garner for its March issue, the first in-depth chat since the break-up of her 10-year marriage with actor Ben Affleck. Ever since the high profile split over the summer, both have stayed relatively mum on the split, the nanny affair rumors and their plans moving forward—until now.

The West Virginia native comes off relaxed in the interview, done at a favorite Santa Monica restaurant, and is open about her struggles. She jokingly calls it the "year of wine" and credits comedians Tiny Fey and Amy Poehler for helping her laugh life off.

"When I can't sleep and I am not someone who typically has that problem, but I really have in the last year and I need something to switch my brain off, it has been Tina Fey and Amy Poehler," Garner told Vanity Fair. "God bless those girls."

Apparently the drama went down as Garner was working on her latest film, Miracles from Heaven, which is out March 18. The film is based on a memoir about a girl, ill with a chronic disease, who is cured when she falls from a tree. Garner plays the girl's mom.

Support for LAist comes from

The mag calls it her "first lead in years" and credits its release for getting Garner talking to the media. She has another film, Wakefield, out later this year.

She told the mag that Affleck is staying in the guesthouse of their Pacific Palisades home, which despite rumors is not for sale. Garner says moving forward, their three children will be the top priority.

Here's what Garner had to say about her the media, marriage and moving on.

As for how "real" their marriage was:

It wasn't for the cameras. And it was a huge priority for me to stay in it. And that did not work.

On the nanny rumors:

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.

On the media frenzy:

I turned on CNN one day" and there we were. I just won't do it anymore. I took a silent oath with myself last summer to really stay offline. I am totally clueless about all of it.

On marrying Ben:

Support for LAist comes from
I didn't marry the big fat movie star; I married him. 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 her love scene in upcoming film Wakefield:

When you haven't been kissed for over eight months it's strange. But it's my job. It's nine in the morning and you think, I could really use a shot of alcohol. Then, after a take or two, after everyone has seen your boobs and love handles, you just want to take every crew member and be like, 'Please have mercy on me!'

On her emotions post break-up:

When the earth shakes... 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 being single and dating:

We were waiting for the bathroom at JetBlue... and I was so floored. I had to remind myself that that was something that could happen. He said, 'Could I take you for a cup of coffee?' And I was like, 'No! You may not take me for a cup of coffee, sir.' And then I said, 'But thanks for asking.' ...I guess. I don't know. It's just that [from] everyone that I know that is dating it just seems, well... Men don't call anymore... I want flowers; I don't want to text. What does that make me? What kind of dinosaur am I?

On what's next:

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 the decision to divorce:

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.

Related: Report: Jennifer Garner Got Tired Of Ben Affleck's Drinking And Gambling