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Jennifer Garner: ‘It’s a little bit sexist that you only want me to be the nice girl’

Jennifer Garner participated in a women’s networking conference led by Marie Claire. Their story about it reveals that Garner’s baby food company, Once Upon a Child, just secured $20 million in funding, which seems high right? I must not understand business because $20 million seems like too much to sink into baby food, even one with a famous face. Garner did a panel interview where she discussed her new role on HBO’s Camping and how it plays against type for her. (Incidentally that show is getting very bad reviews with critics saying that it’s mediocre and the characters are unlikable.) She also talked about #MeToo. Remember her initial take on that? She said that “We can’t assume every man is guilty. Due process is important.” That was after her brother-in-law was sued for sexual harassment and after a video came out of Ben sexually harassing Hilarie Burton. Well she tells Marie Claire that she is trying to work with other women as much as possible but that she’s afraid of “not toeing the #metoo line.” Honestly I was going to make that the title of this post but I figured it would be too controversial. It speaks to how she plays both sides. Anyway she had some interesting thoughts.

On her character in Camping being unlikable
“Do you think I can just do Miracles from Heaven forever?” [Garner] started out talking about her new show, Camping, and the fact that she’s playing a character some people might consider “unlikeable” for the first time. People had a visceral reaction to her turn as Katherine, an obsessively organized and aggressively controlling woman planning her husband’s 45th birthday camping trip. To those people, Garner wants to question the status quo that lead people to think she can only be “the nice girl:” “It’s a little bit sexist that you only want me to be the nice girl. I can be the bitch, too.

“I was drawn to what a jerk Katherine is, everyone’s pain comes from somewhere and sometimes you have to look a little deeper to find where that pain comes from.”

On #MeToo and how she’s trying to keep up
The Alias star touched upon the culture in Hollywood in the post-#metoo era, too.”Women are walking on eggshells. You want to take it for everything it’s worth and just surround yourself with the best possible women and make sure that you are fighting for and creating the most equality you can in every possible way you can. I feel very afraid of screwing up and not toeing the #metoo line.” But she’s not talking about coming from a place of fear. She’s talking about amending your behaviors to hold yourself accountable. “Any time there’s revolution and you feel like you’re being held to a new standard, you want to make sure you’re meeting the standard. I don’t want to let my sisters down.”

On how Once Upon a Farm is personal to her
“As I was going through the process, I kept feeling like, ‘who is helping the kids like the kids I grew up with, like the ones in West Virginia, who’s helping the kids like my mom who grew up poor in Oklahoma, who’s helping rural America?’ And it crystalized for me over time and over having all of these meetings that I ultimately didn’t sign onto, and it made me realize that I’ve got to go with what I can speak about truly from the heart, which is poor rural America.”

[From Marie Claire]

We don’t always expect her to play the good girl, it’s like she is conveniently forgetting about Alias and then Peppermint. Still, it’s not like many people saw Peppermint. No one dragged her for signing on to that film despite its themes or for the fact that it tanked. Also, is it sexist that we see her a certain way, when she’s cultivated that image for years? It’s good of her to make sure her business highlights childhood poverty and that’s clearly an issue that she cares about deeply. She’s said in the past that her goal is to “have the first organic W.I.C. option for babies” in low income families.

Garner’s parked car was damaged yesterday, but it doesn’t sound that serious. Paparazzi agency Backgrid had this caption with the photo below. “Jennifer Garner is the first on the scene when her parked car gets hit by another car. The White Nissan that hit Jen’s Lexus was involved in an accident with another vehicle, and despite a narrow escape from being hit herself, a concerned Jen talks to the other people involved to make sure everyone is ok, before leaving her car and getting a ride home from a friend.

photos credit: WENN, Backgrid and Avalon.red

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