Garner and Smith Share More Than Just Ben Affleck

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Garner and Smith Share More Than Just Ben Affleck
The pair bonded over their new movie, diet secrets and a love of McGriddles

By Michelle Foody at Hollywood Today

HOLLYWOOD, CA (rushprnews) 01/27/2007 — The new romantic comedy opening this weekend, “Catch & Release,” stars all-American sweetheart Jennifer Garner and shamelessly funny indie cult director Kevin Smith, and unlikely duo to say the least. For hardbody Garner, the project was a kick in the pants, a motivator for getting off the couch and shedding weight after the birth six months ago of her child with husband Ben Affleck.
Which couldn’t have been easy around Smith, who apparently was on a strict anti-fitness regime. “I gained about 30 pounds making ‘Catch & Release,’” said the director/actor (“Clerks,” and the Affleck-starring “Dogma”). “I was on the Atkins diet at the same time so go figure. Since I’m not directing where normally I’m on the set all the time, you got a lot of down time in your trailer and you’re just sitting in front of the TV eating as well. All I did was gorge the whole movie.”

Which made it hard on Garner, known for her lean, mean look in films like “Daredevil” and “Elektra” as well as her hit series “Alias.” “It took me a long, long time before the weight started to come off.  Finally it got a little ridiculous and I got on the treadmill,” she told Hollywood Today. “I cut out bagels and muffins and croissants, all the good stuff and went back to a salad once a day with some protein.”

His expanding body caused a bit of friction for director Susanne Grant, when it came time for the scene involving a rubdown from Juliette Lewis on a motel bed.

 “Before we started filming Susanne said, ‘You’re gonna take your shirt off right?’ I said, ‘You‚re out of your f**kin’ mind. I don’t take my shirt off for my wife, why would I take it off for you?’”  He won.  The good-natured actor continued, “It was weird heading into that scene knowing that Susanne was sitting on the sidelines; the only woman on the planet was wishing I’d take my shirt off.”

But he wasn’t the only one keeping his clothes on.  Garner threw her weight around when it came to scenes involving an itty-bitty bikini, and the leading lady won out: the scenes were nixed.  It’s worth it to hear her gush about the joys of motherhood, and genuine happiness…or at least it is a little envy-inducing.

“To kind of stop and breathe and slow down and be at (my daughter’s) pace has been such a gift to me. It’s always such a wonderful thing to sit down on the floor and play. It does change you as a person”, insisted Garner, wife of Affleck, who and ex-wife of Scott Foley (“Felicity”). 

“[Ben] does a good job. There is nothing more emotional than seeing your partner and the man you love with your baby at any time; the first time, the second time, today. There’s nothing more beautiful than that.”  Lucky girl, and sweet to boot.

The woman has a megastar husband, a doted upon baby girl, her killer body back, and a new film.  One can’t help but feel like maybe playing superheroes has rubbed off on the star of “Elektra” and “Alias.”  Is the rumored role of Wonder Woman on her horizon?

“I’m always tempted because I have so much fun with that stuff…We (my stunt double and I) get kind of revved up and all the men on the set are like, ‘Woah!’. There is a part of me that likes it, I think its fun but I much prefer just a good old role… I think I’ve filled my superhero card.”

 The dynamic Garner did admit to one weakness, for which she puts full blame on Smith—who happens to be a good pal of hubby Affleck, whom he directed back in their low-budget days, on “Chasing Amy.”

“Kevin introduced me to McDonald’s McGriddles which I’ve never had before in my life. He started bringing them to the set for me after stopping at McDonald’s. Those are pancakes stuffed with syrup inside of them and then sausage. They bowled me over. That’s one thing you cut out when you want to lose weight!”
 
If a greasy breakfast sandwich is the ugliest skeleton in your closet, you are doing just fine by Hollywood standards.  Just ask her “Gigli”-star husband.  

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