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Jennifer Garner

Jennifer Garner has earned a Golden Globe Award for best Actress in a Leading Role - Drama Series, and an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. Garner recently finished production on 13 Going on 30 and Happy Endings. Her additional film credits include Daredevil, Catch Me If You Can, Pearl Harbor, Dude, Where's My Car?, the independent feature Rennie's Landing, Mr. Magoo, 1999 and Washington Square. Her television credits include series regular roles in the dramas Time of Your Life and Significant Others. She guest starred on Spin City, Law & Order and Felicity, and has been featured in the television films Rose Hill, Dead Man's Walk, Zoya and Harvest Fire. In her spare time Jennifer Garner enjoys cooking, gardening and hiking. Jennifer was born on April 17, 1972, in Houston Texas. Jennifer Garner is the hottest new talent steaming up the small screen this season--and we're not just saying that because she could kill us with her bare hands. The brunette bombshell's high-octane fight scenes as supersexy CIA agent Sydney Bristow on ABC's hit Alias give new meaning to those "Girls Kick Ass" bumper stickers. She's the poster child for Hollywood's tough-babe trend (think Charlie's Angels, Dark Angel, Crouching Tiger). And she couldn't be prouder. "I think it's fantastic. The more we can imbue the watching public with strength, power and confidence, the better. I want women to see this character and feel like they can stand up a little straighter." Garner has every reason to stand tall these days. Besides headlining a megahit series, the 28-year-old recently tied the knot with Felicity heartthrob (and past Sizzler) Scott Foley, whom she calls her "hugest fan and supporter." The Hollywood life is a far cry from her ballet-dancing childhood in Charleston, West Virginia. "Being an actress was so far from any realm of possibility growing up. I was so committed to ballet, I danced six hours every day--and I wasn't even very good, to be honest." In college, Garner traded toe shoes for drama class. She eventually landed a role on Felicity, where she met Foley while playing his ex-girlfriend Hannah. Then came the short-lived Jennifer Love Hewitt series Time of Your Life, followed by big-screen gigs in Dude, Where's My Car? and Pearl Harbor. And now, there's her breakthrough role in Alias. "It's the role of a lifetime. As an actor, nothing is more thrilling than to get to do these wild things and put yourself in these crazy positions." She owes it all to Scott (and some heavenly pals), who motivated her to push for the role. "When we left Charlie's Angels, Scott thought the women were so hot, and I wanted to be them. I said, 'I want to do physical stuff and fight!' Then up pops Alias. And the rest is history."

Jennifer Garner Talks About "13 Going on 30"

Jennife Garner captures her inner child in the romantic comedy, "13 Going on 30," co-starring Mark Ruffalo and directed by Gary Winick. The story follows Jenna (Garner), a slightly geeky, mostly unpopular teen who wakes up the morning after her disastrous 13th birthday party to discover she's somehow lost 17 years of her life. With her 13 year-old body transformed into that of a successful 30 year-old magazine editor, after initially freaking out, Jenna has to figure out what happened to all those missing years.

Garner credits her training in "Alias" and "Daredevil" for helping her tackle the physical comedy aspects of "13 Going on 30." Producer Donna Arkoff Roth says "Alias" fans will be pleasantly surprised with Garner's ability to transition from the serious Sydney Bristow to the plucky and playful Jenna. This movie shows Jennifer in a way
that we haven't seen her before. Even though she's known for the fearless action role she plays on 'Alias,' we recognized her abundant talent as a comedienne. For anyone who has spent time with her...it's immediately obvious that she has fantastic comic timing. She's a very funny person," says Arkoff Roth.

How did you take risks with this film?
The risk is always being over the top, in my mind. That was something that Gary [Winick] and I worked really hard on together, was to try to walk a line of having fun with it but also be honest and truthful. And because something isn't funny if there isn't a bit of honesty, but at the same time, it has to be funny. Honesty is also kind of sitting and staring into space. You don't want to do that either. I know you've heard about the sleepover and that was more of a reminder that 13-year-olds, and particularly these girls that I was hanging out with, are smart and sophisticated and capable of absolutely having any kind of adult conversation. Then they flip and surprise you by being children and goofy and dramatic. So it was constantly making sure that I didn't go too far in any one direction.

Did you have a friend like your childhood friend Matt in this movie?
I did actually. I grew up next door to this guy named Danny Moore. He is now married with a couple of kids. He still lives in Charleston and I still see him every time I go home. And Dan and I had this ritual, we called it ‘porch talk’ where every night when we got home from our various things, and then through high school it would be from dates or whatever it was, he would throw rocks or pennies at my window if my light was on, or I would at his window. I would come downstairs or he would and we would sit on the front porch of either house and talk about [and] go through everything. We were absolute sweetest best of friends and it was always innocent, but I think we probably both did have crushes on each other but we never… He set me up with all of his friends instead, and I talked him through his various relationships.

Do you keep in touch with your friends from your teens?
Oh, of course. Yeah, a couple was just staying at my house that was one of my friends when I was little. Yeah, my best friend is somebody that I grew up dancing with. She lives in Atlanta and I talk to her. Oh yeah, of course. I'm still really close with everyone at home and their parents - and their brothers and sisters. I was so, so, so lucky to grow up as part of a community and I don't take that for granted. I try very hard to stay part of it.

What happened to your character Jena between 13 and 30 to turn her into a bitch?
We talked about it so much. We talked about specific incidents with Matt or with Tom Tom, Judy [Greer’s] character Lucy, or times that separated her more and more from her family, that pulled her away more and more from her relationship with Matt. I just think she did what is so easy to do. She probably made a couple of bad decisions right after her 13th birthday party where she shunned Matt and wouldn't talk to him again. And where she shunned her parents and latched more onto the Six Chicks as her family and I think once she did that, she probably became ashamed of her behavior. So once she was embarrassed, it became easier and easier to separate herself from that instead of going back and apologizing and getting closer again to who she was. And the next thing you know, she started to believe that she really was this girl and then she became her.

Did they approach you for this movie or did you go after this?
They actually came to me, which was new for me.
Were you cast before Mark Ruffalo?
I was and the movie took a leap for me when Mark Ruffalo was cast.

Did you play a part in choosing him?
The second they breathed his name, I said, “Please, please, please, yes, yes, yes.” If you would've said five years ago, “If you could work with five actors, who would they be?” He would've been number one. So the fact that I could wish that and then it could happen…

Was it as good as you thought?
Absolutely. He's a dream of a person. He's a fantastic actor and he's just so fun to hang out with. Talk about grounded, he's really the bee’s knees.

How difficult were the dance sequences?
They were just fun. I mean, they were pure joy and fun. I grew up doing musicals and so to me, it was the perfect marriage of what I had grown up loving and doing, and what I do now. And there were huge cranes and cameras and great backup
dancers that were full of energy. Mark [Ruffalo] was sure that he was gonna die on the spot when we were rehearsing. He took a lot of pep talks but he so got it and so nailed it, so we just had a blast. I mean, we really did. We had so much fun.

He isn’t a dancer?
He was not a dancer, but he worked really, really hard and he more than got it down. He was groovin'.

Is it harder to learn dancing or fighting?
They're very similar. They're actually very similar and I love doing both. It doesn't matter. I love being physical and acting at the same time.

You have a musical theater background. Did you ever look into a career in musicals?
Musicals were just what I did. They were what was available to me in my home town. I was a ballet dancer and that kind of bled into musical theater. I was constantly in rehearsal for one thing or another. You would've thought that I was trying to be a professional in Charleston, West Virginia, but I just loved it so much and I was happy to be backstage. I was happy to have a role of any size or no size at all. And I still feel that way. I was just happy making “Pearl Harbor” and having four lines and I was doing this. Really, it's just kind of like I'm kind of good to go with whatever.

Who were your favorite musicians at 13 and now?
I'm always the disaster of the group when it comes to this. I always feel like, “Ask Mark Ruffalo.” He's always like, "Yeah, I love The Stingers." I'm like, “Who the hell are the Stingers?” When I was 13, I was pretty much Top 40. I have to say, I didn't pay a lot of attention. I just listened to whatever. I remember taping a couple of songs off the radio, “You're My Inspiration” by Chicago - that kind of thing. And now, I still really don't care that much but now I have music playing all the time at home, which is a first for me. Whatever. Everything from Ani DiFranco to Dave Matthews to Jack Johnson and Norah Jones.

At what age did you start dance?
Three. I mean, just like a little kid in a ballet class. It's not like my parents sent me to New York City and said, "Go take class." They just stuck me in class.

Did you want to be a classical ballerina?
No. To become a classical ballerina, you have to move to New York when you're 12 or 11 and that becomes your life. I just wanted to be good in my company in Charleston and I wanted it to always be part of my life.

Are you prepared for “Elektra?”
I am. I'm starting in May.

Does it take place after “Daredevil?”
It is. It's not a prequel. It's a sequel to her story in “Daredevil” and I've been training for the past couple of months. I trained after the junket last night and got up this morning and will go again tonight, and I'm loving it. I love that aspect of it. I don't know if it's because of dance or but we've added in Pilates because I need to add the flexibility. I'm just loving that. I'm working with my sai guy because the sais are my swords.

What will be different her as a character?
I think she has such a rich storyline of her own and we're really mining that storyline in this movie. A lot of the Frank Miller stuff for “Elektra,” [we’re] really using it. It's quite dark. I mean, her story is quite dark. She's an assassin. She's an assassin for hire; she's a woman for hire although we don't go there in this movie. But as far as what would be different, I don't know. I think it will be its own thing naturally.

Any wardrobe surprises?
I think that the wardrobe so far seems to be more reminiscent of what people associate with Elektra, although what I wore in “Daredevil,” she wears all kinds of different things. She's known mostly for this red outfit that you can't seem to wear any underwear underneath, so we could never quite figure out how to make it work. But she also wears a lot of black, so when we did “Daredevil,” we were kind of slammed for the wardrobe, but actually it was something taken directly from one of the comic books. And now what I'm wearing will be a little more familiar to people who like the comic books.

Jen Confuses Ben For Matt

Oooh that Jennifer Garner is a bit of a card.

The 32-year-old actress played a nifty prank on American TV - foiling attempts to delve into her personal life by revealing she was dating the wrong man. And not only the wrong man... but the best mate of her actual boyfriend.

It's a good job Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are firm buddies, after Jen let slip that her relationship with Matt was hunkydory.

Female First reports that when asked by Jay Leno on his talk show whether she had "any boyfriends or anything", Jennifer replied:

"Actually, I did meet this really nice guy that I think is a really great actor. I was watching The Bourne Supremacy and The Legend Of Bagger Vance," she teased, before adding:

"Matt and I are doing great. We're having a really great time.

He's a really sweet guy." Perhaps she hoped her porky pie would convince her fans that she wasn't in fact dating her Daredevil co-star Ben Affleck - or maybe it was a sly way to confess to Ben that she actually fancied his best friend.

After J.Lo and Ben broke off their engagement in January 2004, Ben found love again with this next Jennifer and they started dating in July 2004.

But after the very public shenanigans of the 'Bennifer' saga, Ben and Jen G have clearly been keen to keep their relationship as far away from the tabloids as possible - but denying it is surely one step too far?


Jennifer Garner: Dating Matt Damon??


JENNIFER GARNER left fans confused last night (12JAN05), when she declared that she was dating BEN AFFLECK's best pal MATT DAMON.

The ALIAS beauty, who has been dating her DAREDEVIL co-star Affleck since July (04), decided to deceive an inquiring JAY LENO when she made an appearance on his chat show.

When Leno cheekily asked if Garner had "any boyfriends, or anything", she joked, "Actually, I did meet this really nice guy that I think is a really great actor. I was watching BOURNE SUPREMACY and THE LEGEND OF BAGGER VANCE.
"Matt and I are doing great. We're having a really good time. He's a really sweet guy."


Jennifer Garner's art love

You'd think Jennifer Garner would have had her fill of photographers. Yet here she is, pointing out the beauty of picture-taking at a recent stroll through the Getty Museum atop the Santa Monica Mountains overlooking Los Angeles.

"See how simple the pictures seem to be?" she says, gesturing at the photographs from the museum's Close to Home: An American Album exhibit, a collection of men posing by their cars, women standing by their babies, families gathering by their dilapidated homes.

"But you capture enough of life — real life — and it somehow becomes something artistic," Garner says. "There's such beauty to those honest moments."

No one would blame Garner if she never wanted to see another snapshot. The 32-year-old actress has graced fashion and tabloid magazine covers since she took Hollywood by storm in 2001 with her TV series Alias, a cult favorite.

Tuesday, she received a Screen Actors Guild nomination for her role as grad-student-turned-spy Sydney Bristow. Friday, her new movie, Elektra opens, a sequel to 2003's Daredevil. Last year, she starred in the romantic comedy 13Going on 30 and next, she'll star in the drama Catch and Release.

That attention has been amplified by Hollywood's dating scene. Since divorcing Felicity co-star Scott Foley, her off-screen relationships have drawn almost as many headlines as her work. A brief relationship with Alias co-star Michael Vartan was a paparazzi warm-up for current beau Ben Affleck.

Garner can't even check into the hospital without sparking a swarm of rumors and photographer stakeouts. Garner was admitted to a Los Angeles hospital last week with pain from nerve damage she suffered doing stunts for Alias and Elektra. Although still seeing doctors for the nerve damage, she recuperated enough to attend a Las Vegas premiere for Elektra over the weekend.

Yet she seems more at home off the red carpet than on it. On a stroll a few weeks ago through the Getty, as she ticks off the finer points of still photography and Cézanne, you forget you're with one of the most hounded actresses on the planet.

Perhaps that's because she seems to forget. To understand Garner, you must realize that she still considers herself a "goober" from Charleston, W. Va. It's an identity she defends fiercely.

"It's easy in this town to forget where you came from and that you will always be that person," she says over a chicken Caesar salad lunch at the museum. "If you forget where you come from, you'll start forgetting how fortunate you are. I don't ever want to forget that I'm just a girl like any other who got really lucky."

Well, a girl like any other whose luck includes a reported $3 million a film and $150,000 for every episode of Alias.

In her latest movie, she plays Elektra Natchios, reprising her superheroine from Daredevil, the film that introduced her to Affleck.

While the first film took in more than $100 million, Elektra is by no means a sure thing. Comic-book adaptations have struggled of late: Hellboy and The Punisher each failed to take in more than $60 million last year. Spider-Man 2 was the only comic-book film in 2004 to crack the top 25; it made $373.4 million.

Comic-book movies anchored by women are even riskier. Catwoman, the $100 million train wreck starring Halle Berry, managed only $40.2 million last year. And that was the highest-grossing comic-book adaptation centered on a heroine, according to industry trackers Box Office Mojo.

Garner is disarming in showing her nervousness — and nerdiness.

"When Elektra died in the Daredevil (comic-book) series, the readers were really upset," she says. "Which is why Frank Miller created this comic book: to give her her own story line. I'm not that worried about the box office. But I want the fans to like it. I want it to be the Elektra they know in the books. So, yes, I'm scared to death."

The nerves don't come from lack of preparation. Garner was on the set in Vancouver, B.C., most days before 4 a.m. to train with the array of weapons her character wields.

"It's about being comfortable with the weapon, being able to spin it in any direction and look like you've had them in your hands since you were a kid," fight choreographer Mike Gunther says. "Jennifer had definitely mastered that."

She also has learned a thing or two about superheroes since Daredevil. She claims to have met a real-life one shooting that movie.

During a complicated stunt with wires, Garner became entangled in the harness and went plunging toward a wall. Still dressed in his Daredevil costume, Affleck raced up and caught her before she hit the wall. "He was like Superman," she said.

But those comments came two years ago, during a lunch to promote Daredevil. Now, she won't talk about Affleck at all. She has a firm policy of not speaking about her love life, past or present.

J.J. Abrams, a friend of Garner's and producer of Alias, says her relationship with Vartan has not tarnished their on-screen relationship. Indeed, he says, the breakup could help maintain their chemistry.

"There are scenes where they're together and romantically involved, and there are scenes where they are physically fighting," he says. "They're adults. They knew what they were getting into, and they're being professionals now. And oddly, when people are together, that's when it can get disruptive."

Back at the museum, Garner says she sees a disruption coming, and she's apologetic. "Listen, we're going to turn the corner, and it may be bad," she says. "I'm sorry."

While strolling the gardens of the Getty, Garner is recognized by several teenagers. "Jennifer!" they shout. "Hey, it's Jennifer Garner!"

Garner casts her eyes down as she approaches the bend where she suspects the teens await. But the halls are clear, and the smile and bounce to her step return.

"I'm more used to it than I used to be," she concedes. "But it still takes getting used to."

Call her name, and she'll look away. Say nothing, look her in the eyes and smile, and she'll be the first to say hello. When she asks a custodian for directions, she says, "Thank you, ma'am."

The politeness, the shyness are vestiges of being one of three daughters to a chemical engineer (Bill) and an English teacher (Pat). She is protective of her family, saying the paparazzi bother her only when they descend on her parents' Charleston home. "You want to hound me here in Los Angeles, fine. You want to go crazy over me and my dog (a Lab named Martha Stewart) at the dog park, go crazy. But why stake out my parents' home? I wish I had a good answer for why there needs to be a new picture of me every day, but I guess that comes with the territory."

By the time she enters the Cézanne exhibit, the edge is gone from her voice. She's back to her childhood, when her father would fly the family with his frequent-flier miles to expose his children to art at the Louvre in Paris.

"We'd literally get a big tub of peanut butter and take it with us for lunch. We didn't have much money, but Dad wanted us to know the arts. That's why I'm here today, doing this silly thing for a living."

And she hopes she never becomes too big-city to take it for granted. On the elevator leaving the museum, she strikes up a conversation with a couple and their 2-year-old daughter, Sydney — the same name as her character on Alias.

"What a cutie," she says.

Garner pauses, turns a full circle. "Now where did I put the car?" And she's off. A girl like any other, lost in the parking lot.


At 'Elektra' Premiere, Jennifer Garner Shows She's 'Ready To Get Back On The Horse'

Actress never lost her smile at Saturday event. Jennifer Garner answered the question on everyone's lips at the "Elektra" premiere — that would be, "How are you feeling?," although "Where's Ben?" was probably a close second — the moment she stepped out of her limo.

The actress, who spent the week leading up to Saturday's event recovering from nerve damage to her back (see "Jennifer Garner's Injury Now Said To Be Nerve Damage"), looked radiant and never lost her smile for the nearly two hours she spent in the chilly air outside the Palms Hotel and Casino.

As the star of the party, she powered up a giant "Elektra" billboard, tossed one of the Palms' special "Elektra" poker chips to a fan and did dozens of interviews, seemingly enjoying every bit of it. If anything, the back injury (she's not exactly sure how it happened) gave her some well-deserved time off.

"I wasn't feeling well over Christmas, I didn't know why, I thought I had some kind of infection and it turned out that I had bashed up my back a little bit," Garner said. "But I did get a couple of extra days off over my Christmas break, so that was a bargain, and it all turned out OK. I'm feeling OK and ready to get back on the horse."

If Garner, who plays a tough FBI agent on "Alias," didn't prove her real-life strength enough just by her appearance at the premiere, her co-stars offered plenty more proof.

Take Will Yun Lee, who plays Garner's nemesis — while shooting the final fight scene, he accidentally slashed the actress with his sword.

"There was blood everywhere, but she stuck her hand in the dirt and kept going," Lee recalled. "I thought I was going to get fired, but she was ready to keep fighting. I was a nervous wreck, I turned white. We almost had to shut the day down [because of me]. ... She's the real deal."

Even Bob Sapp, who played in the NFL before landing the role of Stone in "Elektra," was impressed. "She was hitting me with a fake stick that you break and I felt those hits and I'm a professional fighter," said Sapp, who wore a robe made out of a tuxedo to the premiere. "She's strong, she's tough and she's definitely sexy."

Michael Clarke Duncan was certain Garner used stunt doubles on "Alias," but was proven wrong when they filmed "Daredevil."

"I watched her train, I watched her practice with those knives every day. Even during lunch she'd come down with those things swinging," said Duncan, who is not in "Elektra" but came to Las Vegas to support Garner. "I thought, 'This girl's really serious, really dedicated.' And she's down-to-earth, she's cool, she doesn't ask nothing of you, and it's fun working with someone like that."

Goran Visnjic, the "ER" star who plays the man Garner is hired to kill in "Elektra," described Garner as the most professional person he's ever met.

"She's amazing to work with just because of the spirit," he said. "She comes to work every day, works her ass off, does huge action scenes five or six days a week, doesn't get enough rest and goes to the gym every day, and is still in a great, excellent good mood all day, which makes a huge difference with the crew and everybody. I'm like, 'Thank you God I'm working with her.' ... And the other thing, there's not one shot of her in this movie where she doesn't look stunning."

Fittingly, that same mix of brawn, beauty and benevolence used to describe Garner is exactly what she sees in her assassin character Elektra.

"I'm so proud to get to be the woman who plays this character," Garner said. "She has empowered young women forever. She's hard as nails, she's a tough bitch, but ultimately, the cool thing is finding the heart there and she does have one and it's a blast [playing her]."

Garner is waiting to see how well "Elektra" does at the box office, but she's certainly interested in making a movie franchise out of the comic-book character.

"I think she has an incredible story in the comic books," Garner said. "You don't need to look outside of the comic books at all to have plenty of stuff to tell about Elektra."

And for the record, Garner's parents escorted her down the red carpet. Ben Affleck apparently snuck in a back entrance and was seen playing poker at the Palms later in the evening.

Jennifer Garner bounces back for 'Elektra' premiere

Proving as tough and resilient as the character she plays on Alias, a radiant Jennifer Garner shrugged off a back injury to appear at Saturday's world premiere of her action flick Elektra.
The Daredevil spinoff opens in theaters on Friday.

Garner's appearance was in doubt last week after her publicist said Garner had sustained nerve damage during stunt work, possibly on the set of her ABC spy series.

Yet Garner popped out of a stretch limo at the Palms Hotel-Casino and glided along the red carpet. She showed no sign of the injury that prompted her to skip hosting Saturday Night Live on Jan. 15 and some Elektra-related promotional appearances.

She also seemed to have no problem reaching up to push a gigantic red button that caused a mammoth Elektra marquee to burst into fireworks.

"I'm all better. I took a little time off from work, and I'm ready to go back," said Garner, who was vague about what stunt caused the injury or what exactly the problem was.

In fact, Garner was vague about a lot. She ended several red-carpet interviews the moment the topic turned to her boyfriend and Daredevil co-star, Ben Affleck. Affleck did not walk the carpet, but actor Michael Clarke Duncan said the actor had slipped into a back entrance for the premiere. Affleck was spotted playing poker at the Palms much later that evening — without Garner.

Garner's publicist has denied reports suggesting the star, 32, is pregnant. At the premiere, Garner removed a regal floor-length black wrap to show off her sleek figure in a sleeveless black gown, despite the windy, 40-degree weather.

Several of Garner's film and TV co-stars declared that she's healthy. They also expressed their admiration for the actress, who insists on doing her own stunts, both as identity-changing Sydney Bristow in Alias and as the future-seeing Elektra.

"Of course we worry about her, but she believes it's important to do the stunts," said Duncan, who appeared in Daredevil. "This woman is just in incredible physical condition."

Garner attributes her physical skills to studying ballet as a child.

"First of all, (stunt work is) fun. I love to do it. One of the things I love about these characters is that they are so strong. They can take down anybody they want to."


Jennifer Garner's ''Electra'' : Never Before Scene

"Elektra," a spinoff of 2003's "Daredevil" movie, finds the deadly assassin (Jennifer Garner) hired by the Order of the Hand to kill a widower (Goran Visnjic) who must pay for the sins of his grandfather. But once Elektra meets the widower's young daughter (Kirsten Prout), she has a change of heart and defends the pair from the Order's ninjas.

Garner, joined by "TRL" co-host Damien, recently conducted a Q&A session with an audience following a screening of "Elektra" for MTV's "Never Before Scene," taking questions on topics ranging from stunt work to wardrobe malfunctions.

Damien: I was kind of hoping you would show up in that red outfit you've got. What do your parents think of that?

Jennifer: I think they've just given up on me in general. I'm pretty much the black sheep; at this point they just turn the other way.

Damien: I know our audience has some questions for you, so let's take our first question from the audience members right here, and her name is Shauna.

Shauna: How has Elektra changed since we last saw her in "Daredevil," and how does she change through the course of this movie?
Jennifer: Ooh, that's a good question. Well, she was dead last time we saw her, so there's that. Then she's brought back to life, and when she's brought back to life she no longer has Daredevil and her father has been killed, and so she was kind of a dark chick before, but now she's bad dark. She has ice around her heart. There's nothing warm and fuzzy about this person at all, and the way she keeps herself isolated from humans is by killing for money, and the way that she kills for money is by keeping herself isolated from humans. So she can go along like this for a while. But then eventually in the movie she meets this young girl and her father and she's actually sent to kill them. And she can't do it. There's something real in her that she forgot about, and so she teams up with the young girl and her father to save them from the bad force that's gonna get them. And it changes her personality slowly but surely.

Damien: All right. Someone did a little character study. Let's go to Joseph, who has a question. Joseph, what's up?

Joseph: You're usually associated with more good-girl roles. Elektra's more morally conflicted. What did you enjoy about playing a darker character?

Jennifer: The whole point of being an actor is that you get to play everything. It's like you can't decide what you want to be when you grow up, so you're just somebody who's everything. I never anticipated being a killer, but, you know, hey, why not? I like it because everybody, even the most evil [character], there's something in their soul somewhere that at one point in time was for real, and I like it because sometimes you see people go from being good and whole and happy to being a completely miserable person. And in this case, she is a killer for money, she is a mercenary, she is an assassin, and we see her against her own will, her heart kind of warms up and she remembers or realizes for the first time maybe that she has a soul and she has a heart.

Damien: Very nice. All right, Melanie is next.

Melanie: How much did you have to train for this role, and did the physical work you did for "Alias" and "Daredevil" help you?

Jennifer: Oh, totally. Oh my gosh, are you kidding me? Yeah.
Damien: Was this movie easy for you?

Jennifer: Uh, no! No, there's nothing easy about it. No, but I couldn't have taken the steps I needed to take to do Elektra if I hadn't done "Daredevil" and three years of "Alias." So a big part of my training was just kind of on the job for the last three years nonstop all the time. And then for this movie I learned how to use the bow stick, which was that thing you guys saw. I worked more with the sais than I had before. You know what those are, right? They're her weapons that are the three-pronged sword things.

Damien: The ones you spin around.

Jennifer: The ones that you stab yourself with and have to get stitches. And I did a lot more boxing and stuff which I had done a little bit of [before], but this time I got a little grittier with it. And then I fought with big swords, which I had never done before. So I did a lot of training, but what I would do is I would go to work and my trainer would meet me at work to do just a workout, and then the fight guys would meet me after that and I would fight with them, and then I would work however long. And then that night I would see the fight guys again, and then five hours on Saturday and five hours on Sunday.
Damien: So within a 24-hour period, how long were you training?

Jennifer: All together it probably wasn't more than two hours, because I was working 16 hours a night. So sometimes we would train a half an hour and I would just be like, "OK, I'm so fried. I'm so done, I have to eat. I have to go home and go to bed right now."

Damien: Let's move on to John.

John: What was the most difficult stunt or scene that you had to do?

Jennifer: The most difficult one was against this actor Will Yun Lee. He's an actor that does his own fights as well, and I'm just kind of learning as I go. The only way I stay alive is that I rehearse nonstop, because you know, I'm not really somebody who goes out and fights on the street. He grew up ... his dad was one of the first tae kwon do masters in the United States, and he grew up with his dad as his sensei, so he is wicked good. He is out-of-control good. So he had these two huge katana swords, these Japanese swords that are heavy steel, and we fought each other in the fastest, nastiest fight. It's at the end of the movie and there's all this wind blowing, and I have all this hair in the movie and it kept being in my eyes and I would just hear the clank, clank, clank of my sais hitting his sword. And, you know, his swords would be coming full-on as hard as they could at my head, and it's just kind of like you'd better know where to block, because if you don't block you're gonna lose your noggin. So that was the scariest thing.

Damien: So you memorized the moves even though you couldn't see?

Jennifer: Memorized them, yeah. We had drilled them for so many hours, I can't even tell you. I mean, thank God, because I couldn't see, so if I hadn't just been able to trust that he knew exactly where I was and I knew exactly where he was and, you know, you get yourself all pumped up. I mean, I'm a girl, I'm kind of a girly girl, and so to get myself all grrrrr, you know, I have to get in there and grrrrr. I remember in high school, the guys before a football game, that's what I feel like. I feel like this crazy person, like growling at myself in the mirror, and then he and I were just dukin' it out, 'cause he wasn't kidding around — he had no trouble going there, you know, he's not a girl.

Damien: Well, it's good to have your head here and not just a torso, that's nice.

Jennifer: I did lose a little blood, but we made it out OK.

Damien: I can't believe you did all your own stunts like that, that's absolutely insane.

Jennifer: That's the fun stuff. Why do the movie if you're not going to get to do all the fun? I mean, you saw me on the tree, we were in the middle of the forest and they stuck me on the top of this eight-foot tree. Where was I? No, I wasn't on the top of it, I was on the middle, but it was straight up, and we built it — it was a fake tree — we built it on some kind of springy thing, and as it started to fall, I had to climb up on to the top and run down the tree, and right before I hit the camera that was at the end of the tree, they yanked me off with a wire. It was so terrifying, I screamed for my mama. I almost peed my pants.

Nicole: I just wanted to know, do you start looking at other action films differently?

Jennifer: I do, I'm kind of a snob.

Damien: What do you think of Jackie Chan and all them?

Jennifer: Oh, Jackie's incredible. Look, I'm going to tell you the truth. If something's going to hurt enough and it's something I don't know how to do without breaking my leg, if it's like gymnastic — I mean, I can back flip with a wire, but I don't actually know how to back flip — I'm going to put my stuntwoman in, Shauna, she's incredible. Or if I'm going to get hit by a car, I don't know how to get hit by a car and come out standing. Shauna is some kind of freak of nature, she can actually do it. Jackie Chan does that stuff too. All the fighting I absolutely did, you saw me do tons of stunts, but if there's something I truly don't know how to do, I'm not [about to do it]. I mean, Shauna wouldn't let me, it's just ridiculous. I've learned how to do more and more, and I love that, but I can tell if I'm watching something. If you don't see the actor's face while they're fighting and you just see their back, and then they cut and all you see is this, [she breathes heavily], they were not fighting. You have to see it all happening at once.

Audience member: In the tough action scenes, did anyone get hurt?

Jennifer: Yeah. Luckily, thank God, nothing too serious. Several sets of stitches, actually. My double was working with the sais and accidentally flipped one in and stabbed her leg. And they're dulled, you know, everyone's like, "They're dulled." Yeah, right, it went in her leg five inches, and she had stitches there.

Damien: Did they stop the movie at that point?

Jennifer: She left and came back.

Damien: And then she threw herself in front of a speeding car. That's like a normal day for her.

Jennifer: Yeah, that's Shauna for you. She's the coolest of them all, but then, we hit a guy on the head and he had to get stitches. Oops.
Damien: How about you? Did you get hurt?

Jennifer: I got hit with a katana sword, and I have some permanent ...

Damien: Are you seriously going to catagorize that as something? After you just told me a sword went into a lady's leg five inches?

Jennifer: Dude, my finger blew open into bits. You gonna call me some sort of wuss? You gonna call me out, Damien?

Damien: I thought you broke a nail. I thought that's what it was going toward. I didn't know that happened. So your finger exploded into a thousand pieces?

Jennifer: A thousand pieces. My finger exploded into a thousand pieces. No, I just got hit with a sword, and I'm not gonna tell that anymore 'cause you think it's lame. But at the time it hurt a lot.

Lana: I was wondering if you could tell us a little more about the villains and how they're all different from each other.
Jennifer: Well, there are two sets of ninjas, and that's kind of who this secret war is going on between. The bad guys are the Order of the Hand, and the good guys are the Chaste, so we're going to concentrate on the bad guys 'cause they're always more fun. But the head of this little band of bad guys that is after me is Kirigi, Wun Yun Lee, who I was telling you about, who's this kick-ass martial artist, like for real, the real deal, and that's kind of his thing is that he's just out-of-control good. So that's fitting. And then there's Bob Sapp. Do you guys know who Bob Sapp is? He's the number one wrestler in Japan, but he's this huuuuge, huge, beautiful African-American man. He's ginormously large.

Damien: Is that the guy you cracked on the head?

Jennifer: Yeah, and he plays Stone. And his thing is that he's made of stone, and so I can break a stick across his back, and when I hit him with my sai it bends my sai instead of stabbing him, and he and I got into a pretty good tussle. He actually picked me up, I was on all fours in the middle of a fight, and he picked me up by the collar and top of my jeans and swung me like a suitcase, and I'm not some little girl, I've got some meat on me. He could have flung me around his head. Anyway, so there's Bob Sapp, then there is Tattoo, who you guys might have seen, with all the tattoos on his body, and his thing is that all the tattoos on his body come to life, like the wolf that comes out of his body or the snakes that come off of his back. That's a really, really cool effect. And Kinkou is, I don't know if you're familiar with capoeira ... Am I saying that wrong? Capoeira? Well, he's a capoeira expert.

Damien: Is that the Brazilian karate?

Jennifer: Yeah, it's really based on balance and agility.

Sam: Were you a fan of comic books before?

Jennifer: I grew up with two sisters, so we didn't read comic books. I have to say, though, "Elektra," it is a story that would have appealed to us if we had known it existed. We were so far out of that demographic, we didn't even know she was around. But of course, since "Daredevil," even since I was auditioning for "Daredevil," I started reading the comic books, and now I've read all the "Elektra" comic books, and then you can't help but branch off, you read "Elektra" and then you want to read "Wolverine," then you kinda branch off, and now I get why they're such a huge deal, they distill the story down into this much space. And they don't even have to have words, or if they do have words or dialogue, there's so much of what they say, and they're so beautifully rendered. ["Daredevil" artist] Frank Miller's a genius.

Josh: The outfit looks like it would be hard to do all those stunts in. Were there any "wardrobe malfunctions"?

Jennifer: You mean like Janet Jackson? I know what you're talking about. I hear what you're saying, Josh. No, no, I kept it all together, thank you very much.

Damien: We actually have a clip of a wardrobe malfunction ... No, I'm just kidding.

Jennifer: Oh, I was like, "For real? Am I lying? Did I give you a show?" I don't think I did.

Damien: No, we're not going to do that to you. Good question.

Jennifer: I think I kept it all on.

Shmir: I've read that your dad had issues.

Jennifer: Well, my family, I'm from West Virginia, so my family is fairly conservative. But not in an over-the-top kind of way, just like, when I was growing up, if I came down in something short, he would say, "Go put on some clothes." Like a typical dad, like a dad. But now I am grown up, and he can't tell me what to wear, so all he does is, "Oh, Jennifer. Uh, Jennifer ..." but he'll go and see it.

Damien: Did you get to keep the outfit? What about the weapons?

Jennifer: I did not even ask to keep the outfit. That is something you put on, if someone's paying you a lot of money. It's not that fun to wear, to be honest, even though during all the fitting we worked really hard to make sure I could move in it and do what I needed to do. You're still all ... I would rather be in sweats, so no, I did not keep the outfit. And the weapons, I did keep. I spent so many hours with them in my hands, they are mine. And I am theirs. Supposedly your weapon takes on your personality, and you take on your weapon's personality. Is that right? Since you're my resident expert. Yes, right, weapons are an extension of yourself.

Damien: In that case, my weapon was, like, a kitty cat.

Jennifer: Yeah, I never had weapons before.

Matt: Had you ever thought of using your powers or weapons against the paparazzi?

Damien: I've got the name of a great lawyer.

Jennifer: Good question. I hadn't had that thought before, but now maybe they should watch out. They are in my closet. Thank you, Matt.

Audience member: Do you think this movie will have a different appeal for women than men?

Jennifer: Hopefully. It makes sense to me that it would appeal to both. For men, there are some great fights ...

Damien: The red suit.

Jennifer: If you like that type of thing, there's the red suit, with a little bit of skin. But Natassia [Malthe] is in this movie as well, and she's a really, really beautiful woman. And then there are some cool special effects, great stunts, like it's an action movie, but for women. Part of the story is between Elektra and this 13-year-old girl and how this girl affects Elektra, and women can't help but have some sort of nurturing instinct. And it's kind of an emotional movie, and I feel kind of crazy saying that 'cause it's a comic book movie, but I think women can make their men think they're going to a movie for them, but hopefully they will really enjoy it.


Jennifer Garner's comments about her latest film "Elektra"

"Elektra involves more weapons work than Jennifer Garner had done in her previous action heroine roles. Garner said that her experience doing three years of Alias and the first Daredevil movie gave her just enough experience to move on to this new level. "Everything that I've learned at the time has been the most difficult, so it just makes sense that the fights would become more complicated as time went on," Garner said."


Las Vegas Becomes Garner's Elektra-Fied

Signifying that Las Vegas is synonymous with action, in the casino and on the big screen, the Palms Casino Resort and Maloof Productions will host the World Premiere of the 20th Century Fox and Regency Enterprises film ELEKTRA, starring Jennifer Garner. The event will take place at Brenden Theatres at the Palms on Saturday night, January 8.

In the movie, Jennifer Garner returns as ELEKTRA, a warrior who stands in the center of the ultimate battle between good and evil, in the first action event film of the year. The film is directed by Rob Bowman and will be released nationwide on January 14.

"It's a pleasure to roll out the red carpet for Jennifer Garner and 20th Century Fox," stated Palms owner George Maloof. "I hope it symbolizes a greater willingness of Hollywood to look to the thrill of Las Vegas for some of its most exciting premieres, and specifically the Palms Casino Resort, the most exciting destination just off the Strip."

The exclusive event starts at 7:00 p.m. with the red carpet arrival of stars from the film including Jennifer Garner and Goran Visnjic. Others attending will include the Maloof family, Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman and the beautiful Palms Girls.

At approximately 8:00 p.m. ELEKTRA will premiere in Brenden Theatres. Following the screening, Rain Nightclub will become Elektra-fied beginning at 10:00 p.m. At the event, Clark County Commissioner Lynette Boggs McDonald and Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman will also present the Maloof family with a Proclamation for "Palms Elektra Day." The Palms will release a limited edition $10 ELEKTRA Commemorative Casino Chip beginning Thursday, January 6th, 2005.


Jennifer Garner Back in Action

Elektra rose from the dead to take on bad guys so it only figures that Jennifer Garner is going to rise from bed to take on her PR duties.

The Golden Globe-nominated star had been laid up for the past two weeks after suffering nerve damage while shooting a stunt for Alias, 20th Century Fox said in a statement late Wednesday. Garner was initially believed to have been suffering from a viral infection.

The injury forced the 32-year-old actress to cancel several promotional appearances, including guest hosting the Jan. 15 edition of Saturday Night Live, in conjunction with her latest movie, Elektra, and the new season of ABC's spy series.

But Fox, the studio behind Elektra, now says that Garner is in good enough shape to attend the film's star-studded Las Vegas premiere this Sunday, an event that seemed in jeopardy only days ago.

"You can't keep a good superhero down," the studio trumpeted.

In the the Daredevil spinoff Elektra, Garner continues the adventures of the back-from-the-grave female killing machine. The film is scheduled to open Jan. 14.

Two days later, Garner will be up for a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama Series for Alias. Garner is also in the running for Favorite Female TV Star at this Sunday's People's Choice Awards for her work on the series.

The ABC spy drama opened up its fourth season with a much-hyped two-hour premiere Wednesday in which Garner, as CIA spy Sydney Bristow, was chased through the streets of Shanghai, seduced German criminals on a train, broke into a high-security museum in London and donned no fewer than 10 different outfits, ranging from a business casual office duds to high-grade fetish-wear leather.

There's been no immediate word from ABC on whether Garner's injury will impact shooting on the series.

Alias Star Jennifer Garner Ailing

Jennifer Garner's new alias: patient.

The Golden Globe-nominated Alias star is laid up at her Los Angeles home after coming down with a nasty viral infection.

The illness has forced Garner to scrap several TV appearances to promote her new movie, the Daredevil spinoff Elektra. The 32-year-old actress had also been slated to appear at the movie's press junket this weekend, but that has been postponed. Distributor 20th Century Fox was expected to decide soon whether to reschedule the film's premiere, currently set for Saturday in Las Vegas.

No immediate word on whether she still plans on hosting the Jan. 15 episode of Saturday Night Live.

Garner was escorted to UCLA Medical Center Monday afternoon by boyfriend Ben Affleck, where she was diagnosed with the virus and ordered home to bed.

Affleck and Garner first met while shooting the 2003 big-screen adaptation of Marvel Comics' Daredevil. In Elektra, Garner continues the adventures of the back-from-the-grave female killing machine. The film is scheduled to open Jan. 14.

Two days later, Garner will be up for a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama Series for Alias. Garner is also in the running for Favorite Female TV Star at this Sunday's People Choice Awards for her work as TV spy Sydney Bristow.

ABC's espionage series kicks off its fourth season with a two-hour premiere Wednesday.


Will 'Alias' kick butt in new Wednesday slot?

For "Alias" fans, it has been a long summer and fall with no new adventures with Sydney Bristow and her covert cohorts. But they're all coming back in a big way at 8 p.m. Wednesday in the spy-fi drama's two-hour fourth-season premiere.

The season opener is a costume-changing extravaganza for star Jennifer Garner, who finds herself running through the streets of Shanghai dolled up as a schoolgirl punkette and donning an itty-bitty negligee to distract a Russian scientist and thereby thwart the sale of some really dangerous nuclear materials to some really dangerous terrorists, among other situations.

The stakes are always high on "Alias," and this year, they're particularly high for the show offscreen as well as it moves from Sunday to Wednesday. For the first time since the series debuted in fall 2001, "Alias" will have the support of a highly compatible, hugely popular show as its lead-in: "Lost," which also hails from "Alias" creator/executive producer J. J. Abrams.
The fact that "Alias" never popped big Nielsen numbers for ABC in the Sunday 8 p.m. slot always has been a head-scratcher. The show about a young woman's immersion in the undercover world of the CIA has enjoyed a devoted cult following since Day 1, and Garner's star has shined ever brighter as well.

For its first two seasons, "Alias" undoubtedly was handicapped by its incongruous lead-in, the family-friendly "Wonderful World of Disney" movie showcase slot. Last season, ABC shifted to an all-series lineup Sunday, but the short-lived cops-on-the-beat drama "10-8" didn't do "Alias" any favors as its lead-in. Now that ABC wisely has decided to make the Wednesday 8-10 p.m. block must-see TV for fans of Abrams' stylish-thriller milieu, the stars should align for "Alias."

Of course, "Alias" already emerged as a shining example of a new breed of primetime drama series whose success has been measured less by its Nielsen numbers than by all the ancillary business it has drummed up for ABC and Touchstone Television. Like Fox's "24," "Alias" has been among the first contemporary series to reap the rewards, promotional and otherwise, of DVD boxed set sales as well as video games, books, T-shirts and other strategically targeted "brand extensions."

From a creative perspective, one of the strongest attributes of "Alias" has been how its writers have smartly mined the realpolitik of the post-Cold War era to keep the audience guessing as to who the enemy is - this week. In the absence of rigid ideological lines of demarcation, i.e. capitalists vs. communists, it's a much more nebulous world of bad guys whose alliances and allegiances can turn on a dime (as evidenced by a major plot development in the season opener involving the malevolent Arvin Sloane character, played by Ron Rifkin).

Moreover, "Alias" premiered 19 days after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, but Sydney was battling homegrown terrorist cells from the start in story lines that were conceived long before the twin towers fell. And at a time when the CIA is being turned inside out and upside down by post-Sept. 11 scrutiny of its operations, "Alias" fans can be forgiven for taking a bit of refuge in the fictional heroics of an All-American girl operative who can kick major butt and almost always gets her man, or woman.

As Sydney puts it in the season premiere, when she's drafted into yet another super-top-secret "black ops" CIA unit, "I'm ready to serve my country in the best way that I can.


'Alias' star Jennifer Garner falls ill

Despite playing nigh-invincible women who kick butt on the big and small screen, actress Jennifer Garner isn't quite so indestructible in real life.
The 32-year-old actress has fallen prey to a nasty virus, which is forcing her to cancel her scheduled appearances to promote the upcoming 20th Century Fox film "Elektra" and the return of her ABC drama "Alias" this week, reports Inside Edition.

An email sent out by the Fox reads, "We have just learned that Jennifer Garner has fallen ill with a viral infection, and under advice from her doctors, will not be working for at least a week."

Garner's publicist Nicole King confirms that her client is "very sick," but denies rumors that the starlet is pregnant with boyfriend Ben Affleck's baby. The couple has been dating since summer 2004 and originally met on the set of 2003's comic book-inspired action film "Daredevil," in which Garner makes her first appearance as the martial arts-trained assassin.

"Elektra" stars Garner as the titular killer who is targeted by The Hand, ninjas who had trained her, after she falls for one of her intended victims. The film opens nationwide on Friday, Jan. 14.

The actress' hit ABC series "Alias," in which she stars as a spy with impeccable fashion sense, returns for its fourth season on Wednesday night (Jan. 5).

From Jen Ex to Jen Why Not?

Maybe Ben Affleck has a Jennifer addiction. That's one explanation for his new hookup with Jennifer Garner (after last year's romantic meltdown with Jennifer Lopez). Of course, it could also be that Alias star Garner is gorgeous, talented and successful. Oh, that. Us Weekly's "Ben in Love!" cover story reports that Affleck and Garner (who were rumored to have a dalliance back during Daredevil) have been spotted as a couple at 6 a.m. Starbucks rendezvous and late-night meetings at her Brentwood home. It's part of what the mag describes as her "secret-agent approach to dating." (Not to mention Us' 24-hour-surveillance approach to celeb journalism.) The mag notes, for instance, that Garner's most recent love, Alias costar Michael Vartan, used to be forced to park blocks from her pad when they would get together. For his part, Affleck appears eager to dial down any drama after the Bennifer debacle. He reportedly developed a last-minute scheduling conflict at a recent Vegas party when he heard Vartan was also on the guest list. Sounds like Ben and Jen are perfectly suited as operatives in the undercover game of celestial love. Let's just hope nobody's a double agent!

All Men Are Dogs

Aformentioned action star Jennifer Garner made an unexpected splash at a recent Hollywood party, according to the National Enquirer. Although dressed to the nines in designer garb, Garner suddenly dove into the swimming pool--to save a week-old puppy who had tumbled into the deep end. Maybe she's just hedging her bets with faithful man's best friend now that she's taking up with rambling, gambling Benny boy.

Watch out, Jennifer Garner!

Big commitments have meant big trouble in the past for the party-loving Ben Affleck. And while the Oscar-winning actor has been blissfully speeding along on the fast track with Jennifer Garner since June 2004, he has shown no signs of reforming his party-night ways while filming in Vancouver, Canada.

Sources tell Star that Ben repeatedly showed up late to the set of his new movie, Man About Town; while off the set, he was back to his bachelor ways of staying out until dawn and gambling with high rollers in a local casino. "We've gotten some late starts because Ben hasn't been on time some mornings," a set insider confirms.

The last time Ben was en route to a life commitment -- when he was engaged to his other Jennifer in 2003 -- he ended up at a Vancouver strip club called Brandi's one night. Six months and a cancelled wedding later, that relationship was over. The big question now: Could Ben possibly have another commitment crisis?

While filming in Vancouver for the past two months, sources say, poker-mad Ben became a regular at the Vegas-style River Rock Casino Resort in nearby Richmond. "He played poker at least two or three times a week and spent a lot of money," an inside source tells Star. "He would throw a ton of money into the pot, making sure only the top players remained," a casino-goer says. Though Jennifer Garner flew into town several times to visit, sources say Ben never brought her on one of the poker jaunts. But Dec. 7, he did escort his sexy Man About Town co-stars Amber Valletta and Bai Ling to the gaming tables. Later the three went on to Celebrities, a gay nightclub in Vancouver's West End.

Ben and Jennifer Lopez broke up because Ben's partying got out of control, is he making the same mistake with Jennifer Garner?

Jennifer Garner opens up about Affleck

She may play a tough chick in her roles as Sydney Bristow on TV's Alias and as comic book warrior Elektra on the big screen, but when it comes right down to it, Jennifer Garner is a big softy.

Garner, who rarely speaks about her personal life, finally opened up to TV show 'Extra,' about her sweetie Ben Affleck, "I miss him. I would love nothing more than to see his big old goofy walk coming this way and saving me for a day and making me laugh."
The brunette beauty was busy filming the upcoming Daredevil spin-off, Elektra in Canada.

Are Garner and Affleck expecting a baby?

Jennifer Lopez may have walked down the aisle before her ex Ben Affleck did, but rumor has it that he'll have a little bundle of joy before his former flame.

Yep, you heard correctly ... Affleck's current love, Jennifer Garner, is reportedly pregnant according to 'Star' magazine. In fact, the tabloid has Garner as far along as four to five months.
The 'Alias' star has been seen around the streets of Los Angeles sporting a plump belly, unusual since Garner is known for her rock hard abs. Garner has also been seen covering her tummy when she noticed a photographer and on another day, concealing her stomach with a long, wide scarf.

Garner's reps have kept mum on the issue, but Utah-based nutritional biochemist Dr. Shawn M. Talbott, who isn't on Garner's payroll, told the magazine, "It really does look like Jen is pregnant. Where she seems to be gaining weight - lower belly and hips - is a typical change in shape for a young, fit, pregnant woman. Jen could have started early eating for the holidays but I think she looks more like she has a baby on the way!"

Jennifer Garner enjoys playing Elektra

On Jan. 14, the Alias star returns in Elektra, a spin-off of last year's thriller Daredevil, in which she co-starred with Ben Affleck. Garner says she enjoys playing the tough, leather-clad ninja assassin because she is so different from her Alias role as Sydney Bristow. "Sydney fights because she has no other choice. Elektra goes out there looking for trouble."

Though Ben Affleck does not star in the new movie, the off-screen relationship between him and Garner continues apace. After her marriage to actor Scott Foley ended, she was linked for a time to her Alias co-star, actor Michael Vartan, but began dating Affleck when she and Vartan broke up earlier this year. Recently, she flew to Vancouver to be with the star while he was filming his new, aptly titled comedy, Man About Town.

People's Choice Awards nominates Jennifer Garner

The People's Choice Awards have added new categories to the upcoming ceremony, including favorite movies, favorite smile and favorite cartoon star. There were 14 new categories, including favorite overall movie, favorite movie drama, comedy and sequel.

Additional new awards include favorite hair (Courtney Cox Arquette, Penelope Cruz, Jennifer Garner, Kate Hudson and Charlize Theron), and favorite ``look'' (Brandy, Cameron Diaz, Hudson, Scarlett Johansson and Natalie Portman.)

Previous nominees for the 31st annual People's Choice Awards were announced in October, with Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, Julia Roberts, Charlize Theron, Reese Witherspoon up for favorite actress and George Clooney, Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington for favorite male actor.

The nomination and awards process, formerly based on a national poll, has been revised to be compiled by Entertainment Weekly, the People's Choice production team and pop culture fans. The public can choose the winners online at www.pcavote.com.

Voting closes Dec. 13.

'Alias' star Jennifer Garner gets dramatic

We caught up with Michael Vartan (he was finger-painting. Yes, really. More on that later ...) and got a special peek inside "Alias," returning Jan. 5.

Q: What can we expect this season?

A: A lot more drama. All of the characters are definitely all going through something that's a lot more traumatic -- and a lot of action. We've been shooting a lot of great action scenes and fight scenes.

Q: Are you having fun doing the fight scenes?

A: Yeah. But it gets to the point where it's kind of like, "All right guys," because fighting, as fun as it is to do for the first hour, when you're on your 14th hour and it's 6 a.m. on a Saturday, you just want to go home. But it's fun. It's kind of like when you're a kid (and) you dream of being James Bond.

Q: What are you doing to prep for the fight scenes? Are you working with trainers?

A: No, not really. I play a lot of sports so I'm kind of always in relatively good shape. Our fight coordinators are so good and they make fights on camera that look so elaborate that they are actually pretty easy to do. And we have great stunt doubles when things get a little too complicated. Like, on Monday, I'm fighting this guy who's 6'6", 240 lbs. and, in real life, he could crush me with his hand. But I'm going to take him out and throw him across the room and it's going to look real -- well, relatively real.

Q: Has this made you feel like you could take someone on in real life if you had to?

A: No. The one thing, if I ever get into a fight, is I run very fast. You know, I'm 36. My testosterone levels are lowering. Fighting's just a waste of time. Best case scenario, you don't get hurt and you don't get arrested, right?"

... So, back to the finger-painting. Vartan, along with Jennifer Garner, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kevin Kline, Fred Durst, Sean Hayes and Donald Trump, painted 40 donated Gibson electric guitars, which the Pediatric Epilepsy Project will auction off to benefit UCLA's Pediatric Neurology Department.

Jennifer Garner celebrating the DVD release of Alias

Buena Vista Home Entertainment threw a party celebrating the DVD release of Alias: The Complete Third Season. The cast came out to preview the DVD extra features and discuss the upcoming fourth season. We have interviews with the whole lot throughout the week, but wanted to start with the biggie.
Jennifer Garner came from the set wearing jeans, a translucent black top (possibly silk) and glasses, looking classy and casual. Though she'd already worked the whole day, there was no sign of fatigue as she enthusiastically spoke about her slew of current projects.

Among the DVD extras are an animated short featuring Garner’s voice, episode commentaries and a gag reel.

Q: How weird is it to see yourself animated?

A: I haven’t seen it yet.

Q: Not even when you were doing voice?

A: It’s sitting in my trailer, but they keep me moving so fast as work I can never stop and just watch it, take care of these things It’s like I know that I did it but I don’t even remember.

Q:What do you think of J.J. Abrams’ comments that Season Three lost its way?

A: I think J.J. and I, we pretty much see things eye to eye. It did lose its way a little, but I still think there are gems of episodes in there and I think that it’s necessary sometimes to [take risks]. A great thing about his writing is that he takes risks. He doesn’t just go in a straight line and play it safe. It’s all over the place and makes huge changes in the story and can say, “Okay, you’ve lost two years of your life” and spend the next year dealing with that fact. He just tossed it out in a season finale. And now that fact has been dealt with. Now the story has been messed with enough that we can go back to what we’re good at and go back to the beginning, and only he can make that happen.

Q:How is her relationship with Jack now that she knows he orchestrated the two years?

A: It’s confusing. They’ve always had a complicated relationship. I don't think she can help but rely on him in a certain way. He’s been her touchstone forever. But at the same time, I think he’s been this huge, huge, confusing disappointment to her, so I’m interested to see where it goes. It unfolds for me right before it unfolds for you.

Q: What else can we expect in Season Four? Season Four is fun. Season Four, we kind of went back around to what the first season felt like. Sydney’s happy again which is a blessing for me because now I can smile at work every now and then. And there’s just an element of humor from back in Alias’s height. There’s something casual that’s back in the dialogue. It’s very much more character based.

Q: Have you finished Elektra?

A: Finished Elektra.

Q: What was your toughest fight scene?

A: They were the toughest fights I’ve ever done. I fought five guys with a bo stick, five ninjas. That was pretty intense. And I had a fight with my sais against two kitanas. I kept getting bonked and there was some bloodshed there. That was pretty intense as well.

Q: When you were growing up, did you imagine being an action hero?

A: If you’d ever told me that I would be shooting a fight scene, and that I would be like, ‘Yeah, you know, I need to go shoulder to shoulder…’ if you’d ever told me that I would know what that was about ever at all, I wouldn’t have believed you.

Congratulations on the Emmys. Thank you very much. Yeah, it’s very exciting. I’m going to the technical Emmys to present in a couple of weeks and then I’ll be getting all dressed up myself.

2 new films with Jennifer Garner

When she’s not kicking ass every week in a series of fetching wigs on the wonderful Alias, Jennifer Garner is focusing on breaking into the elite club of female A-list movie stars, alongside the likes of Roberts, Bullock, Foster, Ryan and Kudrow.

Her campaign for world domination, which really began with last year’s slightly disappointing'' 13 Going On 30'', gathers pace with February’s ''Elektra'', the Daredevil spin-off in which she returns as formerly dead ninja assassin Elektra Natchios (hmm… Natchios). And today Phase 3 was announced: she’s in talks to star in a new rom-com, ''Catch And Release''.

If she signs on the line that is dotted, Garner will bring the mega-watt smile, deadly cheekbones and effortless charm that has already led to at least three members of the Empire team being issued with restraining orders, to the role of a woman who has to face up to the sudden death of her husband, and the secrets he kept from her.

Ah. Which doesn’t sound like much of a premise for a rom-com to us. But we’re sure that the movie’s writer-director, Susannah Grant (she wrote Erin Brockovich for Julia Roberts and 28 Days for Sandra Bullock, so spunky ladies are her speciality) has got some tricks up her sleeve. And, of course, if all else fails, they can just get Garner to break out that smile, and all will be right with the world.

''Catch And Release'' should be out sometime in 2006. ''Elektra'' opens on February 11. We’ll bring you news on both movies.

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