The Untold Truth Of Jennifer Garner

Jennifer Garner is one of the most successful stars in the entertainment industry. Yet despite being thrust into the sparkling glamour of Hollywood, she maintains a humble sense that isn't always apparent with A-list celebrities. Perhaps her down-to-earth nature has something to do with her modest upbringing in Charleston, West Virginia. Her family didn't come from wealth, and Garner single-handedly worked her way up in the entertainment industry to become the powerhouse she is today. As she revealed on "Tell Me More with Kelly Corrigan," Garner developed a passion for acting at a young age and participated in ballet and theatre to pursue that love of performing. In fact, she loved being on the stage so much that she majored in theatre at Denison University.

Garner admits to engaging in a little secret side business with her college BFF to help make ends meet, where they sold scrunchies to fellow students for three bucks each. "I saw a need, and I filled it," the actor spilled to David Letterman. "My college roommate and I...we're theatre geeks, and we had a key to the theatre department. And we would go in late at night, and we would use their sewing machines and their elastic, and we would make scrunchies." Though she doesn't sell hair accessories anymore, Garner is just as innovative today.

Keep reading to find out more about the beloved celeb.

Her background inspires her advocacy

Jennifer Garner reportedly purchased a $7.9 million Los Angeles mansion following her divorce from Ben Affleck (via Us Weekly), but the "Alias" star was born into a family that worked their butts off to escape poverty. Her father worked as a chemical engineer, and her mother went to graduate school and became a professor, teaching remedial reading. Because her mom wanted to travel the world, "She babysat for somebody down the road who had a little bit of money," Garner shared on "Tell Me More With Kelly Corrigan. "They had five kids; she'd get a dollar a day on Saturdays to babysit them for 12 or 14 hours." Garner explained that even though her community didn't have much to offer in healthcare, job opportunities, or education, its people were most concerned with their neighbors' needs being met. "I have such a deep pride to be of and from that stock," the actor added.

Her West Virginia roots have motivated Jennifer Garner to advocate for kids' education in poor communities. "I grew up — as I have often told people — one generation and one holler removed from poverty. I knew children in my own school who had to cut holes in the toes of their shoes because they couldn't afford to buy new ones. ... Children who eventually disappeared altogether," she said in 2017 when testifying on Capitol Hill (via The Washington Post). "I couldn't stand up for them back then. But I can stand up for their families now," the Save the Children Artist Ambassador and trustee added.

Jennifer Garner is a huge gardener

When she's not busy making blockbuster movies, Jennifer Garner is planting wildly impressive vegetation for her garden. Her Instagram page is filled with photos of her beautiful garden creations, including massive "Little Shop of Horror" sized plants and blueberries that she hand-picks for snacking. For the "Catch Me If You Can" actor, gardening is more than just a hobby. It's also an essential form of bonding for her family, as she explained while chatting with Well + Good.

She told the health magazine that her inspiration for the business began with her mother, who always had fresh food picked straight from the earth while growing up. "My mom grew up on a little farm in Oklahoma with cows, chickens, fresh veggies — you name it. Everything they ate, other than sugar and flour, they grew and raised," Garner revealed. "When I was a little girl, my mother always told me and my siblings fantastic, vivid tales of growing up on the farm during the summertime, when they would eat like kings, with fresh produce by the bunches and routine delicacies like homemade ice cream." Jennifer bought the family farm in 2017, her mom Patricia told Southern Living.

Not only is gardening a big part of the celeb's family bonding time, but it is something she's so passionate about that she turned it into a whole business. Her organization "Once Upon A Farm" works to offer organic food for babies and children as they grow.

She is as obsessed with The Office as we are

There are many instances where we can look at certain celebrities and realize they truly are "just like us." But one of the best examples of a major Hollywood star being as relatable as it gets was when Jennifer Garner finished binging "The Office" for the first time during the height of the pandemic in 2020. Because the coronavirus put all of our lives on hold during quarantine, the "13 Going on 30" star had a lot more time to unwind with her family. And like most of us, her way of unwinding was snuggling up on the couch while binge-watching shows on Netflix.

But the TV series to have the most profound effect on the celeb was the one that took place in Scranton, Pennsylvania, at a little paper company known as Dunder Mifflin. Garner grew to love having Michael Scott, Jim Halpert, and Pam Beasley on her TV screen so much that she felt at an utter loss once she had reached the final episode. In 2020, she took to her Instagram page to post a video recording her tearful reaction to the series finale. The video showed the actor hilariously sobbing in slow motion just as she processed the ending of her new favorite sitcom. In the video, Garner sports a Dunder Mifflin shirt, showing the world that she is the truest of stans. 

According to Garner, she watched "an episode a day" with her kids, named Violet, Samuel, and Seraphina (per Us Weekly.)

She has the best advice for those struggling with body image issues

Jennifer Garner has the most incredible advice for anyone who might be struggling with their body image. When celebrities are asked to offer their best beauty tips and tricks, they might advise fans to drink more water or to master a nightly moisturizing routine. But the "Peppermint" star believes that the only way to feel better about yourself when you're feeling down about your looks is to stop sulking over your reflection. She explained more in an interview with Today, saying, "When you start getting super critical of yourself, turn around, pivot in that spot and go do something nice for someone else. Or go work out, or just take that and make it active instead of letting it just fester in you."

Furthermore, Garner urges others not to place so much value on the outward appearance since looks are far less important than one's sense of character. She told People, "I was so not one of the pretty girls that I just bypassed insecurity and didn't see myself as attractive at all. It was not part of my life." She went on to explain that her parents never placed any heavy value on physical appearance. "Looks weren't a big deal in my family," she added. "I don't think my parents ever said 'You're pretty,' and so we just didn't think about it."

Jennifer Garner's Yes Day with her kids

For any parents out there who don't know what "Yes Day" is, take note. Yes Day is a family holiday that is derived from the children's book of the same name by Amy Krouse Rosenthal. In the book, the fictitious day requires parents to say "yes" to any of their children's wild requests, no matter how improbable or silly they may be. In Jennifer Garner's case, she participated in Yes Day with her children by spending the night in the great outdoors at their request. As Garner shared on Instagram in 2017, she and her kids slept outside in a tent. She had already been participating in the holiday for five years at that point, and this exact Instagram post is what ignited a Netflix movie deal based on the children's book, with Garner as the film's lead. In an interview with Vogue, the "Dallas Buyers Club" actor explained her family's tradition with the holiday.

She told the magazine, "I started reading [Amy Krouse Rosenthal's Yes Day!] when my middle daughter was three years old, and she just became fixated on the idea of a yes day, so, I started doing yes days with the three of them." Garner added, "For my family, it ends with us sleeping in the backyard in a tent — we have s'mores, we have a pool so we'll go for a late-night swim, and we'll play flashlight tag until way later than I would usually let them."

The actor almost quit a movie role to be with her children

Jennifer Garner takes motherhood incredibly seriously. Her dedication to being a parent is admirable, to say the least, especially because she is willing to make career-altering sacrifices in order to be there for her children. In an interview with Kelly Corrigan, Garner opened up about how she almost left a major film role so she could be more available to her three kids, whom she shares with Ben Affleck. The film was "Dallas Buyers Club," in which Garner plays an immunologist who treats individuals who have AIDS. One of the only reasons she took the role was because her management team said if she didn't take on another film project, she would have to give up her acting career altogether.

But being a mother of three while still in the process of breastfeeding posed an incredible challenge for the celeb, who struggled to balance motherhood and her filming schedule. "My boobs were freaking out," she revealed to Corrigan. "It was bedtime and we were doing some scene that was supposed to be light, and I started crying and I was like: 'I have to quit. I have to go home. I need to be with my kids. I just can't do this anymore.'" Fortunately, her co-star in the film, Matthew McConaughey, really helped smooth things out and made the process of filming a whole lot easier for her. Garner also revealed to Collider that her kids really missed her when she was gone on long days of filming, and she came home to a note one night asking for their favorite homemade cookies.

Jennifer Garner's impressive net worth

Jennifer Garner has sparkled on the big screen ever since her humble feature film debut as "Woman in Elevator" in 1997's "Deconstructing Harry." Since then, she has appeared in at least 68 movie and TV roles, according to her IMDb page. Over that time, she has managed to build up an estimated net worth of $80 million. Now, the actor uses her money to donate to several charitable organizations for people who are in need. According to Look To The Stars, the actor has supported at least 23 different charities. 

While most reports on Garner's community work are positive, Mississippi Today spoke with a woman named Tracy Price who claimed she was not helped at all after a visit with Garner. "Jennifer came to my house. But I have gotten nothing from anybody since then. I have not received a thing. ... Nothing. I had my grandkids here and I was losing my house and everything. They never reached out to me." The story also focused on a lack of action from former Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant, who is involved in questioning over a welfare fraud scandal.

In addition to her ambassadorship with Save the Children, Garner has worked with organizations including No Kid Hungry, Baby2Baby, Stand Up To Cancer, and Hollywood Food Coalition with Hang Out Do Good. She donated $10,000 to West Virginia's Promise – The Alliance for Youth in 2020.

The 13 Going on 30 star is strongly against the paparazzi

When it comes to celebrities and their lack of privacy, a lot of people are quick to use a tired argument: "That's what you signed up for." Still, even if actors go into the movie business knowing they'll be in the public eye, nobody deserves to feel like they have no right to a private life. But what's even worse is that the children of celebrities often feel like there is no escape from the cameras, either. While speaking on "Tell Me More With Kelly Corrigan," Jennifer Garner described several incidents where her children felt unsafe because of the cameras that were constantly following them to and from school. The celebrity's daughter, who she says was five years old at the time, had even crafted a speech to speak up against the paparazzi and share her fear of the cameras.

"This is what it's like to be a little kid," said Garner, reciting her daughter's address, "and to have all these huge cameras running toward you. Running toward your mom... and I'm scared of them. They look like guns." According to the BBC, in 2013, she and actor Halle Berry spoke up to champion an anti-paparazzi law where paparazzi would be fined $10,000 and put in jail for snapping photos that involve the children of celebrities. The law was successfully passed.

Jennifer Garner was the cutest band geek in school

One would think that due to her beauty, charm, and grace, Jennifer Garner would be the most elegant girl in school. Think again. According to the "Alias" star, she was a massive band geek throughout high school. On "Late Night with Seth Meyers" in 2016, the talk show host whipped out old photographs of Garner that, frankly, make her all the more lovable. She is playing the saxophone in her school band. But instead of rocking the gorgeous brunette locks with a red carpet gown that we're used to seeing her wear on the cover of glossy magazines, Garner looks "adorkable" with horn rim glasses, bangs, and her band uniform. She even named her saxophone "Sally the Sexy Saxophone" and gave Seth Meyers the full run-down of marching band procedure.

In a 2019 People issue featuring Garner, she said that in high school her style was "band geek-chic." The same year, she got back into uniform and played the sax for Reese Witherspoon's birthday, sharing the video on Instagram. Honestly, what more reason could you possibly need to love Jennifer Garner?