DRAFT DAY’s Jennifer Garner brings beauty and smarts to a man’s world
Dare I say that the love of professional football is no longer dominated by men rather an enormous number of women are devoted fans of the game.
In the new feature, DRAFT DAY, with an amazing cast including Kevin Costner, Chadwick Boseman, Terry Crews, Frank Langella, Arian Foster, Chi McBride, Ellen Burstyn, Denis Leary, Josh Pence and Jennifer Garner, among others, Ivan Reitman (director) brings to bear an aspect of the game rarely told from this inside view. DRAFT DAY opens April 11.
Particularly insightful is the role of the “salary cap” executive, charged with navigating the choppy waters of the team’s financial leverage and risk. Garner, as Ali, the long-legged, walking wonder in DRAFT DAY, underscores our claim of women and pro football. Her role is based on a real person.
Garner shared her perspective on DRAFT DAY during a press conference at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills–
Some may say of your character in this film, “she’s the smartest person in the room.” What do you say about women in sports that are situated behind the scenes?
Jennifer Garner: I loved my character. I wish that I was as smart as Ali, even for a day but, I do think she’s a woman in a man’s
world and she does it seamlessly. I had the privilege of shadowing Megan Rogers at the Cleveland Browns who is the “capologist” there.
Basically, I just stole everything from her–from what she carried in her arms to the way she dressed, how she comported herself– Megan is someone who never needs to show you that she knows everything, she just holds it inside and if necessary, she brings down a hammer.
That’s what I loved about Ali; I think that’s what makes women so great in these high-up positions on sports teams in the NFL, overall. They can keep their emotions in check and their brains can do many things at once.
If you’re going to be a capologist, you’re basically handling business affairs while thinking of the art of football along with your team’s future, assessing what has been important in the past…you have so much going on in your brain at once and, let’s face it, we’re just
good at that.
Word has it you are indeed a football fan–
Garner: For sure, and besides that, I got to do a football movie of this caliber with Kevin Costner. To do this sports movie with Kevin and have it be his first football movie was a totally ‘pinch me’ experience.
I grew up in West Virginia which is very similar to Texas and the Friday Night Lights scenario–every Friday night we were at the game and I was at every single game because I was in the marching band. Then, during my senior year– I left the marching band, which was scandal at the time—to become the water girl for the football team. I traveled with them, I didn’t miss a game and I loved it. I don’t know that I really knew that much of what was going on but I cared about which end of the field we were on with my whole heart and soul. I’ve been a legitimate fan for a long time.
Now that I have kids, when my husband (Two-time Oscar winner Ben Affleck) is watching the New England Patriots on TV, I see what’s happening but I’m kind of running around keeping the kids occupied, making sure that he can sit and watch calmly. That’s really what’s happening (laughter).
Is yours a football house, parents and children?
Garner: I don’t want any of my kids to play football, actually. Are we a football house? We’re really a baseball house. If I were in
charge of things, as much as I love baseball and have grown up dreaming about what happens for the Red Sox, you can’t help it.
To me, sports are like a soap opera. When I was first dating Ben, I’d never watched baseball, I didn’t really care. But after watching three or four games in a row, you learn just enough to get hooked on it the same as you do with a soap opera, right. If you watch three or four, you get just enough of a story line to grab you and that’s why people are so into them.
Now, it’s the same thing. I’m totally addicted to baseball but, believe me, when it’s time for the playoffs, it’s all Tom Brady, all the time.
DRAFT DAY is equally a relationship movie as much as it is a sports movie; your character is the love interest to Kevin Costner’s character, Sonny Weaver JR. What are your comments on the relationship aspect?
Garner: I loved it. I loved the way the relationship was written. I loved that Ali is trying to find the balance between being vulnerable and honest and saying out loud to her man, ‘Look, this is what I need.’ The balance between being a professional and a grown up that doesn’t need to be handled with kid gloves. She’s not asking Sonny to change his world but there is something we need to deal with and this is how I’m comfortable dealing with it. So, are you going to be a grown up and deal with me or are you going to run away?
I try to model myself after her (Ali) in so many ways and this is one of them: she is just not afraid to say, ‘this is the deal, are you ready?’ What are you going to say to someone who is this direct? I mean, let’s play ball here. I loved that we are catching their relationship at such an intense moment along with what’s happening on the most important day in football.
NOTE: There will be more DRAFT DAY interviews right here at www.Talk2SV.com & TV!