Alien (1979) with Sigourney Weaver, but it was Buffy The Vampire Slayer that sold the idea on television in the mid-90s. Espionage action-adventure series Alias (created by J.J Abrams in 2001) was the starring vehicle for Jennifer Garner, who had a recurring role on Abrams' series Felicity, and surfed Buffy's wake in the noughties.
Garner had already appeared as Ashton Kutcher's girlfriend in Dude, Where's My Car? (2000) and as a nurse in Pearl Harbor (2001), but it was Alias that rocketed her to small-screen fame as CIA agent Sidney Bristow. She actually won an Emmy for "Best Actress In A Television Drama" in January 2002, despite the fact only half of Alias' first season had been shown!
Alias finished after five seasons (where Garner's salary had increased from $45,000 per episode to $150,000), during which time Garner used her TV fame to grab a small role as a prostitute in Steven Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can (2002) and co-starred alongside Ben Affleck in Daredevil (2003) as assassin love-interest Elektra. Affleck and Garner's chemistry spilled over into real life, as they later married in 2005.
Her memorable role in Daredevil was considered one of the films few successes, and the character's popularity inspired 20th Century Fox to greenlight her own spin-off. Sadly, Elektra (2005) wasn't a hit, despite Garner's ample charms in tight red leather. Rotten Tomatoes ranked it the second worse comic-book ever last year, which is perhaps unfair. And no, I don't mean it should have been first!
Just before Elektra, Garner had made an attempt to get away from her ass-kicking persona's in Alias and Daredevil, by taking the lead in romantic comedy 13 Going On 30. The Big-style fantasy saw Garner playing a 13-year-old girl who is magically transformed into a 30-year-old woman, and played on Garner's babyish features and smiley innocence. The film wasn't a massive hit (facing stiff competition from teen-comedy Mean Girls at the time), but it had very healthy DVD sales and proved Garner could be more than a feisty, high-kicking, pouting babe with a toothy grin.
After Alias, Garner took the lead in rom-com Catch And Release (2007), as a woman grieving her fiancé's death who finds romance with his best friend, but the film was a huge turkey – taking $15 million worldwide, and costing $25 million to make. A smaller role in Iraq-themed thriller The Kingdom, fared much better at the box-office – with Garner perhaps wisely taking a back-seat in an ensemble, utilizing her tough-girl demeanour quietly.
Her next role was surprising, taking a supporting role in Juno, as the young mother hoping to adopt the titular character's unwanted baby. Interestingly, Garner agreed to snub her usual salary for a percentage of low-budget Juno's profits instead – not realizing how successful it would become as an Oscar-winning film. She stands to get $8.5 million! After Juno, Garner took to the stage as Roxanne in Cyrano De Bergerac, opposite Kevin Kline -- making her Broadway debut. The stage show is now being turned into a TVM for broadcast this year.
I really hope Jennifer Garner gets the break she deserves at the movies; she can do tough and sexy (Alias/Daredevil/Elektra), she can do sweet and innocent (13 Going On 30) and she's a decent dramatic actress (Juno). I'd like to see her in some big comedies -- as she has a very likeable, enticing presence about her. But, maybe years on Alias has just ingrained her into the public consciousness as a slim, leggy, doll-faced, cushion-lipped, kick-boxing sex siren – prone to wearing rubber dresses, skimpy lingerie and dressing as a dominatrix while undercover?
Name: Jennifer Anne Garner
Birthdate: 17 April 1972
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, USA