Jennifer Garner on Raising Kids in Quarantine and Why 'Yes Day' Is a 'Breath of Fresh Air' (Exclusive)
By Jennifer Drysdale
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Jennifer Garner knows she and other moms have had a year of saying "No" to their kids amid the coronavirus pandemic -- so she can't wait to start saying "Yes." In an interview with ET's Kevin Frazier for her new movie, Yes Day, Garner opened up about the stress of raising kids in quarantine.
"This has been such a hard year for moms. We have had to say 'No, no, no.' We've had to watch our kids be home, miss out on things. It is one thing to miss out on something as an adult, but to watch your kids miss something they have looked forward to or just how hard it has been to see them isolated and on Zoom every day... this is a breath of fresh air," Garner said of her new movie. "This is a wish-fulfillment day of yes, and it is just so fun to watch moms watch the movie."
Garner stars alongside Édgar Ramírez in the upcoming Netflix comedy, which shows what happens when for 24 hours, the couple's kids make the rules. Jenna Ortega, Julian Lerner and Everly Carganilla star as the pair's children.
As for her own kids at home, Garner admitted being a movie star isn't that impressive to her brood. The actress shares 15-year-old Violet, 12-year-old Seraphina and 9-year-old Samuel with ex-husband Ben Affleck.
"It is not a positive to be me... Someone who people would think, 'Oh, how cool to have that person as a mom.' No," she joked. "But my teenager and my adolescent are both lovely. So I have to say, I have it pretty easy as far as that goes."
Garner added that because of her own experience with her kids, she didn't want there to be so much "friction" in Yes Day between her character and her teenage daughter.
"I definitely know that the pain of growing up, the pain of separating from the mom when you are so, so close," she shared. "The first draft of the script really had a lot of friction and the teenager was really snarky... and they did not seem to like each other. I said, 'That is not what it is. The point is it's that painful without any of that. It is heartbreaking anyway just letting your kid grow up.' And I loved the way that it turned out, especially because we had Jenna Ortega."
Ramírez also praised Ortega, and noted the importance of showcasing a bicultural and bilingual family in the film.
"I think that it is important. It's beautiful that the movie also reflects the world we live in. It reflects our daily life," he said. "I just moved to California not even three years ago... and that's what I see every day. I'm surrounded by bicultural and biracial families or multi-racial families."
"This country has become stronger across the centuries because of all the people that have come to contribute to the development and to the strengthening of this country. So I'm glad that in a movie that was made to inspire us, to make us feel hopeful about the future especially in these challenging times with the pandemic, it's also beautiful to see that we are telling stories that reflect the reality that we live in," he added.
Yes Day debuts March 12 on Netflix. See more from our interviews with the cast on Tuesday's ET. Check your local listings.