Following Your Heart for Meaningful Change with Jennifer Garner

Episode 08

We’re back with more of the For the Love of Transitions series which is showing us the many ways we can move through life after a huge shift has occurred—whether it was chosen or thrust upon us. We have learned what it’s like to live through tragedy, we have seen what steps we must take to create a system of equity, and this week, we are talking through what it’s like to choose a transition from the world of acting to the world of activism. Jennifer Garner–you know her, you love her–she’s here telling us how she navigates life as a mom, an entrepreneur, and an actress–and the deliberate transitions she’s made to help make her world and others’ a better place. So many of us have followed Jen’s career through TV & film, but she takes us back to the early days when she fell in love with theater, doing auditions in New York while she slept on the floor of a friend’s home who offered a place to lay her head. We also find out that her first job was working with Melissa Gilbert (Laura Ingalls of Little House on the Prairie fame) and how that eventually led to working with J.J. Abrams in Felicity, who then cast her in her breakout role as the star of Alias. The two Jens discuss everything from what it’s like to raise kids as they transition from littles to bigs and what eventually drove Jen’s pursuits outside of Hollywood to co-found Once Upon a Farm and become involved with Save the Children. 

Episode Transcript

Hey, everybody. Jen Hatmaker here, your host to the For the Love podcast. Welcome to the show. So right now, we are wrapping up a series called For the Love of Transitions. And it has been, for me, fascinating to talk to these incredible people, really all along the spectrum of change. Some of them created change in their lives, some of them experienced change that they didn’t ask for, and then had to figure out what to do with it, but I’ve learned so much from my guests in this series.

If you have missed a single episode, I am urging you to go back and pick them up, you will not be sorry. So today, you are here listening to the very last episode of our transition series. What a delightful hour you are about to have listening to this little show.

I want to say a big thank you to all of the guests in this series who have been role models and demonstrated how it is to navigate these periods of change well and I’m just really sincerely thankful. I heard so many important takeaways over the course of this series, so many things that challenged me and inspired me and motivated me and encouraged me as I’ve gone through my own changes this year and continue to. And I hope it’s been the same for you, and I think it is because I’ve been hearing from you loud and clear on this series what these guests have meant to you.

And so, I literally couldn’t be more pleased to wrap it up with someone who is not just beloved to, well, I guess the world, but also has become a friend to our little podcast community. We interviewed her when her movie Yes Day came out. And she’s back to talk about what it has been like to deliberately make a change that comes from your heart, maybe not what anyone expected from you, maybe not even what you expected of yourself.

Maybe things you didn’t see coming, but how to face those down with resolve and with passion and agency over what it is you’re choosing and why. And so, of course, get excited, America, because Jen Garner is back on the show. And this conversation is really fun, because we are just all in here. Super, super excited to get to talk to her again. But before we dive into the convo, just in case you have been living squarely, squarely under a boulder, let me give you a little rundown of Jen’s amazing career.

Of course, as you know, she’s been in a zillion movies, like beloved movies from Juno, 13 Going on 30, Love, Simon, that’s a Hatmaker fave, Yes Day, which we talked to her about last time she was on here. And then of course, Alias. And easy-peasy, Jen’s also won a Golden Globe Award Screen Actors Guild. She has four consecutive Primetime Emmy Award nominations, so it’s going okay for her. I think she’s doing okay.

She’s going to talk about this today, but she also decided to mix some things up in her life and started genuinely pouring herself into work with Save the Children, and then building this little business into this incredible operation now called Once Upon a Farm. If you follow her on social media, you know all about this. So we’re going to talk about what led her to those places, some of the transitions that got her all the way there. There is a moment where she describes sleeping on the floor of a stranger’s kitchen in New York City because she was making $150 a week.

So I’m just saying it’s all in here, you guys, it was hearing her tell her own stories. There’s no substitute. Also, by the way, if you haven’t watched her fake cooking show videos on Instagram, you’re just missing out. She just did a chicken soup video. And when she tried it, she just said, “Yes, Lord.” And this is the kind of energy I think we need. So who knew that we would be watching this darling actress cook for us and entertain us with her witty humor. I mean, she’s really delightful, and I think she’s just as wonderful as we all think. Isn’t that great to know?

Don’t you love when that happens? Just as wonderful as we think. And so, today, we talk parenting, we talk risk, we talk outlook on life, we talk changes, transitions, failures, lessons. It is here and more. You’re going to love it. You already love her. So please, just absolutely enjoy this delightful conversation with the incomparable Jen Garner. 


Books & Resources Mentioned in This Episode


Once Upon a Farm 

Save the Children


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