Jennifer Garner Describes ‘Heartbreak’ of Teenage Daughter Violet Growing Up: It’s ‘So Hard’

A tricky transition. Jennifer Garner spoke candidly about her evolving relationship with her 15-year-old daughter, Violet.

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“The heartbreak is just that she’s growing up at all,” the actress, 48, said during a Monday, March 15, appearance on SiriusXM’s The Jess Cagle Show. “That’s what’s heartbreaking. It’s heartbreaking for the mom and for the teenager, needing to have that kind of severing of this baby-mama tie. That’s what’s so hard.”

The Texas native compared this experience to her Friday, March 12, movie, Yes Day, explaining that in the film’s “first draft,” the teenage character, played by Jenna Ortega, was “snarky, really kind of nasty and a troublemaker.”

Jennifer Garner Heartbreak Teenage Daughter Violet Growing Up
Jennifer Garner arrives at the 26th annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall in Los Angeles, California. Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

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The Golden Globe winner pushed back against this, she said, explaining, “You don’t have to have her be a jerk. It’s even harder that she’s lovely.”

Garner, who also shares Seraphina, 12, and Samuel, 9, with ex-husband Ben Affleck, went on to say that she has “never done a movie where [she] drew more from personal experience ever.”

In fact, the Alias alum’s little ones call her a “fun killer” just like her family does in the movie. She joked, “As they get older, more of the fun for them is making fun of me, kind of torturing me. Whereas when they were little, it was breaking more simple rules.”

Jennifer Garner Heartbreak Teenage Daughter Violet Growing Up
Jennifer Garner YouTube

In September 2019, the Emmy nominee told Jimmy Fallon that Violet, Seraphina and Samuel think she’s “lame.” She explained at the time: “I say, ‘No,’ to everything. They call me the dragon. They have all these names for me.”

One of her daughters even wrote a “legit” note reading, “When I grow up, I want to be a fun-killing mom just like you.”

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Garner told Katie Couric that same month that she “can’t really complain” about her children. “They’re pretty awesome,” she gushed. “They humor me.”

Jennifer Garner Heartbreak Teenage Daughter Violet Growing Up
Jennifer Garner poses with her children (L-R) Violet Affleck, Seraphina Rose Elizabeth Affleck and Samuel Garner Affleck at the ceremony honoring her with a star at the Hollywood Walk of Fame om August 20, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

The Love, Simon star added that she had “chilled out” while raising them. “I have … stopped trying to be my mom,” she explained to the Today show cohost, 64. “My mom made every bite of food my sisters and I had growing up. That was her way of doing it. She was so frugal. We’d say, ‘Please can we have a Little Debbie snack cake?’ I would have killed for a Pop-Tart. … Here I am making homemade Wheat Thins like a nerd, and my kids don’t want them. The harder you work on whatever you’re making for your kids, the less apt they are to eat it.”

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