In the October issue of InStyle, on newsstands and available for digital download September 19, writer Laurie Sandell got an unprecedented peek into cover girl Jennifer Garner’s life with husband Ben Affleck and their three kids. The following is an excerpt of that insider access.
At 5:45 a.m., while most of Los Angeles still sleeps, Jennifer Garner is bustling around her open kitchen, brewing a much-needed cup of coffee. She and her husband, actor-director and soon-to-be Dark Knight Ben Affleck, share the sprawling ranch house with their kids (Violet, 8, Seraphina, 5, and Samuel, 2). A single glance around the space and you immediately understand what’s No. 1 on their list. Family photos adorn almost every surface, a pint-size backpack lies on a sofa, and the sliding glass doors that lead to the outdoor deck are covered with drawings. “Sorry things are such a mess,” Garner says, gesturing to the many art projects in progress. This is a family home.
Her trainer of more than a dozen years, Valerie Waters, leans against a kitchen counter, waiting to take her famous client (and me) through her daily workout. Clad in a faded blue sweatshirt over a gray tank top and blue leggings, Garner follows Waters out to the long, winding driveway flanked by tall trees—and more than a few tricycles. There, under the dark predawn sky, the actress warms up with a brisk walk, touching the gate that protects her hive, then returns to take a sip of coffee.
The workout proper takes place in her gym, housed in a building across the courtyard. While Garner and I are stretching inside, a figure appears in the doorway: It’s Affleck, tall and ruggedly handsome with morning stubble, wearing a gray hoodie and black nylon gym shorts, a towel slung over his shoulder. “Hey guys, can I crash your workout?” he asks before climbing onto the elliptical machine.
Garner turns to me and jokes, “How bummed are you that you thought you were just working out with me, and now you have to exercise in front of Ben Affleck?”