ANGELES -- For Jennifer Garner, the eyes - and the sais - have
By Rob Allstetter
Garner, the Golden Globe-winning star of ABC's Alias, is
taking her butt-kicking action to the big screen on Feb. 14
in Daredevil, the live-action adaptation of the long-running
Marvel Comics character. She stars as Elektra, the love interest
and sometimes enemy of the lead character.
Like any comic-book film, casting is always controversial,
particularly with popular characters with specific looks that
fans are used to. But any lingering doubts Daredevil director
Mark Steven Johnson might have had were erased when Frank
Miller, the character's creator, visited the set.
"When I met Frank
Miller, I was, of course, nervous about getting his approval,"
Johnson recalls. "Because Jennifer's not Greek and she's not
in the red Elektra outfit. Frank said he didn't care, that
he just cared about the soul of Elektra. He was really moved
when he met her.
"It was really
great while working on the film in New York to have Frank
come down and see her. He actually got choked up and said
that she was absolutely perfect. He said, 'Look at her eyes.'
She has this wounded quality about her eyes, even when she's
about to fight someone. And he said, 'She's perfect.' It was
an exciting moment for me. It was important to have Frank's
Of course, the
other important aspect to Elektra is her fighting ability
and her sais. And no one doubted Garner's ability there.
amazing how what you do when you're young circles around and
haunts you for the rest of your life," Garner says. "In my
case, it was ballet. And I was never a wonderful dancer, but
I was a very hard-working dancer. And it's come back in the
love the action aspect of this job. I love this kind of inner
daredevil of my own working out. I would never even bungee
jump and now it means nothing to be on a wire a hundred feet
up. So it makes me really happy to rehearse a fight and I'm
not sure why." "A lot of actresses say they do their own stunts
in the movies, but they really don't," Johnson says. "I mean,
insurance-wise, they can't do it, so it's a lot of bs. Jen
really does. She literally does all the stuff you see her
do. It's really amazing.
credit, when she got the sais, she took the sais and just
got obsessed with them. She'd be walking around the Alias
set, just twirling, twirling, twirling. She shipped them with
her when she had to travel somewhere. She couldn't have them
as a carry-on, as you might imagine. Her trainer said that
she learned in 13 weeks what it took him 13 years. She's physically