In "Alexander," opening in theaters on October 10, Garner plays a harried mom who has to balance her career with the lives of her recently laid-off husband (played by Steve Carell) and her four kids. Not only that, but all of them are having what could be considered the worst day ever.
Garner, however, is no stranger changing her plans depending on what works and what doesn't as a mom.
"You can always say, 'Today we're going to try this,' and if it goes horribly, you say, 'Today we're throwing that out and we're trying this,'" she said at the recent "Alexander" press conference. "That's part of what I like about being a mom."
And being an on-screen mom has its bonuses as well, namely that she gets to play mentor and supporter to lots of kids.
In fact, she said, "This little kid, whose mom is a teacher at my child's school, he said, 'Mrs. Affleck is a lot like my mom. She gets to have a lot of other kids.'"
"I feel that way, you know," she continued. "You form these relationships."
But what about her kids? What does she do when one of her children—Violet, 8, Seraphina, 5, or Samuel, 2—has a not-so-amazing day?
"Your kids need to be allowed to have a bad day," she said. "You need to show them that it's OK to have the whole range of emotions. You should have it all. You should have rage and anger and sadness, so there's a lot of room for joy and happiness as well."