EXCLUSIVE: Jennifer Garner on her latest role and friendship with Reese Witherspoon

''Reese really pushed.''
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In The Last Thing He Told Me, Hannah receives a mysterious note, sent to her by her missing husband Owen, saying nothing but two words: ”Protect her.”

From that moment, Hannah (Jennifer Garner) has to try to turn around her relationship with her 16-year-old stepdaughter Bailey (Aussie Angourie Rice) – who hates her – to find the truth behind why Owen (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) has mysteriously disappeared.

The seven-part series has been adapted from the 2021 best-seller by US author Laura Dave, who created the show alongside Josh Singer.

It’s produced by Hello Sunshine, the media company founded by Jennifer’s friend of 20 years, actress and producer Reese Witherspoon.

A note with just two words sets in motion a desperate search.

(IMAGE: Apple TV+)

Reflecting on an acting career that has spanned three decades, Jennifer, 50, tells TV WEEK her latest role means the world to her.

”Back when I was young and working all the time, I cared and was disciplined,” she says.

”I tried to put out the best thing I most possibly could – but boy, I care even more now. I don’t work as much, so when I do, I feel like my whole heart goes into it.”

Jennifer’s preparation for roles has also evolved with time.

”I prepared for months [for this role],” she says.

”When I was younger, I didn’t work with an acting coach. Now, I work with Nancy Banks [the Hollywood acting coach] without fail every single Sunday for hours. I work with a vocal coach. I care on such a different level.”

They didn’t get on, but now Hannah and step daughter Bailey must work together.

(IMAGE: Apple TV+)

Jennifer declares she’s grateful to have worked alongside Oscar winner Reese.

”Without her advocacy, I wouldn’t be sitting here right now,” she says.

”For the past almost 20 years, Reese has really encouraged me to be more in charge of the stories I’m getting to tell and the way I want to tell them.

”So, I have to thank her for anything I’ve produced or been a part of, because she’s really pushed me, as she’s pushed all women, to just get out there and tell the stories you want to tell.”

Owen and Hannah enjoyed a loving marriage, but why has he vanished?

(IMAGE: Apple TV+)

In The Last Thing He Told Me, Jennifer plays a distant stepmother, which is very different to the relationship she enjoys with Violet, 17, Seraphina, 13, and Samuel, 10 – her children with her ex-husband, the actor and director Ben Affleck.

The actress says she found it difficult on set to not let her own maternal instincts surface.

”I have such a totally different relationship with my teenagers, that didn’t naturally translate. In my mind, I had to erase my own warmth … of raising my kids every single day since they were tiny.”

Aisha Tyler, best known for roles in US series such as Ghost Whisperer and Criminal Minds, plays Jennifer’s best friend Jules.

Will these two find their way back together?

(IMAGE: Apple TV+)

The 52-year-old calls her co-star ”a warm, inviting, open, lovely person. It was very easy to pretend to be her best friend.”

Former Game Of Thrones star Nikolaj says working with the cast and production team was inspiring.

”They’re great artists, but also very talented producers, actors and businesswomen,” the 52-year-old Danish actor says.

”To work with a company like Hello Sunshine, you understand that – from the top to the bottom – they thought about how they want their workplace to be: a good experience to come to work.”

The Last Thing He Told Me is streaming now on Apple TV+

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