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Jennifer Garner Zings Mark Ruffalo For Trying To Quit '13 Going On 30' In Sweet Speech

Fans clamoring for a “13 Going on 30” sequel got a pre-Valentine’s Day treat this week with a sweet reunion of the film’s stars, Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo.

Garner made a surprise appearance Thursday to honor Ruffalo as he received his Hollywood Walk of Fame star in Los Angeles and, after a touching speech, left her former on-screen love interest looking misty-eyed.

The “Alias” actor began her remarks by noting she was a last-minute replacement for Ruffalo’s “We Don’t Live Here Anymore” co-star Laura Dern, who had recently tested positive for COVID-19.

Jennifer Garner made a surprise appearance at
Jennifer Garner made a surprise appearance at

Jennifer Garner made a surprise appearance at "13 Going on 30" co-star Mark Ruffalo's Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony.

Being asked to fill in for Dern, however, left Garner puzzled.

“Why wasn’t I asked to do this in the first place? I kicked off the Mark Ruffalo rom-com era,” she joked.

The success of “13 Going on 30” led to Ruffalo’s roles in a string of romantic comedies, including “Just Like Heaven” and “Rumor Has It.” Still, Garner questioned whether Ruffalo’s co-stars in those films ― including Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon ―“enjoyed Mark’s anxiety as much as I did.”

Ruffalo appeared misty-eyed during Garner's sweet, but cheeky, speech.
Ruffalo appeared misty-eyed during Garner's sweet, but cheeky, speech.

Ruffalo appeared misty-eyed during Garner's sweet, but cheeky, speech.

“I wonder if he tried to drop out of their films like he did out of ours after the first rehearsal of the ‘Thriller’ dance,” she quipped, “where Mark went from kind of shocked that we actually had to do this to antsy to a deathly quit to ‘Bro, this is not for me.’”

All joking aside, Garner went on to praise Ruffalo’s acting chops, specifically his performance in “Poor Things,” for which he snagged an Oscar nomination.

To the delight of fans and photographers, Ruffalo and Garner recreated the iconic
To the delight of fans and photographers, Ruffalo and Garner recreated the iconic

To the delight of fans and photographers, Ruffalo and Garner recreated the iconic "Thriller" dance from "13 Going on 30."

“You allow yourself to be fully known by your colleagues, by the audience, by the world,” she said. “Your work on ‘Poor Things’ deserves all of the awards, all of them. But the real success is in how thrilled and delighted your colleagues are to have the opportunity to lift you up and celebrate you. Every time your name is called, Hollywood takes a deep collective breath and says: ‘OK, the good and right thing has happened.’”

After Ruffalo’s star was unveiled, he and Garner playfully recreated a few of their signature “Thriller” moves for photographers and onlookers.

Garner and Ruffalo at the 2004 premiere of
Garner and Ruffalo at the 2004 premiere of

Garner and Ruffalo at the 2004 premiere of "13 Going on 30" in Los Angeles.

Ruffalo previously recalled his initial misgivings about “13 Going on 30” in 2022, when he and Garner teamed up again for Netflix’s “The Adam Project.”

“[Garner] had to drag me onto the dance floor. It took me six hours what she learned in about six minutes,” he said in an appearance on the “ReelBlend” podcast. “She was so good at dancing, and I was so bad at it. I almost quit the movie because of it!”

Fortunately, Garner and director Gary Winick were able to convince Ruffalo to stay. Released in 2004, “13 Going on 30” was a critical and commercial hit, raking in a reported $96 million at the box office worldwide.

Watch Jennifer Garner’s speech honoring Mark Ruffalo below. Her remarks begin around the 27:22 mark. 

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