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13 GOING ON 30

About The Production
Garner's research for the role of Jenna, included hanging out with 13-year-olds and trying to remember what was special — and not so special — about that age. "Luckily, I have this really good friend, Madeline Sprung Keyser, who was 12 at the time and we've been friends for five or six years,” says Garner. "Every now and then she will react to a situation like an adolescent and remind me that she's everything at once — a grown-up child. A kid of 13 can seem like an adult, but that can be deceptive. You always have to remember they are also incredibly vulnerable, skittish and childlike. Finding that balance was challenging.”

Another aspect of the character Garner researched was how 13-year-olds relate to one another. For this she turned to producers Arkoff Roth and Arnold, "borrowing” their teen daughters Hannah and Julia for a sleepover. "Hannah and Julia invited some of their friends over and we all spent the night together. I stayed up as late as I could, which I have to admit wasn't very late. I did try to rouse myself around 4 a.m. because I knew some really good stuff had to be going on. I dragged myself into the kitchen where they were all talking. I tried with all my might to pay attention and stay awake. Unfortunately, I don't remember much of what happened then. Hannah and Julia later told me that I stumbled in, made a s'more, ate it and went back to bed. Oh, to really be 13 again,” she laughs.

Despite her best efforts to bond with teenagers, there were some places Garner drew the line, especially when it came to the sleeping arrangements. Faced with the prospect of nodding off in a sleeping bag, Garner commandeered the couch. "I told them, ‘Hey, I am 30 years old. I'm pulling rank. I get the couch and I am going to bed right now.'”

In the movie, Jenna Rink is lucky enough to have every teenager's fondest dream come true. She gets to skip the challenges of adolescence and find herself already grown up enjoying the fruits of adulthood. During the rehearsal period, the 13 Going on 30 acting ensemble bonded, sharing their own personal stories about the agonies and joys of growing up. "We all remembered how terrified we were of all that lay ahead for us,” says Garner, to which Greer adds, "We all related to how badly we wanted to be on our own at that age and not have anyone tell us what to do — even though we knew we weren't really ready yet.”

The cast members also confessed some of their own wishes and dreams as teenagers. "I was in a very awkward stage for a long time,” says Garner. "I played in the marching band. I didn't wear cool clothes ever and I wore huge glasses. I just wanted to grow up and be able to put one foot in front of the other and carry on a proper conversation. Oh, and to wear contact lenses,” she laughs. "I really wanted contacts.”

Ruffalo admits, "Like any teenager, I was always wishing I was someone else and somewhere else. Now, I look back at pictures of myself and think, ‘I wasn't that bad.'”

For Greer, her teenage years were marked by the kind of torturous anxiety that only peer pressure can engender. "At the time I didn't think I'd ever fit in or find a place where I belonged,” she says. "When you're a kid you think it's really important to hang with the cool people at your school. Then when you grow up, you realize it doesn't matter at all. They don't even end up being your friends. You have all new friends — thank goodness.”

Serkis remembers that at 13 all he wanted was the chance to see Steven Spielberg's classic Jaws. "I was furious that my older sister could see it and I couldn't. So I borrowed a pair of shoe lifts and my sister's mascara to fill in the tiny bit of moustache hair I had and tried to pass myself off as older to get into the theater. It didn't work.”

A touchstone of their common experience is evident in the film's "Thriller” dance sequence — a

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