Jennifer Garner Hilariously Roasted Mark Ruffalo Over 13 Going On 30 While Also Praising ‘Rom-Com Ruffalo.’ And I Love That For Them

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Written By Maya Cantina

Jennifer Garner once called making 2004’s 13 Going On 30—which still totally holds up 20 years later, BTW—one of the “happiest” parts of her life. So, it’s not a surprise that she would take time out of her busy schedule to support (and roast) one of her buddies from the beloved rom-com: Mark Ruffalo, who famously played her love interest in the sweet time-travel flick, as he received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  

Garner and Ruffalo have had adorable mini-reunions over the years reminiscing about their time as Jenna and Matty from the iconic romantic comedy. They even joined forces again onscreen as a couple in the 2022 Netflix film The Adam Project. However, it was Garner’s recent appearance paying tribute to her longtime pal during Ruffalo’s Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony that was a hilarious and heartfelt standout in the actors’ decades-spanning friendship. 

Mark, who recently scored his fourth Oscar nomination for his rakishly hilarious turn in Poor Things, was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Thursday, February 8, and Jen was on hand to playfully roast the actor. Her speech started off strong with a cute reaction of the duo’s “Thriller” dance from 13 Going on 30 and Garner’s realization that she broke her reading glasses. And it only got better from there, as she said (via Variety): 

I was asked late last night to pinch-hit for our beautiful COVID-struck Laura Dern and a few things popped into my mind when this happened…I know this is a question that you are all wondering so I’m just going to cover the elephant in the room, why wasn’t I asked to do this in the first place?! I kicked off the Mark Ruffalo rom-com era!

Watching alongside, Ruffalo was in hysterics and grabbed Garner for a hug before she tamed him with a joking, “Don’t get cute yet!” 

After joking about how other tributers like friend Timothy McNeil and Ruffalo’s Zodiac director David Fincher had already touched upon “Mark, the actor” and “Mark, the friend,” Garner said it was up to her “elucidate” on Mark Ruffalo, the rom-com star. 

I don’t know what you would have done without me. Thank god I showed up! I have got to be here to honor and elucidate ‘Rom-Com Ruffalo’…thanks in part to the success of ’13 Going On 30,’ and by the way, how lucky are we to have been in a movie that kids are dressing up as for Halloween, that it still means something to people?…I wonder if my colleagues Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth [Paltrow], Keira Knightley, I wonder if they would agree that Mark owes this rom-com success to the scruffy hair, the untucked cute button-down…I wonder if these esteemed ladies enjoyed Mark’s anxiety as much as I did? I wonder if he tried to drop out of their films, like he did out of ours after his first rehearsal of the Thriller dance?

Through the humor, though, Garner made a lot of room for some heartfelt sentiments, praising Ruffalo as a father (he shares three children—Keen, Bella and Odette—with his wife Sunrise Coigney, all of whom attended the Hollywood Walk of Fame event) and as a performer, citing his ability to add “depth to what was light.”  

To work with you, Mark, is to love you…I don’t care what anyone says!

You can watch all of the speeches tributing Mark Ruffalo in the Variety video below, with Garner’s speech coming in around the 27:25 mark. 

And if you want to rewatch Jen and Mark as Jenna and Matty, so you can witness why he’s “rom-com Ruffalo,” you can stream 13 Going on 30 with a Netflix subscription. 


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