Jennifer Garner Says Mark Ruffalo Almost Quit ‘13 Going on 30’

"Bro, this is not for me."

Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo attend the premiere of the film "13 Going on 30" at the Mann Village April 14, 2004.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Fans were nearly robbed of the countless memorable moments between Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo in the 2004 movie 13 going on 30.

On Thursday, Feb. 8, during a ceremony honoring Ruffalo and his Hollywood Walk of Fame star, Garner revealed that her co-star almost quit the film after the pair first rehearsed the now iconic "Thriller" scene.

“I wonder if these esteemed ladies enjoyed Mark's anxiety as much as I did,” Garner said, referring to Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow and Keira Knightley who have all shared on-screen romances with Rufffalo.

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

Mark Ruffalo and Jennifer Garner attend as actor Mark Ruffalo is honored with a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame on February 08, 2024 in Hollywood, California.

Mark Ruffalo and Jennifer Garner attend as actor Mark Ruffalo is honored with a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame on February 08, 2024 in Hollywood, California. 

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Garner and Ruffalo ended up recreating the scene during the ceremony, to the delight of fans the world over.

Garner also credited Ruffalo's rom-com success to his "scruffy hair" and "untucked cute button down," going on to add that both "became like the norm for cute guys everywhere for the next 20 years."

Garner's speech wasn't the first time she has talked about Ruffalo almost walking away from 13 going on 30. In a 2021 interview with theSkimm, Garner dished on just how close fans were to being robbed of Ruffalo's "Thriller" dance moves.

"We started to learn the dance. Our first rehearsal, I think it was Mark and Judy (Greer) and me, and Judy and I were both dancers growing up and poor Mark didn't know that," Garner said at the time. "And he came in and he hated the rehearsal process so much he almost dropped out."

Mark Ruffalo and Jennifer Garner attend as actor Mark Ruffalo is honored with a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Mark Ruffalo and Jennifer Garner attend as actor Mark Ruffalo is honored with a star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ruffalo also weighed in on the rehearsals and why he wasn't in love with the process.

On an Instagram post on People's official page covering Garner's comments in her 2021 theSkimm interview, Ruffalo wrote: "It didn't help that it took me 3 hours to learn what Jen mastered in about 20 minutes!"

While Garner brought the jokes in her speech at Ruffalo's Walk of Fame star reveal, she was also sincere and heartfelt.

"To work with you, Mark, is to love you, I don't care what anyone says," Garner said, before telling her former co-start that it is “a privilege” to know him. 

Danielle Campoamor
Weekend Editor

Danielle Campoamor is Marie Claire's weekend editor covering all things news, celebrity, politics, culture, live events, and more. In addition, she is an award-winning freelance writer and former NBC journalist with over a decade of digital media experience covering mental health, reproductive justice, abortion access, maternal mortality and mental health, gun violence, climate change, politics, celebrity news, culture, online trends, wellness, gender-based violence and other feminist issues. You can find both her work in The New York Times, Washington Post, New York Magazine, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, TODAY, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, InStyle, Playboy, Teen Vogue, Glamour, The Daily Beast, Mother Jones, Prism, Newsweek and more. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and their two feral sons. When she is not writing, editing or doom scrolling she enjoys reading, cooking, debating current events and politics, traveling to Seattle to see her dear friends and losing Pokémon battles against her ruthless offspring. You can find her on X, Instagram, Threads, Facebook and all the places.