These days when we think of Jennifer Garner, thoughts of rom-coms, caring mothers, dramas (both filmed and real life), light comedies, and a dogged determination to find out what’s inside our wallets come to mind. Somehow we’ve forgotten the aspect of Jen that shot her to fame and made us fall in love with her in the first place: her ability to kick some serious butt. She initially proved that as Sydney Bristow on the J.J. Abrams-created spy series, Alias, which ran on ABC from 2001 to 2006; and as the Marvel Comics assassin Elektra in 2002’s Daredevil as well as a spin-off film the following year. We’ve missed watching her crack skulls, but it looks like the long drought is (finally) at an end with her new film, Peppermint, reaching theaters on Sept. 7.

jennifer-garner-peppermint2
StxFilms

In Peppermint, Jennifer plays Riley North, whose husband and daughter are murdered by a drug cartel, with Riley herself barely clinging to life. Recovering, and dealing with the horror of what’s happened, she attempts to help authorities catch the murderers, but the system lets her down. And when the system lets you down…. well, you can kind of figure out the rest. As the film’s official synopsis says, “She spends years in hiding honing mind, body, and spirit to become an unstoppable force, eluding the underworld, the LAPD, and the FBI, as she systematically delivers her own personal brand of justice.” Sort of sounds like Bruce Willis’ Death Wish, but, you know, with hair. 

“I loved that it was an original story and an action film with a woman as the lead character, the significance of which I do not take lightly,” Jennifer said in provided comments. “I’ve never had the chance to explore that kind of visceral need to defend or protect my family in a film, but the concept was something I could easily connect with.” 

jennifer-garner-peppermint3
StxFilms

At the same time, she added, “I hadn’t filmed a fight sequence for over eleven years, which is a long time to hang up your action chops and try to pull it back together, but I knew I could do it. It was the connection to the physical that helped me channel Riley’s desperation and the emotional motivation behind her need for revenge. I don’t know if this version of justice fills the hollowness in Riley’s soul. At our very first meeting, [the director] and I discussed whether or not revenge is ever appropriate and questioned if what Riley is doing is ok. It’s an interesting and complicated subject to explore within the fictional narrative of an action film.”

To celebrate Jennifer’s return to the action genre, we’ve unearthed a never-before-published interview with her conducted while she was filming Daredevil and prior to the commencement of filming of Alias‘ second season. It provides an interesting look back at the actress in the midst of superstardom, sharing her insight on both Sydney and Elektra, and the impact all of it was having on her — scroll down to read our exclusive interview with Jennifer!