Jennifer Garner and Edgar Ramirez get wet and wild in Yes Day first look
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When Jennifer Garner read Amy Krouse Rosenthal's book Yes Day!, she had no idea how it would improve so many facets of her life. Not only did Garner take a personal cue from it, deciding periodically to say yes to whatever her three kids want to do (within reason!) for a day and bringing her family closer together, but it also sparked her new Netflix family comedy Yes Day, premiering March 12.
Garner, who also produces, stars in the Miguel Arteta-directed project as Allison Torres, a once-cool and carefree singleton. She traveled the world, went skydiving — no adventure was too risky. But as a wife and mother, Allison is the queen of mean (according to her three kids) and she's ready to make a change.
Garner, Arteta, and Edgar Ramirez, who plays Garner's husband, Carlos, spoke to EW about the magic of the affirmation and why everyone can benefit from a "yes day." Above, check out an exclusive first-look image of the film.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Jennifer, how was the idea for the film Yes Day born? Were your children fans of the book?
JENNIFER GARNER: Yes! All of this started because I've done yes days with my kids since my middle daughter was young. She loved that book so much! One day, she asked me if we could have a yes day and that it's all she wanted for Christmas and I agreed. It was before the trend really caught on. We started the tradition about eight or nine years ago and we've been doing them ever since.
I remember sharing a photo of myself [on social media] after one such day and I looked exhausted! It caught the attention of Ben Everard and Lawrence Grey who reached out to my manager with interest in turning this into a movie which we did. I just love the way Allison came together. She was this adventurer who was up for any challenge in the world and then she had kids. Every day you're just trying to keep everyone safe and fed and doing the best job that you can as a mom and you just lose some of the fun. A lot of moments from the film come from my real life, like when my youngest daughter called me a fun killer. [Laughs] No matter what we do during our yes days, we always end it in a tent in our backyard playing a game of Chickenfoot, which we learned from Sarah Jessica Parker. That's a tradition you'll also see in the film.
Edgar, you are not an actor known for doing comedy. What attracted you to this project?
EDGAR RAMIREZ: That's exactly why I took on this role. I'm a very curious person, and one of the most beautiful things about being an actor is that I get to try new things. When Jennifer and Miguel reached out about a movie specifically about being open to new adventures, it encouraged me to get out of my comfort zone. What I love about the idea of a yes day is how everyone can benefit from having one, not just kids. Try it! It might benefit your relationship at home and at work, and most importantly with yourself.
Jennifer, you've worked with some of the hottest leading men. What was it like collaborating with Edgar?
GARNER: First of all, he's so handsome! I know that that is really reductive and he's so much more than that. He's such a great actor and he's kind, generous, and loving. But he's so handsome that it stops you in your tracks! [Laughs] You'd never have known he'd never done comedy because he just dove in and he's hilarious. He was game for anything and we had so much fun together.
Miguel, not unlike Allison, you've depicted strong women in past films of yours, too, like Beatriz at Dinner and Like a Boss, to name a few. What attracts you to tell those stories?
MIGUEL ARTETA: I was raised by strong women, my grandmother, who was from Northern Spain and who I spent every summer with, and my mom who is an amazingly strong woman. I also have two older sisters. I have always felt very close to women, especially the character of Allison who is part of this beautifully blended family including these wonderful Latino kids [played by Jenna Ortega, Julian Lerner, Everly Carganilla] which felt very personal to me. Jennifer, who I worked with on Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, knows how to have fun. She's one of those rare stars who is a very strong person but she's also so sweet and empathic at the same time.
Edgar, what was it like going through a carwash with the windows open which the kids wanted to do on yes day?
RAMIREZ: That's one of my favorite scenes from the film and I can't help but laugh remembering when we shot it. [Laughs] I can laugh about it now because I remember the water was freezing since we shot it at the end of January or early February of 2020. Wow, we had so much fun. And I will admit, ever since I had my first car I also fantasized about doing what we did in the film! So many moments from this movie helped me feel liberated and I hope the audience feels the same when they watch it.
Jennifer, there are so many of your famous roles that appear through Allison, including Elektra (Daredevil), Jenna Rink (13 Going on 30), and even Sydney Bristow (Alias). Was that intentional?
GARNER: [Laughs] When I'm throwing bananas, that's Elektra. There's definitely some Sydney Bristow when I was telling them to let me climb on some wires. I was like, 'Yeah? You want a backflip? Ok, you got it.' I was saying to my stunt coordinator, who was my double in all of Alias and in Daredevil/Elektra, 'I don't know, Shauna [Duggins], that I can do this anymore?' She pushed me and led me to the harness! Of course, I wanted to add some of that fun stuff in there. And with 13 Going on 30, we used the same costume designer [Susie DeSanto]. Susie and I were definitely feeling some Jenna Rink vibes. I still work with all the same people as much as I can, and I hope to work with everyone I worked with on Yes Day again. We really had so much fun.
Interviews were edited for length and clarity.