ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE's Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner Talk Parenting


Ever have a bad day that felt like it would never end? Well, it probably wasn’t nearly as bad as Alexander’s in Disney’s ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY. At a recent press event  Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner talked family chemistry on set and dished out some awesome parenting advice.

Many awful things storm down on 11-year-old Alexander, starting with gum in his hair then snowballing to many other cringe-worthy calamities.  Alexander soon learns that he’s not alone. His upbeat family is dealing with a chaotic and rotten day of their own. Steve Carell (40 Year Old Virgin) and Jennifer Garner (Dallas Buyers Club) star as Alexander’s parents and are joined by some talented up-and-comers who play their kids including Dylan Minnette (TV’s "Lost"), Kerris Dorsey (TV’s "Ray Donovan," and Ed Oxenbould (Oz TV’s "Puberty Blues") who plays Alexander.

Family mayhem is nothing new to Carell and Garner who are both parents to their own. Carell and his longtime wife have a 13-year-old daughter and a 10-year-old son. Garner and her Batman-hubby Ben Affleck have three children all under 10 years old. It comes as no surprise that the two brought their own life experiences to their roles and according to the young cast, they proved to be great film parents as well.  “I like my film parent’s more than my real parent’s,” said Ed Oxenbould sarcastically. “ Now that’s going to play well on print,” quipped Carell.  


Kerris Dorsey added, “I’m such a huge fan of both of them. Being able to have them as parents was really cool and it was surreal as such a fan.”

Even though Steve plays a stay at home “fommy” (father/mommy) in the film, he find’s his character and the core of the story very relatable to his own life as a father. He explained that all families tend to have terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days, but it’s how we respond to the adversity together is most important. He weighed in on how he lifts his children’s spirits up when they’re having a bad day.

“My wife and I go through this from time to time, and part of it is not being overly sensitive to our kids having good or bad days. The toughest part is holding back from always trying to make it perfect or ideal. If they get assigned a class that doesn’t have their best friends in it, you need to allow them to make new friends and deal with it because life will give you twists and turns. Our challenge, is to not make everyday the best day possible.”

Garner has recently played a bunch of different mommies on screen; including her most recent as Cindy Green in Disney’s, The Odd Life of Timothy Green. But has the star cracked the code to being the perfect mother?

“Have I cracked what it is to be a great mom? No. Though, the great thing about being a parent is that everyday is a fresh start. You always can say, today we’re going to try this. If it goes horribly, you say today we’re throwing that out and trying this. That’s part of what I like about being a mom in general. I have enjoyed this new world of playing moms.”  


Carell credits the amazing camaraderie and family dynamic in the movie to director Miguel Arteta (Youth in Revolt) who he worked closely with on The Office. According to the funnyman, Disney made a great decision hiring Arteta since he has a great understanding of comedy, characters, and the subtleties within the interpersonal relationships of those characters. Carell added that he’s ecstatic to reinvigorate Hollywood with a live action family film; a genre that he thinks has become less prevalent in recent years.

“I was excited because it’s a new take on that genre. It’s a director who’s not necessarily known for mainstream movies who was giving a different spin to it.  I hope it is a trend that continues.”

Garner mentioned that she too is excited to bring a real family film into the world. She thinks it’s a movie teenagers will appreciate since Bella, Dylan, and Kerris are in it. Garner also took her 5-year-old daughter to see it, and she especially loved the scene where Steve’s character has a faceoff with a kangaroo.

“I feel like this is a film families can see. It should make you feel more like a family and will remind you that whatever happens, you’re all going through it together.”


Kerris Dorsey added, “It’s nice to have a movie, being a teenager, knowing that I can see a movie with my parents and not feel really awkward and uncomfortable, and go with my friends and still laugh and have a good time. There aren’t a lot of movies like that. It’s refreshing.”

ALEXANDER AND THE TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD DAY hits theaters this Friday, October 10th!

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