‘Alias’: Jennifer Garner’s Pregnancy Disrupted the Entire Series

Along with being an A-list actor, Jennifer Garner is one of the most famous Moms in Hollywood. Millions of fans enjoy following the star’s hilariously relatable parenting moments on Instagram, and it’s clear she always goes the extra mile for her children. 

Before Jennifer Garner became a supermom in real life, she played a super-secret spy on the hit television show Alias. Garner began a whirlwind romance with Ben Affleck at the height of the show’s popularity, and the couple got married in June of 2005. Less than one month later, Garner and Affleck announced they would soon be welcoming their first child. While there’s no doubt the producers of Alias were happy for the expectant newlyweds, Jennifer Garner’s pregnancy threw quite a wrench into plans for filming season five.   

Jennifer Garner wearing a brown jacket in front of a purple background.
Jennifer Garner | Getty Images

 The Show That Made Jennifer Garner A Star 

Before landing her breakthrough role on Alias, Jennifer Garner was a Hollywood newcomer with tiny parts in Law & Order and Spin City. It was playing a minor role on the show, Felicity, that first introduced Garner to J.J. Abrams, the brilliant producer who would soon change her life. 

Abrams cast Jennifer Garner as his compelling new character Sydney Barstow, a graduate student recruited to become an undercover CIA agent. Alias premiered in 2001 and became a massive hit with both fans and critics, primarily because of Jennifer Garner’s incredible charisma.

The show became well-known for having many unexpected twists that kept the audience guessing from week to week. Believe it or not, the television landscape at that time didn’t have much in the way of intricate plots, which made Alias a pioneer.  

The show also stood out because of Sidney Barstow’s dazzling martial arts skills, which Jennifer Garner mostly performed herself. Garner’s great fighting form on the show helped her get cast as Elektra, the highly-trained assassin in 2003’s Daredevil. Her love interest in the film was Ben Affleck, and he quickly also became her love interest in real life

How Alias producers Scrambled To Handle Jennifer Garner’s Pregnancy

There are several actors who’ve had to film television shows while pregnant, and those growing bumps can present a challenge if the character is not meant to be pregnant. It usually falls to the costume designers and props masters to camouflage the belly with all kinds of tricks, including baggy clothes, large handbags, or the good old “always stand behind furniture” method. 

As they explained to People magazine, the producers of Alias decided all these strategies would be too awkward or even campy. They chose to embrace Jennifer Garner’s pregnancy instead and completely rewrite season five. Who’s the father of Sydney’s baby? As fans of the show would have guessed, it was none other than fellow spy Vaughn, who Michael Vartan played. Vaughn had started as Sydney’s CIA handler but had become Sydney’s on-again, off-again boyfriend throughout the seasons.  

The producers had another major issue with accommodating Jennifer Garner’s pregnancy, keeping up the show’s thrilling, fast pace. Although Garner filmed Alias until late into her pregnancy, she wouldn’t be able to continue the demanding action scenes typical for Sydney Barstow’s iconic role.

The solution came from an exciting new character named Rachel, who was added to the storyline as a young agent that Sydney had taken under her wing. Rachel was able to go on plenty of action-packed adventures, allowing Sidney to enjoy her pregnancy in relative peace.   

Jennifer Garner Now Has Three Children And A Thriving Career 

Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck welcomed their daughter, Violet, in December of 2005, and they later added Seraphina and Samuel to the family. While their marriage eventually ended in a high-profile divorce, it’s clear that Garner keeps her children grounded and happy.

Jennifer was also able to find many notable successes after Alias was canceled, including Juno, Dallas Buyers Club, and Peppermint. Beyond her acting career, Garner creates the extremely popular Pretend Cooking Show for her social media, which has many fans clamoring for an actual cooking show. 

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