Which actress, who also starred in the TV show "Alias," played the role of Jenna in the film 13 going on 30?

And the answer: Jennifer Garner.
Photo credit: Karon Liu

Shortly after winning a Golden Globe for her performance as Sydney Bristow on Alias in 2002, Jennifer Garner was offered the lead role in 13 Going on 30. Coincidentally, the actress had also just turned 30 herself. This was her first leading role in a movie.  

Born in 1972 in Houston, Texas, Garner was raised by a chemical engineer and a retired English professor. After attending Denison University in Ohio, where she graduated with a degree in theater in 1996, Garner moved to Los Angeles to work in television, landing bit parts on several shows, including Spin City and Law & Order. Before becoming something of an overnight success, though, Garner worked to establish herself. Between various gigs, Garner held several jobs to make ends meet— even babysitting Stephen Colbert's daughter, Madeline Colbert. The esteemed actress first met the comedian when they both appeared on a 1996 episode of Spin City.

Ultimately, Garner auditioned 5 times for the part of Sydney Bristow— the star of J.J. Abram's Alias. Upon being cast in the role, Garner began to shine. During her time on Alias, Garner learned martial arts and Taekwondo, and performed many of the action sequences herself. Her stunt double, however, would take care of the more dangerous scenes, especially during explosions or more complex fights.

Learn more about Garner's acting history and life here.  

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