From '13 Going on 30' to 'The Adam Project,' these costars-turned-BFFs go way back
They first pulled heartstrings in 2004, when they played the grown-up versions of Jenna and Matty in 13 Going on 30. Their off-screen bond has since continued to evoke nostalgia through throwback photos shared on Instagram and every so often, appearances at each others' sides.
Garner and Ruffalo joined forces again to costar as a couple in the 2022 sci-fi flick The Adam Project, and in 2024, Garner sang the Poor Things actor's praises at his Hollywood Walk of Fame star ceremony.
"You allow yourself to be fully known by your colleagues, by the audience, by the world," she said. "Your work on Poor Things deserves all of the awards, all of them. But the real success is in how thrilled and delighted your colleagues are to have the opportunity to lift you up and celebrate you. Every time your name is called, Hollywood takes a deep collective breath and says, 'Okay, the good and right thing has happened.'"
Take a look back at Mark Ruffalo and Jennifer Garner's sweetest photos from their two decades of friendship.
Way Back When
The world first watched Garner and Ruffalo's adorable chemistry play out as Jenna and Matty in 13 Going on 30. They played the adult versions of the teenage best friends who, by the end of the movie, end up married after Jenna realizes she doesn't want to grow up without Matty.
Growing Up Together
On the 15th anniversary of the rom-com classic, Ruffalo reminisced about sharing a set with his "lovely" costar back in 2004.
"We had the sweetest time,” Ruffalo told Entertainment Tonight in 2019. “[Jennifer] was a big star then but I was kind of just starting out. She was just so lovely.”
“We were making this really sweet movie that had a great message for young girls,” Ruffalo continued in conversation with ET. “We were all sort of coming into our own in that moment. We really loved that story and Jen was just transformed into a 13-year-old girl. It was really amazing.”
The costars — pictured here at the premiere of 13 Going on 30 — reunited when Garner spoke at Ruffalo's star ceremony on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2024. The longtime friends warmed hearts with callbacks to the movie. At one point, they joined together to perform part of the "Thriller" dance, a reference to an iconic scene from the film.
Garner has referenced their nostalgic on-screen romance on social media several times in the two decades since 13 Going on 30 premiered. In 2018, she celebrated Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal wedding with a behind-the-scenes throwback photo.
In the picture, Garner wears a wedding dress alongside her tuxedoed costar while hanging from wires on the set of the romantic comedy.
“Harry and Meghan, if you’re looking for stand-ins @markruffalo and I are just hangin’ around,” the actress wrote alongside her Instagram post.
Only Need the Memories
Though they've both gushed about making the coming-of-age flick, Garner has already said there's no sequel plans in sight. During an appearance on the Today show in 2019, the Juno star shut down the idea with a jesting jab: “What, like 15 going on 50?” she joked.
“Let’s simmer down,” Garner continued. “Leave well enough alone.”
In 2021, the actors proved their lasting bond with a sweet selfie on Instagram, which Garner captioned with another nod to a 13 Going on 30 plot point.
"Wishing dust worked! And I got a perfect day with my old pal," she wrote.
Time Traveling Again
In 2022, the talented twosome got to play a couple again in the sci-fi comedy The Adam Project. The movie also focused on themes of time travel, though not by way of wishing dust. They shared the screen with Ryan Reynolds, Zoe Saldaña and Walker Scobell, with Reynolds starring as Garner and Ruffalo's son from the future.
Reunited on Screens
Shortly before the Netflix release of their 2022 film, Garner posted a then-and-now collage of her and Ruffalo in 13 Going on 30 and in The Adam Project on Instagram. In her caption, the Alias actress dubbed the latter a "13 Going on 30 Reunion."
What a Thrill
Though Ruffalo looked excited to revisit the 13 Going on 30 "Thriller" dance on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Garner poked fun at her former costar's hesitance to dance during production 20 years earlier.
While speaking at the event, the Golden Globe winner playfully pondered whether Ruffalo's other rom-com costars — Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Aniston, Gwyneth Paltrow and Keira Knightley — also observed his quirks on set.
“I wonder if these esteemed ladies enjoyed Mark's anxiety as much as I did,” Garner continued. “I wonder if he tried to drop out of their films, like he did out of ours after the first rehearsal of the 'Thriller' dance where Mark went from kind of shocked that we actually had to do this, to antsy, to deathly quiet, to 'Bro, this is not for me.’"
"To work with you, Mark, is to love you," Garner continued in her moving speech. "I don't care what anyone says."
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