Jennifer Garner was nervous. Her new action flick, "Peppermint," came out this weekend, and she wanted fans to enjoy seeing her play a mom-turned-vigilante. But when she reluctantly headed to a movie theater that was playing the flick to check in on things, the result was… uncomfortable.
"The studio encouraged me to go to the theater and see #PEPPERMINTmovie with an audience — maybe they thought I would conduct exit polls? 🤷🏻♀️ But I learned something about myself on this experiment — I am a chicken. 🙋🏻♀️🐥," she captioned an Instagram video showing herself hiding, cringing and, finally, accepting some praise for the film in which she plays a mother who exacts her revenge on a cartel that killed her husband and child.
"Thank you to everyone who spent their weekend and their hard earned money with #RileyNorth and me. ❤️," she added. "If you go this week — you never know — I may be lurking behind a curtain at a theater near you. 😶"
The clip shows a makeup-free (and nervous) Jen with her hair in messy bun, casually clad in jeans and a sweatshirt, riding up an escalator at a theater complex. "I have never done this before," she tells the camera, "and now I know why."
The next part shows her nervously trying to cover her face as she clutches tickets to "Peppermint." "Hi. I'm in a movie theater and I have a movie out. And I have to be here with my face," she laments. "And I'm afraid people are going to hate the movie and take pity on me, see me and think I'm just obsessed with myself? Nonetheless, I have tickets."
A moviegoer can then be seen approaching her in the hallway outside the theater, shaking her hand and telling her "it was amazing." Jen looks sheepish and says, "Is it over?" then hides in a corner, making it clear she doesn't want people to think she's desperate for attention. At the very end, she quietly confesses her relief. "They like it," she whispers.
Fans responded with love, with one commenting, "Oh Jennifer. You are so so brave. Lol. This made me laugh and cringe for you. Can't wait to see the film. Xo." Another called her a "silly goose" while yet another told the mother of three, "I love how real you are, thank you."
While horror flick "The Nun," the latest movie in the "The Conjuring" film series, took the top spot at the weekend box office with earnings of $54 million domestically, Deadline reported, "Peppermint — which sees Jen returns to her butt-kicking "Alias" roots — came in third place, behind "Crazy Rich Asians," with box-office earnings of about $13.3 million, which was reportedly right on target with pre-release estimates.
The Wrap further reports that CinemaScore audiences have given the action flick a B+ rating while 53 percent of women who've see it have given it an A-.
She took the quiz herself and revealed, "No surprise — I'm Jenna Rink from #13GoingOn30. Who are you??– If you get #RileyNorth from #PEPPERMINTmovie, I'm a little scared of you. 😳😬❤️."