Now considered a coming-of-age classic, 13 Going on 30 wasn’t always favorably looked at by leading man Mark Ruffalo. According to his co-star Jennifer Garner, the Marvel mainstay desperately wanted to bail on the romantic comedy. Why wasn’t he liking his time spent on set? Garner explains the situation behind-the-scenes that had Hulk ready to hand in his walking papers.
“Our first rehearsal, I think it was Mark and Judy [Greer] and me, and Judy and I were both dancers growing up and poor Mark didn’t know that. And he came in and he hated the rehearsal process so much he almost dropped out.”
In 13 going on 30, a girl who’s sick of the social strictures of junior high is transformed into a grownup overnight. In this feel-good fairy tale, teenager Jenna (Christa B. Allen) wants a boyfriend, and when she’s unable to find one, she fantasizes about being a well-adjusted adult. Suddenly, her secret desire becomes a reality, and she is transformed into a 30-year-old (Jennifer Garner). But adulthood, with its own set of male-female challenges, isn’t as easy as it looks.
Mark Ruffalo plays the love interest in 13 Going on 30. But it wasn’t one of his more favorite roles during the time of shooting, however fondly he may look back at the experience now. Jennifer Garner, on the other hand, loves the romantic comedy, and even called it a “perfectly constructed” movie. The film was directed by the late Gary Winick.
The thing about shooting 13 Going on 30 that had Mark Ruffalo the most riled up was the iconic Thriller dance sequenc which utilized the chart breaking Michael Jackson song. The actors had to recreate the John Landis directed video for one of 13 Going on 30‘s biggest set pieces. And it was no easy task for Ruffalo, who was surrounded by professional dancers.
It can be argued, but Mark Ruffalo not having any experience with dance perhaps added to the charming quality of this scene and his participation in it. His character is not supposed to be a trained dancer, so it works for the most part. And in the character’s own defense, it has been 30 years since the song came out, with Jennifer Garner’s character literally remembering it as though it were yesterday.
It has been 15 years since 13 Going on 30 hit theaters. While no sequel is being planned, Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo are reuniting for Netflix’s time travel family adventure The Adam Project, which has a similar body-switching vibe. You can catch Jennifer Garner in the family comedy Yes Day on Netflix right now.