Jennifer Garner, Ben Affleck
Jennifer Garner and Ben Affleck are still friendly after finalizing their divorce. Pictured: Jennifer Garner and actor-director Ben Affleck arrive at the Oscars at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, California, Feb. 24, 2013. Getty Images/Jason Merritt


  • Jennifer Garner and Sheryl Lee Ralph teamed up for Variety's "Actors on Actors" series
  • Ralph said they have a lot of things in common as she reflected on their divorces and co-parenting with their exes
  • Garner said "the mess of parenting" is "a gift"

Jennifer Garner and Sheryl Lee Ralph bonded over their experience co-parenting kids with exes in the public eye after divorce.

Garner and Ralph recently teamed up for Variety's "Actors on Actors" series. During their conversation, they talked about the "many" things they have in common, such as their need to give their children a "normal life" despite being in the spotlight.

"We have so many things in common. With all the celebrity and all of that, I feel like I have a very normal life, and I think you have that similar sort of vibe. And we love our kids," Ralph, 66, said.

The "Alias" alum, 51, agreed and said, "And all the mess of parenting. It's a gift."

The Emmy winner also noted that both she and Garner have amicable relationships with their ex-husbands. Garner was previously married to Ben Affleck from 2005 to 2018, and they share three children — Violet, 17, Seraphina, 14, and Samuel, 11. Ralph was married to Eric Maurice from 1990 to 2001, and they have two children, Etienne Maurice, 31, and Ivy-Victoria, 28.

"Both of us having gone through [a] divorce," Ralph said. "You did something that I did as well, and that was maintain a healthy relationship with my ex for the health and well-being of my children. And with the spotlight on us all the time, sometimes that can be difficult."

Ralph added, "But when I look at my kids, when I see you and your kids, I was like, 'Girl, we did that.'"

"We're doing it!" Garner agreed, before doing a fist bump with the "Abbott Elementary" actress.

Garner and Affleck are often spotted spending time together with their kids as a family following their split. They have kept their kids out of the spotlight and off social media.

But while she's now armed with the wisdom she's gained from her years of experience with motherhood, the "Yes Day" star recently revealed that she was a "nightmare" when she became a mom for the first time.

"We didn't have the eyes on us that our kids have. I was such a first-time mom. [My eldest daughter] didn't have a shot," Garner told Allure in May. "She couldn't have a free thought — I was all over her. I was a nightmare for everyone around me."

Garner also shared some advice for other moms.

"Your kids will really figure out who they are and what they are when they're older, and most likely they will hew toward lovely," she continued. "I have a lot of faith in my kids. I don't love every behavior all the time, always. It's gnarly growing up."

Sheryl Lee Ralph
“Instant Mom” alum Sheryl Lee Ralph will play Dr. Gregory Ruval’s mother (Jimmy Jean-Louis) in Season 2 of TNT’s “Claws.” Pictured: Ralph attends WGN America’s “Underground” World Premiere on March 2, 2016 in Los Angeles. Charley Gallay/Getty Images for WGN America