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10 Fun Facts About ’13 Going on 30′

Thirty, flirty and thriving!

If there’s one movie we can always count on to put a smile on our faces (or bring a tear to our eyes, if you’re anything like us) it’s 13 Going on 30. After all, what other film captures the sentiment of “never grow up” in such a way?

The 2004 romantic comedy starts out with a 13-year-old Jenna Rink preparing for her birthday party, with none other than her school’s popular clique on the guest list (despite them only coming in exchange for Jenna completing their homework).

After a devastating humiliation orchestrated by the band of girls known as The Six Chicks, Jenna wishes for the day that she’s “thirty, flirty and thriving.” In a twist of events, Jenna is now a full-blown adult (played by Jennifer Garner) with her dream job, apartment and boyfriend — but adulthood isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and Jenna must pick up the pieces from the last 17 years of her life — which she has no recollection of.

Jennifer Garner, '13 Going on 30', 2004
Jennifer Garner, 13 Going on 30, 2004michaella92/MoviestillsDB

A major piece of this puzzle is her relationship with her now-grown-up childhood best friend and next-door-neighbor Matty, played by Mark Ruffalo.

Here, take a look at these 10 fun facts you may not have known about 13 Going on 30!

1. You saw young Jenna twice

Christa Allen and Jennifer Garner, 2004
Christa Allen and Jennifer Garner, 2004Getty

Christa B. Allen played the part of young Jenna in the film, and this wouldn’t be the last time she would play Jennifer Garner’s younger counterpart. Allen played the teen version of Garner’s character in the 2009 rom-com Ghosts of Girlfriends Past.

“I remember being stunned when I made the movie at just how kind she was, she’s this incredible movie star, but she’s also just a really real kind person,” Allen told Entertainment Tonight in 2021 of working with Garner.

“And people often ask questions about what movie stars are really like. And I often find that they’re as amazing as you think they are. And Jennifer’s certainly one of them.”

2. Famous faces amongst the mean girls

In the early scenes featuring “The Six Chicks,” you may recognize some famous Hollywood faces: A young Ashley Benson and a young Brie Larson were apart of this crew of actresses.

3. An offer she couldn’t refuse — 13 Going on 30 facts

Jennifer Garner, 2003, 13 Going on 30 facts
Jennifer Garner, 2003Getty

As said in the behind-the-scenes documentary, Making of a Teen Dream, 13 Going on 30 was the first instance in which Garner was directly offered a role in a movie, coming in the wake of her Alias success.

4. The actors almost did double duty

Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo, 2004
Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo, 2004Getty

Originally, Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo were going to play the young versions of themselves.

5. Mark Ruffalo wasn’t much of a dancer

Mark Ruffalo was so put off by the idea of a dance number, he almost didn’t take the part.

The dancing was horrible!,” he told Black Film in a 2004 interview. “I almost didn’t want to do this movie. I literally read it and I’m like ‘I can’t do this movie. I can’t get up and do those scenes’.”

Luckily for us, Ruffalo overcame his fears!

6. Paparazzi caused problems — 13 Going on 30 facts

Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo, 2004, 13 Going on 30 facts
Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo, 2004Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage

During filming, paparazzi almost spoiled major moments of the film, such as Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo kissing, as reported in the behind-the-scenes-doc.

7. Perfect timing — 13 Going on 30 facts

When Jenna wakes up in her 30-year-old body, she does so right at the 13 minute mark of the film!

8. Famous runner-ups

Other Hollywood actresses considered for the role of Jenna included Gwyneth Paltrow, Hilary Swank and Renee Zellweger.

9. Jennifer and Mark re-join forces

Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo, 2024
Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo, 2024Getty

Jennifer Garner and Mark Ruffalo wouldn’t work together again until 2022 when they joined forces again on The Adam Project.

10. A meaningful wardrobe

The clothes each character wore were a reflection of who they were. Jenna, for example, was often seen in bright, soft fabrics, representing her young, bubbly self.


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