April 14, 2023

Jennifer Garner ‘Wrote Letters’ to ‘The Last Thing He Told Me’ Author Laura Dave to Land Lead Role


Jennifer Garner really wanted the starring role in “The Last Thing He Told Me,” Hello Sunshine’s television adaptation of Laura Dave‘s novel of the same name.

At the series’ Los Angeles premiere on Thursday, Garner told Variety she went after the role of Hannah when original star Julia Roberts dropped out of the project. “I had to just do anything in my power to plead my case,” Garner said.

As a fan of the novel, Garner expressed her excitement for the adaptation starring Roberts: “I thought ‘Oh, she’s going to be amazing!’ I love that story I can’t wait to watch.” But once the role became available, Garner knew she had to pursue the part.

“I just wrote letters to Laura advocating for myself and talking about what the book meant to me and what the role [meant], what I saw in the role and the ways that I felt,” said Garner. “While Hannah and I are really quite different, there are some pieces of her that I just relate to so much. I had to get a chance to try it out.”

The series was developed by Dave and her screenwriter husband Josh Singer (“Spotlight”) during COVID lockdown. Ahead of the book’s publication in May 2021, Dave’s novel was optioned by Hello Sunshine in December of 2020, with the author and Singer attached as the series’ executive producers. The development began with Roberts attached, but in November 2021 Garner replaced Roberts. 

“The Last Thing He Told Me” follows the blossoming and unexpected relationship between Hannah (Garner) and her step-daughter Bailey (Angourie Rice), as Hannah’s husband, Owen (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) leaves his daughter a bag of money and then mysteriously goes missing. 

“Every single day of hair and makeup I read the book up to wherever we were shooting,” Garner said. “I was constantly with the book. You should see my copy! I think I know it better than Josh and Laura.”

“The Last Thing He Told Me” also stars Aisha Tyler, Geoff Stults, John Harlan Kim, Augusto Aguilera and Todd Stashwick.

Dave and Singer executive produced the series alongside Reese Witherspoon, Lauren Neustadter, Olivia Newman and Merri Howard. Newman also served as a director, in addition to Deniz Gamze Ergüven, Daisy Von Scherler Mayer and Lila Neugebauer.

“The Last Thing He Told Me” first two episodes premiered on April 14 on AppleTV+. The remaining five episodes will premiere once a week, concluding May 19.


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