“I am a horrible liar,” the kind-hearted actress, 37, admits at an Invention of Lying event held during the Toronto International Film Festival. “I can’t do it. Even if I have your birthday present and your birthday is not until November, and I get a present, I have to tell you. I can’t lie and say I don’t have it. I can keep a secret if you need me to, but otherwise, it doesn’t work out.”
When is it appropriate to fib?
She tells me, “If you save somebody’s feelings for it; to smooth a transition of saying hello to someone you don’t need to stop and have an entire conversation with — if someone says ‘how are you?,’ I think it’s perfectly acceptable to say ‘fine’ if you’re not, if you don’t know them well; and to let little kids feel more important than they are by letting them win at a game.”
What does she think of Kanye West expressing himself truthfully onstage during Taylor Swift’s acceptance speech at last week’s MTV Awards?
“That’s not honesty — that’s just bad manners,” she says. “I think any of us can choose at any time to be civil or not to be civil, and what is the point of going through the day and thinking it’s cool to wear your honesty on your sleeve?”
The Golden Globe winner says she never lied on her resume when she first started in showbiz.
“I had a bunch of Denison University [plays] and summer stocks from all over the country, the Georgia Shakespeare Festival, Timberland Playhouse, The Barn. I did Annie Get Your Gun, Nunsense 2…”
Co-director and co-star Ricky Gervais attests that she doesn’t have a devious bone in her body.
“Real life and her public image are one in the same,” he says. “She’s wholesome. She doesn’t swear. She says things like ‘darn it’ and ‘dang it.’ I asked her her favorite swear word, and she said ‘crap.’ I said ‘that’s not a swear word.’”
Jen says, “You’re full of bologna.”
Ricky adds, “Now that’s really rude for her. She’s going to feel bad about that for a little while. She swore — with bologna. The only person more shocking doing that line would be Martha Stewart.”
Jen says, “That’s my dog’s name – Martha Stewart.”
Ricky adds, “She loves Martha Stewart.”
Jennifer also loves her family including hubby Ben Affleck, 37, and daughters Violet, 3, and Seraphina, 8 months.
“The kids stayed in the trailer,” co-director Matt Robinson tells me. “They were there. She always talks about how her kids think she only works in a trailer. I don’t think they’ve ever seen a movie set before. Ben never showed up, but I did hear he saw the movie and he enjoyed it, which was nice because I’m a big fan of his.”
What’s the biggest lie Jen’s heard about herself?
“I would like to say that the rumor that Ben Affleck and I are married is false,” she yuks.
Pick up the OK! on newsstands now for more coverage of the Toronto International Film Festival. And, catch Invention of Lying in theaters October 2.