TODAY   |  October 02, 2013

Jennifer Garner: Paparazzi nearly made me move

The actress tells TODAY correspondent Jenna Bush Hager that she hopes a new California bill that puts more restrictions against paparazzi will help her kids live a more normal life, and that she and her husband, Ben Affleck, weighed moving out of the state if the bill didn’t pass.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> first jenna bush -hager had a chance to sit down with jennifer garner . good morning to you.

>> good morning, guys. that's right, i spoke with her a few hours before she was honored with the national child advocate award by save the children . it's how the actress and mother of three is using her celebrity to help protect and improve kids' lives.

>> reporter: as half of one of hollywood's most powerful couples, this is a familiar setting for jennifer garner .

>> thank you for the opportunity to testify today -- sorry --

>> reporter: but away from the glitz and glamour the mother of three is working hard to help protect children. garner and fellow actress halle berry testified this summer in california in favor of a bill that aimed to protect children of celebrities from the paparazzi.

>> i don't want a gang of shouting, arguing, law breaking photographers who camp out everywhere we are all day every day to continue traumatizing my kids.

>> reporter: just last week, that bill was signed into law.

>> 100% i give this -- this is all about halle. i have to say, my husband and i as much as we have wished for this, we were truly re-signed to thinking this was never going to happen. we looked at moving out of california, all manners of things. i think that there's an idea that because our pictures are everywhere that we're complicit in it but they're waiting outside the door and i can't go to the mailbox without getting my picture taken so i don't.

>> now that the law has passed do you think there will be change and has it gone far enough?

>> what we're hoping is that our kids' day-to-day experience will not be of really aggressive men yelling and screaming five feet from their faces. my kids take karate and class is at the same time every week. so the guys know. so 20 of them wait there for us every single class. so that's a lot of energy coming at little, little kids.

>> reporter: but it's not just the lives of celebrity children that jennifer garner is working to improve. since 2009 , she has served as an artist ambassador for save the children .

>> if you're growing up poor, by the time you're 4 years old you are 18 months behind. 18 months behind so by the time you get to kindergarten you're already playing catch up by so much you don't even have a shot.

>> reporter: so she visits homes across the country spending time with mothers and their children to stress the importance of early childhood education .

>> we go into the home and encourage the mom to speak to their baby and play with their baby and early childhood education is nursery rhymes and singing to the baby and rolling a ball and reading to your kids. you know what i love about this job that i have is that i see so much hope. i see that you just need to give kids a little bit of love and you just need to give their moms a little bit of encouragement and the difference that you can make in the rest of their lives is so huge and you can see it happen in front of your eyes.

>> i just had a baby and i have to say i connect now with moms that i met more than i ever have. all moms want the same things for their kids. do you feel that way as a mom too?

>> yes, i always meet these moms. if i didn't have it modelled for me all around by great mom friends, by classes that i've gone to and my parents, i wouldn't know what to do with a newborn.

>> reporter: with so much already on her plate, jennifer garner the actress has been hard at work thanks to the support and help of someone who gets it, husband, ben afleck .

>> my husband has always pushed me. don't -- keep a toe in it. keep a foot in it. you love what you do. work. you have to work. all of a sudden i got a few things i couldn't pass up just as i was kind of ready to go back to work. so i did and it's been crazy and i'm ready to be home for awhile but i have to say, i've loved it.

>> so if you're wondering why jennifer garner is so passionate about early childhood education it goes back to our own parents. they grew up poor but used education as a way out of poverty. have to say it's something she is extremely passionate about and something that's really important. by the age of 3 a child's brain is 80% developed. so we have to catch them early.

>> you were at the save the children event.

>> yes, i mced it and secretary clinton was there and won an award. we had a great time.