Skip to main content

Jennifer Garner Pens Emotional Tribute To Her Draft Day Director Ivan Reitman After His Death At 75

Screenshot of Jennifer Garner in Draft Day
(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Since Ivan Reitman passed away at age 75, there’s been a flood of emotional tributes from Hollywood stars, filmmakers, and others. There’s another star who decided to sing the praises of Reitman – Draft Day’s Jennifer Garner. Garner was her sweet self as she penned an emotional tribute to the director.

The Draft Day star proved why she’s one of Hollywood’s nicest stars by posting a heartfelt message to the late director on her Instagram. Jennifer Garner chose to speak about the time she spent making the sports film under Ivan Reitman’s direction. She started her tribute by saying of the Ghostbusters director:

I loved Ivan Reitman. As a director, Ivan had such an astute eye he noticed every thought crossing my mind in every take. He would rush in with so many notes and ideas my brain would explode trying to keep track and execute – getting a laugh or good job from Ivan equaled Day Made. Between takes, Ivan and I talked and talked and talked. He saw my life more clearly than I did at the time; I’ll always love him for his candor and fierce protection.

It seemed like Jennifer Garner and Ivan Reitman formed an unexpected bond while shooting the film. Reitman was attentive as he noticed Garner’s process during every scene. He seemed to be in tune with her as he used positive reinforcement. According to the actress, she almost crossed paths with her Draft Day director once again, but fate has other plans.

I had a chance to see Ivan, his beautiful wife, Geneviève, Jason—all of the Reitman family—recently. Something got in the way, at the time it was impossible to make the evening happen. Today I don’t remember what was so important, but my heart hurts that I missed a chance to sit next to Ivan and talk and talk. I would have told him thank you. Instead, I’m sharing with all of you, hoping you’ll remember the brilliant man behind STRIPES, KINDERGARTEN COP, MEATBALLS, GHOSTBUSTERS, DAVE, TWINS, and even—DRAFT DAY.

Posting the beautiful tribute to the late director was Garner’s way of making amends for missing her opportunity to reconnect with him. While she didn’t go to the dinner, Jennifer Garner decided to highlight Reitman’s best films. At least, now, she got to say her final words to Ivan Reitman with her brand of genuineness. To see what Garner said in her full tribute, check out her full post below.

Garner mentioned having the chance to work with the Stripes director as well as his son Jason Reitman. She starred in one of her best movies - the cult classic Juno, which was directed by the younger Reitman. Like Garner, the younger Reitman spoke out on what his father would want the most by making a statement on Twitter. He referred to the late director as his “hero” while thanking fans and friends for the condolences. His tribute came on the heels of multiple stars like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Ernie Hudson, and Carrie Coon telling stories of their time with the older Reitman.

Hearing stories of Ivan Reitman the man puts his film contributions in perspective. Late-night host Jimmy Kimmell illustrated Reitman's impact by posting a sweet Halloween photo of his son as Ghostbusters' Peter Venkman. Hopefully, more stories will come out as Reitman’s memory continues to live on.

A boy from Greenwood, South Carolina. CinemaBlend Contributor. An animation enthusiast (anime, US and international films, television). Freelance writer, designer and artist. Lover of music (US and international).