J.J. Abrams Fought To Cast Jennifer Garner In Alias


J.J. Abrams and Jennifer Garner went on to accomplish great things in the industry, which may never have happened had Alias not hit big at the turn of the millennium. The action-packed espionage series premiered in September 2001 after Abrams had spent years honing the concept, and it quickly became a major success.

Garner headlined the show as Sidney Bristow, an all-American student leading a triple life as standout academic, CIA operative and double agent tasked by the SD-6 organization to infiltrate the government, but later seasons introduced some more outlandish and far-fetched elements that brought it closer to the realms of science fiction.

It was only Abrams’ second small screen project, and the biggest role of Garner’s career to date. The first season saw both of them rewarded, with the leading lady landing a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Drama Series, while the creator and executive producer was shortlisted in the Best Television Series – Drama category.

Much of the cast have reunited to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Alias, where executive producer Jeff Pinker revealed that Abrams had to fight hard with the network to have Garner cast as Sidney.

“J.J. had to fight to have her cast in the lead. ABC at the time was not interested. She had played a very small role in Felicity as a much different sort of girl who’s awkward in her own skin. So J.J. fought for her. I think she blew everyone away with her dedication.”


We’ve heard talk of a revival or reboot in the past, which Garner said she’d be keen on if Bradley Cooper got involved, but maybe the 20th anniversary of Alias will plant a few ideas in the heads of network or streaming executives to try and get something off the ground.