The World Premiere of Disney's
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day - Actors Steve Carell (L) and Jennifer Garner attend the after party on October 6, 2014 in Hollywood, California ©2014 Disney, photo by Alberto E Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney

Based on the classic children’s book of the same name, Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, opens on October 10th. The Disney film follows the exploits of 11-year-old Alexander Cooper (Ed Oxenbould) as he experiences the worst day of his life.

But for the rest of his family, including his mother, Kelly (Jennifer Garner), and father, Ben (Steve Carrel), it’s the next day that turns into a total disaster.

Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner spoke of their new family film at the press day for the movie.

How do you lift up your kids’ spirits when they have a bad day and let them know it’s not so bad?

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day - Jennifer Garner and Steve Carell
Alexander – Kelly Cooper (Jennifer Garner) and Ben Cooper (Steve Carrel) are mom and dad to 11 year old Alexander. Also pictured is Zoey/Elise Vargas ©2014 Disney Enterprises, photo by Dale Robinette

Steve: You know, my wife and I go through this from time to time and part of the challenge for us is not being overly sensitive to our kids having good or bad days because you can drive your kids crazy by saying “Are you okay? Is everything all right?

At least tell me what’s going on.” Sometimes, they might be having a privately bad day and you just want to work through it yourself and you don’t want your parents trying to make it better.

Ultimately, we’re not always going to be there to make it better. Like if they get assigned to a class that doesn’t have all their best friends in it, allow them to make new friends.

Life is going to hand you twists and turns. You can’t make every day a great day. It’s just not realistic.

Jennifer, you’ve played moms before. What do you think is the key to playing a convincing mom?

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day - Jennifer Garner
Alexander – Kelly Cooper (Jennifer Garner). ©2014 Disney Enterprises, photo by Dale Robinette

Jennifer: Have I tracked what it is to be a great mom? No, but that’s the great thing about being a parent; every day is a fresh start. You always can say “Today, we’re gonna try this.” If it goes horribly you can say “Today we’re throwing that out and trying this.”

That’s part of what I like about being a mom in general. I have enjoyed this new world of playing moms. This little kid, whose mom is a teacher at my child’s school, said “Mrs. Affleck (Jen is married to Ben Affleck) is kind of like my mom. She gets to have a lot of other kids.” and I feel that way.

Steve, after doing The Office on TV for so long, with all adults, what was it like working with so many kids?

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day - Dylan Minnette, Steve Carell, Kerris Dorsey and Ed Oxenbould
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day – Anthony (Dylan Minnette), Ben (Steve Carell), Emily (Kerris Dorsey) and Alexander (Ed Oxenbould) ©2014 Disney Enterprises, photo by Dale Robinette

Steve: It was the worst (he laughs). No, it was great. They are so much fun, including the babies that were in this movie which we all fell in love with. I had nothing but love for these special, special little people.

Is there a danger to being too positive like the Coopers are?

Jennifer: Oh sure because you need to have a bad day and show kids that it’s okay to have the whole range of emotions.

You should have it all; rage and anger and sadness so that there is a lot of room for joy and happiness as well.

What do you hope families take away from this movie?

Jennifer: I do feel so excited that we get to be part of a real family movie. This is a movie that teenagers should like. I brought my 5-year-old to see it and she loved it too. Her favorite scene was Steve with the kangaroo.

I hope by the end of the film you feel more like a family when it reminds you that, whatever happens, you’re all going through it together.

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day - Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner
Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day – Steve Carell (plays Ben Cooper) and Jennifer Garner (plays Kelly Cooper) with journalists during the set visit ©2014 Disney Enterprises, photo by Dale Robinette

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day – SoundByte

As parents, Jennifer and Steve were asked if they could relate to the family scenario in the movie.