Autumn Reeser Interview On 'No Ordinary Family,' 'The O.C.'
Autumn Reeser starred on Entourage and The O.C., and now she's back on TV in the new ABC superhero dramedy No Ordinary Family.
Born in 1980, Reeser capitalized on her talent at a very young age. She performed at a musical theater at the age of six in her hometown Jolla, California. After graduating from college, she moved to Los Angeles where she wished to study at The University of California, Los Angeles. She is now living in Hollywood with her husband Jesse Warren, a writer and director, who produced The Barren Way. Best known for her role in The O.C. as Taylor Townsend, a young overachiever with a troubled homelife, Reeser has appeared in various other television series such as FX's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, CBS's Ghost Whisperer, TNT's Raising the Bar and HBO's Entourage.
On No Ordinary Family, Reeser plays the lab technician, dating the series' supervillain, The Watcher. "Obviously, it’s a very different character from Entourage, but it’s a character I’m really comfortable with," she told Uinterview exclusively. "I like this character a lot because I think she’s a Doogie Howser-esque character in a way The Watcher."
Obviously, it’s a very different character from Entourage, but it’s a character I’m really comfortable with. I like this character a lot because I think she’s a Doogie Howser-esque character in a way. She was a prodigy at a young age, so she spent most of her time with adults in a classroom in a science lab, and she missed out on a lot of basic social interactions that normal people get growing up. So I think that makes her very vulnerable and very appealing, because she’s a little off. And she certainly knows who she is in one aspect, but there are whole parts of herself that she’s never really explored yet. And I think that leaves the door right open for a lot of fun storylines.
Ha! You know, I never watched Lost, so I didn’t even connect the two.
She’s very open. She’s not guarded. She doesn’t know how to be. She hasn’t learned that really. She never learned that growing up. She wasn’t around situations that forced her — like in junior high we learned to put up walls, because it’s brutal for everybody. I don’t think she had that experience, so she doesn’t automatically protect herself. She’s very childlike in that way. She’s very open to life and its experiences. I mean she’s a scientist, she’s curious. She has an innate curiosity, and that I think is lovely about her.
We get along so well. I love working with Julie. She is funny. I don’t think she thinks she’s funny, but she’s a funny girl. We were just busting up last night. We worked 'til like 2 in the morning. We just get giddy. There’s a point where you’ve worked so much that you kind of lose your mind, in a good way, and it probably wouldn’t even be funny if I told you about it now, but last night we thought we were hilarious.
The special effects stuff is really fun. Like when we were doing some snooping, we call it, when we run super-speed, last night. So they bring in these guys with these high-powered little wind-squirters, that they blow my hair with. And they hide in weird places around the set, so they can’t be seen by the cameras. So it’s just kind of ridiculous-looking. Just these two dudes hanging under a table.
So fun. He doesn’t hold back. And that for me, as an actor, that’s thrilling when you’re with someone who has a lot of confidence and a lack of hesitation, because I find acting very freeing. I’m a bit of a perfectionist in life and a bit controlling, and that doesn’t exist for me in acting. Acting is a place where I can just play and have a lot of freedom. And I improvise a lot and it’s just the place that I feel the most free – so when I’m acting with somebody that takes the jump with me, it’s so much fun.
There are elements. I’m certainly ambitious. But I’ve learned a lot from this character because she’s so unapologetic about who she is and what she wants. She stands up for what she wants, and I learned a lot about myself that way, because I don’t think I was as willing to do that in life, because it can make you unpopular. You know, particularly women are taught to be nice and polite, and she had none of that. There are elements of that that are a good thing.
I mean, I think every actor has an element of themselves in every character that they play, but not particularly.
It was an amazing experience for me because I came on, and the character was intended to be a four-episode guest star, and it turned into 16 episodes that first season and a series regular role the last season. So that was unbelievable. I think it was exactly the type of show I hoped to be on. And I loved my character. I like Taylor a lot. She has similarities to Katie, but it’s weird because Taylor’s younger than the character I’m playing right now but in a way she was older. Katie is emotionally younger than Taylor was. Taylor was unapologetic in her own way. She was weird and that was ok. And she was sexual and that was ok. And even though she was an outsider, she was very comfortable with the person that she was. And I think a generation of girls took a lot away from that. She had some good lessons to teach.
We are on episode 8. We have a 12-episode commitment and hopefully we’ll get the whole season.
No, this is my project right now.