For many, the fourth season of The O.C. was a marked departure from past years–and that was a good thing. The show took a step away from the melodrama and made a right on Comedy Lane. Much of the fresh humor came courtesy of one Autumn Reeser.
Reeser, who first appeared in the third season, was bumped up to regular status when The Powers That Be realized what fans had: this girl was a goldmine! As she won over Ryan’s heart, she won ours, too. In case you’ve forgotten why, our charming interview is sure to remind you.
TeenDramaWhore: What attracted you to the role of Taylor on The O.C.?
Autumn Reeser: I love what a go-getter she is, her quirky oddness, her knowledge of her flaws & ability to accept them. I felt an immediate affinity for her and I approached my audition with a lot of freedom. She has a zest & hunger for life and is extremely smart and well-read. She also takes herself way too seriously and is unintentionally hilarious–great fodder for an actor.
TDW: Taylor was known for having that quirky personality. Did you share any similarities with her?
Reeser: When I was little, I stood out (not in a good way, I thought) because I actually liked school, studying and learning, and took myself too seriously (like Taylor). A couple kids even used to call me ‘Autumn Research’ which I thought was terrible at the time. I wish I was as smart as Taylor, though! I always thought she probably spoke at least 7 languages– in the 2 seasons I was on, I spoke French, Latin, Korean and Spanish. If the series had continued, I’d have loved to see the writers continue to play with that aspect of her personality, because those scenes were so much fun for me!
TDW: If you had to guess, where do you think Taylor is today? Is she with Ryan (Benjamin McKenzie)?
Reeser: As sad as it is for the fans, I don’t see Taylor and Ryan’s relationship working out in the long-run. I think she always thinks of him with happiness & a bit of fond regret, because he was her first love. But I think Taylor moved away from the O.C. and went into politics. She has a big personality, a ton of ambition and strong opinions, and I don’t think the O.C. could have held her in its grasp for long.
TDW: Are you still in touch with the cast?
Reeser: Rachel [Bilson, Summer] & Melinda [Clarke, Julie] and I stay in touch to some degree, and it’s always lovely when I happen to run into someone, but for the most part we’ve gone our separate directions. As an actor, you’re essentially changing jobs multiple times per year, and it’s rare to stay close friends with everyone you meet.
TDW: The O.C. has been your biggest TV role to date. Why do you think that is–was The O.C. that unique and successful or you haven’t found another show you want to commit for that long? (Or none of the above?)
Reeser: When The O.C. ended, I was at an odd mid-place in my career– not interested in playing high schoolers anymore, and too young-looking to play anyone my own age! I’ve always looked much younger than my age, and for a time that became a problem rather than an asset. In my personal acting study, I’ve constantly been working on challenging characters, but I found it hard to be seen for equally demanding roles in the industry. Finally this year it’s happened for me, I think largely because of my appearance on Entourage (as a junior TV agent who battles it out with Ari Gold). Ever since then I’ve had some amazing auditions with fully-fleshed out fabulous characters, and I can’t wait for one of those to be the right fit for me. I’m having a great time looking for the right one!
TDW: Tell me about your character in Smokin Aces 2. Anyone with AK-47 in their name has to be the complete opposite of Taylor, right?
Reeser: I got such a kick out of this role. One of my favorite things about acting has always been playing characters that seem far outside of myself, and then finding my pathway into who they are. In this case, Kaitlyn “AK-47” Tremor is a malicious, bleached-blonde, tattooed, hillbilly criminal who does absolutely nothing redeeming in the entire movie. Mostly she kills people. I learned how to handle 5 different weapons, had a gold tooth, and found my inner darkness playing her. It was such a fun challenge and will be so fun for people to get a chance to see me in this type of role. I haven’t seen the finished film yet, but I had a blast preparing & performing this part!
TDW: What exactly is The Thrilling Adventure & Supernatural Suspense Hour? I got chills just typing it!
Reeser: This is a live 1930s-style radio show that I perform with. We perform at M-Bar in Hollywood the second weekend of every month and they are serialized ‘programs’ (nothing actually goes out on air; it’s all intended for the audience there), in the style of 1930s, 40s and 50s radio programs. The characters reoccur, but the scenarios are different every month. It’s a great way for me to stay in touch with my stage roots, work with an incredible group of comedians/voice performers, sing, and work on coming up with more characters of my own. You can see photos, learn more and get tickets at: http://thrillingadventurehour.com/
TDW: What other projects are you working on? Any interest in going back to musical theater?
Reeser: I’m currently shooting a film called The Big Bang opposite Antonio Banderas. I play sort of a rockabilly chick with a passion for physics. My hair is chopped in a short black shag right now–I’m loving it! Fay is a free-spirited hippie mixed with a science geek, and I feel so blessed to be a part of what promises to be an incredible movie. It’s sort of a neo-film-noir and the way they’re shooting it is absolutely breathtaking. I’m really proud of my work in this one. I would love love love to return to my musical theater roots! I continue to study dance & voice and am hoping to find the right project to show off my chops sometime in 2010. There are some amazingly talented girls pursuing the movie musical field out there right now, like Julianne Hough, Kristen Bell [ed. note: Bell voices Gossip Girl on, um, Gossip Girl], and Jessica Biel, and I would LOVE to see Hollywood experience a musical theater resurgence. I think the time is ripe for it!
TDW: You’re one of many celebrities on Twitter, but even as the number continues to grow, each has their own reason for joining. What’s your reason? Why are you on Twitter?
Reeser: I joined Twitter as a way to connect with my fans & people who’ve supported my career through the years. And also because there were so many people on there pretending to be me, I thought the real one should at least be on there to speak for herself!