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You probably know Autumn Reeser best as the teen queen ‘Taylor Townsend’ in the final two seasons of The OC. This season we’re catching a lot of her on the small screen, both as Jr. agent Lizzie Grant in Entourage, and as the lab assistant, ‘Katie’, in No Ordinary Family opposite Michael Chiklis and Julie Benz.


Although Cinderella inspired her to get into theatre at a very young age, it was on Star Trek: Voyager where she landed her first paying gig. The UCLA theatre major was clearly destined for an acting career. Recently, she was on the big screen in the prequel Smokin Aces 2: Assassins Ball and MTV’s made-for-TV musical The American Mall, she’s starred in the horror film Lost Boys 2: The Tribe, and wrapped production on the independent film Possessions and on The Big Bang opposite of Antonio Banderas, to name but a few of her projects. She swings by PopMatters 20 Questions to discuss, among other things, an impulsive tendency to organize closets in her spare time.


1. The latest book or movie that made you cry?
Does YouTube’s “Double Rainbow” count?  Otherwise it would be Michael Chabon’s novel, The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay.


2.  The fictional character most like you?
I relate to Nora’s transformation in Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House and I also relate to both sisters’ journeys in John Madden’s film, Proof.


3.  The greatest album, ever?
No idea. Probably something by the Beatles.  I’m pathetic.


4. Star Trek or Star Wars?
Trek.  Wil Wheaton, Patrick Stewart, and Jonathan Frakes were all the early formidable crushes of my girlhood.


5.  Your ideal brain food?
My sister’s book blog, The Instant Librarian. A night with my girlfriends. A brainstorming walk with my husband. A day of rehearsal.


6. You’re proud of this accomplishment, but why?
Methodically teaching myself for years how to cook, and then going ‘off-roading’ from recipes.  I love food and am very good at improvising when preparing it—it’s a really creative experience for me. 


Baking is another story. I officially gave that up this year because I realized that it’s just too constricting for me—I feel punished by having to follow the instructions to a ‘t’.


7. You want to be remembered for ...?
My passion and creative energy.


8. Of those who’ve come before, the most inspirational are?
Those who persevere in the face of tragedy, poverty, cruelty, opposition, or oppression, and seek to support and inspire others even when they feel uninspired or unsupported themselves.


9.  The creative masterpiece you wish bore your signature?
The window displays at Anthropologie.


10.  Your hidden talents . . .?
Organizing.  Particularly people’s closets.  I love to simplify and edit the contents of just about anything, but women’s closets hold particular appeal to me.  I edit mine about four times a year and hold a yearly ‘Clothing Swap’ to encourage my girlfriends to do the same.


11. The best piece of advice you actually followed?
“Put on your big girl pants”—Advice my makeup artist gave to her mother when an unpleasant task needed doing.  It works for so many things: when a task is boring; when you feel tired or afraid; or when you just don’t feel like doing something.  You just tell yourself to put on your big girl pants and do it.


12. The best thing you ever bought, stole, or borrowed?
A beautiful and ‘borrowed’ Barbie wedding dress from my friend Shaundra, age nine.  I still have it.  Sorry, Shaundra.


13.  You feel best in Armani or Levis or…?
A lightweight tank over Joe’s jeans with a pair of ballerina flats or high boots.


14. Your dinner guest at the Ritz would be?
Oscar Wilde, Mae West and Mark Twain for their wit, Ernest Hemmingway for his understated and sensual enjoyment of food, Carolina Herrera for her aesthetics and beauty, and Martha Stewart for her appreciation of the pleasures of the table.


15.  Time travel: where, when and why?
Woodstock.  Because it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and completely and solely of its time.


16. Stress management: hit man, spa vacation or Prozac?
Hiking with my man and our dogs.


17. Essential to life: coffee, vodka, cigarettes, chocolate, or . . .?
Sleep and friends.


18.  Environ of choice: city or country, and where on the map?
City for work and living: Los Angeles or New York. Countryside for inspiration: France or New Zealand.


19. What do you want to say to the leader of your country?
Thank you for marrying a strong woman and for supporting her strength, her choices, and her femininity.


20.  Last but certainly not least, what are you working on, now?
No Ordinary Family, an hour action-comedy-family drama on ABC.

Karen Zarker, Sr. Ed. at PopMatters, works with a talented array of writers in Features, Columns, Books, DVDs, blogs -- and wherever else on the magazine she's needed. She manages the PopMatters Books Series, and also holds many behind-the-scenes operational responsibilities. She can be reached at zarker(at)popmatters.com.


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