20 Questions: Autumn Reeser

On the small screen alone, Autumn Reeser is also known as ‘Taylor Townsend’ in the final two seasons of 'The OC'; as Jr. agent Lizzie Grant in 'Entourage', and as ‘Katie’, in 'No Ordinary Family', and here at PopMatters 20 Questions she's known as, well, the charming Autumn Reeser.

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.

From genre-busting electronic music to new highs in the ever-evolving R&B scene, from hip-hop and Americana to rock and pop, 2017's music scenes bestowed an embarrassment of riches upon us.

60. White Hills - Stop Mute Defeat (Thrill Jockey)

White Hills epic '80s callback Stop Mute Defeat is a determined march against encroaching imperial darkness; their eyes boring into the shadows for danger but they're aware that blinding lights can kill and distort truth. From "Overlord's" dark stomp casting nets for totalitarian warnings to "Attack Mode", which roars in with the tribal certainty that we can survive the madness if we keep our wits, the record is a true and timely win for Dave W. and Ego Sensation. Martin Bisi and the poster band's mysterious but relevant cool make a great team and deliver one of their least psych yet most mind destroying records to date. Much like the first time you heard Joy Division or early Pigface, for example, you'll experience being startled at first before becoming addicted to the band's unique microcosm of dystopia that is simultaneously corrupting and seducing your ears. - Morgan Y. Evans

Keep reading... Show less

The year in song reflected the state of the world around us. Here are the 70 songs that spoke to us this year.

70. The Horrors - "Machine"

On their fifth album V, the Horrors expand on the bright, psychedelic territory they explored with Luminous, anchoring the ten new tracks with retro synths and guitar fuzz freakouts. "Machine" is the delicious outlier and the most vitriolic cut on the record, with Faris Badwan belting out accusations to the song's subject, who may even be us. The concept of alienation is nothing new, but here the Brits incorporate a beautiful metaphor of an insect trapped in amber as an illustration of the human caught within modernity. Whether our trappings are technological, psychological, or something else entirely makes the statement all the more chilling. - Tristan Kneschke

Keep reading... Show less

Net Neutrality and the Music Ecosystem: Defending the Last Mile

Still from Whiplash (2014) (Photo by Daniel McFadden - © Courtesy of Sundance Institute) (IMDB)

"...when the history books get written about this era, they'll show that the music community recognized the potential impacts and were strong leaders." An interview with Kevin Erickson of Future of Music Coalition.

Last week, the musician Phil Elverum, a.k.a. Mount Eerie, celebrated the fact that his album A Crow Looked at Me had been ranked #3 on the New York Times' Best of 2017 list. You might expect that high praise from the prestigious newspaper would result in a significant spike in album sales. In a tweet, Elverum divulged that since making the list, he'd sold…six. Six copies.

Keep reading... Show less

Under the lens of cultural and historical context, as well as understanding the reflective nature of popular culture, it's hard not to read this film as a cautionary tale about the limitations of isolationism.

I recently spoke to a class full of students about Plato's "Allegory of the Cave". Actually, I mentioned Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" by prefacing that I understood the likelihood that no one had read it. Fortunately, two students had, which brought mild temporary relief. In an effort to close the gap of understanding (perhaps more a canyon or uncanny valley) I made the popular quick comparison between Plato's often cited work and the Wachowski siblings' cinema spectacle, The Matrix. What I didn't anticipate in that moment was complete and utter dissociation observable in collective wide-eyed stares. Example by comparison lost. Not a single student in a class of undergraduates had partaken of The Matrix in all its Dystopic future shock and CGI kung fu technobabble philosophy. My muted response in that moment: Whoa!

Keep reading... Show less

'The Art of Confession' Ties Together Threads of Performance

Allen Ginsberg and Robert Lowell at St. Mark's Church in New York City, 23 February 1977

Scholar Christopher Grobe crafts a series of individually satisfying case studies, then shows the strong threads between confessional poetry, performance art, and reality television, with stops along the way.

Tracing a thread from Robert Lowell to reality TV seems like an ominous task, and it is one that Christopher Grobe tackles by laying out several intertwining threads. The history of an idea, like confession, is only linear when we want to create a sensible structure, the "one damn thing after the next" that is the standing critique of creating historical accounts. The organization Grobe employs helps sensemaking.

Keep reading... Show less
Pop Ten
Mixed Media
PM Picks

© 1999-2017 All rights reserved.
Popmatters is wholly independently owned and operated.