March 8th, 2011 by thetvchick
Before it premiered, many were dubbing No Ordinary Family “The Incredibles” in TV form. I was very intrigued by the cast (Michael Chiklis, Julie Benz, Autumn Reeser, Kay Panabaker) so I decided to check it out. It started out as an intriguing portrait of an extraordinary family and as the season continued, it really found its voice. It airs in a tough time slot on a tough night but through it all, I find myself looking forward to this show week after week. One of the reasons I look forward to it so much is the role of Katie, Stephanie Powell’s (Benz) quirky, sweet assistant played by Autumn Reeser (perhaps known best for playing Taylor Townsend on “The O.C.”). I recently had the chance to talk with Reeser (who is expecting her first child) about her time on the hit teen-soap, being drawn to the geek heroine types and what is coming up for Katie.
Before we start talking about your great new show, No Ordinary Family, I must confess that I loved Taylor Townsend on The OC. She was so quirky but she totally owned it.
That’s what I loved about her too. She was just unabashedly who she was. She was okay with that. She knew she was weird, and she didn’t care.
And what was your experience like working on that show?
It was an amazing experience for me, it really was. Because it was my first really lasting job. And I loved that character a lot, and they really wrote great stuff for me, great material. And I had a lot of fun with it.
Did you have a favorite episode?
A favorite episode… I liked the Dream Lover. Because I got to play all these fantasy versions of Taylor. And that was pretty fun. And the Chrismukk-huh? — because we existed in an alternate reality for the entire episode. And the stuff with my French husband was ridiculous and ridiculously fun.
Absolutely. And I’m loving your new show No Ordinary Family. There are definitely shades of Taylor in Katie. Is that the type of character you are drawn to?
Apparently, I do socially awkward well. (laughs) So I think those characters tend to find me, in a way. And I think a lot of that is just because I definitely relate to that. I relate to being somebody who doesn’t quite fit in. Because that was certainly my entire experience in Junior High. Just going “What is going on?” That’s what I remember thinking every day. “What is happening?? Who are these people??”
Why are they like this??
Exactly! “What’s wrong with them??”
Is that something that drew you to Katie — being able to relate to her?
Yeah. I had an immediate understanding and affinity for Katie, just like I did for Taylor. I had a similar reaction where I read the audition sides a few times and immediately felt “Oh I know who this is.” And I think they’re both different, because in a way, even though Taylor was younger, she’s much more sexually experienced and much more of a sexual being. She’s very comfortable with that side of herself. Whereas you have Katie, who has spent her entire life in a science lab, and just ignored that side of herself, basically. Other than fantasies while watching “Battlestar Galactica.” But other than that, the sexual world is new to Katie. And the romantic world is new to Katie. And Katie is a bit of a romantic. So it’s all new discoveries for her. Whereas Taylor was into threesomes (laughs).
Are you a big fan of the superhero genre?
That’s a good question. I don’t watch much TV in general. Not because I don’t want to, it’s the time. I watched “Heroes.” I don’t know. I would say…yeah, sure.
I was reading that if you could have any super power it would be the ability to fly, so I wanted to know why.
Oh my gosh, it would be so helpful in LA. For example, yesterday, we were going to a doctor’s appointment for the baby, and getting off the off ramp — which is half a mile — took us half an hour. Those moments it would be extremely handy to have the power of flight.
Makes sense. I think most people would want the power to fly.
I think so too. And I think if you were having a stressful day, you could take a time out.
Take a little fly….
Exactly. Take a fly. Take a deep breath.
Definitely. We recently saw a sad turn of events for Katie’s love life when she broke it off with Joshua. So is there hope for her romantic life or their relationship?
It was sad. Is there hope for Katie’s romantic life? I hope so! Poor Katie! Yes, there is. We will see more of Katie’s complicated romantic life and it will continue to be complicated and it will get more complicated this season. Because you are going to find out that she’s pregnant.
I was just about to ask about that! Because they are writing your own pregnancy into the show and I’m glad to see you won’t be holding up purses or sitting behind a desk.
Yeah! Me too!
So how is that going to work? Her first sexual experience got her pregnant which is kind of crazy.
Yes! That’s pretty much exactly what happens.
Is she going to be happy or upset about the situation?
Pregnancy is not something that Katie ever considered. So she’s really sidelined by it. Extremely thrown. I think at first, she doesn’t really know what she’s going to do. She’s never thought about it. But Katie dealing with an unexpected pregnancy makes for some really good television I think.
Yeah, absolutely. And I know you can’t spoil a lot but can you tease a little bit of what’s coming up for Katie. Will she get more involved with Stephanie’s work?
I wish I would get memos about what I can talk about. If I ran a television show, that’s what I would do. I would send out weekly memos that say “talk about this, don’t talk about this.”
Yeah definitely. And you work really closely with Julie Benz who is also one of my favorites. What has that been like for you?
Aww. She’s so fun. She’s a funny lady. She has a great sense of humor. I enjoy working with her.
Have you learned anything about science on No Ordinary Family?
I would say I’ve learned more about comic books and comic book references and comic book characters than I have about science.
And there’s a ton of sci-fi dramas out there right now. What do you think makes No Ordinary Family stand out from the others?
I think the fact that it’s a family show. It’s about a family. The whole family has superpowers. And that’s pretty original.
I think so too! And you are a very active Twitter user. You even have a twitter account for your baby –
I do! That was my husband’s idea! I think it’s adorable.
Have you connected with a lot of fans through Twitter? Have you gotten any interesting fan reactions to Katie?
Yes. I love Twitter for that reason because it allows me to connect. A couple days ago, I had a strange rash of marriage proposals, in one day. (laughs) It happened to be the day that my husband was trying to explain to his mother what Twitter was by showing her my Twitter page.
And they were both (laughs) I guess, shocked by the amount of people proposing to me. As was I! I was like “What is special about this Friday?” It’s after Valentine’s Day, it’s not really a special day. I still have no explanation for it. The fact that I’m already married and knocked up — that’s not a deterrent for anybody? And I’ve got a lot of fans from Brazil. And they all want me to say hi to Brazil.
And so I do.
To the whole country…
Yes, to the whole country. I have not been. But it’s a place I would like to visit. I know I would be able to find some friends if I ever made it out to Brazil.
And obviously, in TV it’s a big ratings game…and I don’t think No Ordinary Family is doing that bad…but is that something the cast pays attention to?
We’re definitely aware of the ratings. You have to be. There’s nothing you can do about it. I tweet when the show is on. I do as much press for it as I can. But outside of that, it’s sadly out of my control.
Are the writers treating the end of season 1 as if there will be a season 2?
The last episode of season 1 is called “No Ordinary Beginning.” And it really sets up a great season 2. It’s a great premise that it sets us up for, if we are lucky enough to get a season 2.
It’s good to hear that there will be big things leading up to season 2.
Yeah. The last few episodes are just killer. From here on out, it’s just a great ride.
From episode one until now, it’s really found its voice.
Yeah. I agree.
And lastly, are there any projects that you have coming up that fans can see you in?
I have a movie coming out in May called “The Big Bang” with Antonio Banderas. It’s sort of a neo-noir thriller modern detective story. And it’s a very different character for me.
No Battlestar references?
This character is also a bit of an information geek. She’s actually a physics groupie.
So still in your wheelhouse.
Yeah, exactly. I still had to learn a lot of scientific an technical terms, for this one as well. Which is great. It’s kind of like I still go to school. It’s great.
No Ordinary Family airs Tuesday nights at 8 pm on ABC.Tweet