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Autumn Reeser now calls Hawai‘i home. Photography by The Hendershotts

Island Import

by Kai Andersen | Hawai'i magazine | November 26, 2012

Ever since actress Autumn Reeser landed in the islands, she’s been feeling mighty fine. An L.A. resident since the age of 17, the former star of the hit series The O.C. has eased into a calmer pace of life without a hitch. “I’m feeling more centered, more feminine and more in touch with myself than I have in years,” she says. It’s this newfound force that she brings to Last Resort, ABC’s military thriller filmed in the islands. Though her latest role throws her into a web of danger, the top talent is no stranger to playing strong females, as she did on HBO’s Entourage. “I like playing powerful women because I learn from them,” she explains. “They force me to be stronger than I think I am, and, therefore, I get to uncover new layers of strength within myself.” Off-screen, Reeser is also a busy mom and the mastermind behind Move LifeStyle (movelifestyle.com), her blog that’s now a smart online mag for women. Now, didn’t we say that this heat-seeker was slowing down?

In Last Resort, you play Kylie Sinclair, the daughter of a defense contractor. What’s it like to portray someone who’s drawn into the world of weapons, conspiracies and cover-ups?
I was looking for a dramatic role I could sink my teeth into, and I certainly found it. Kylie has lived an expensive life of privilege and power and could easily sit back on her Hamptons throne while the world falls apart, but she finds herself inexplicably drawn toward uncovering the truth, even if it may unseat her from that very throne.

What is a typical day off for you while in Hawai‘i—especially when you have a toddler in tow?
Even though it’s easy for me to get caught up with tasks for Move [LifeStyle], part of our company philosophy is valuing work-life balance, so I try really hard to live that value and give myself permission to enjoy this amazing island! On a typical day off with my 1-year old son, we go to Kailua Beach for a morning of playing in the sand, then get groceries and lunch at Whole Foods. He loves their purple sweet potatoes!

You’re always showing off some smart outfit online. One look, for instance, paired a Helmut Lang tank with a white clutch... from Target! How do you define your personal style?
Aw, thanks! In Los Angeles, I love tomboy style—outfits that make me feel like I can go anywhere at a moment’s notice. In Hawai‘i, I favor a laid-back, slightly preppy look—lots of neutrals, stripes, shorts and ballerina buns.