She’s no stranger to portraying badass women onscreen, from an assassin to a single mother/villain, but truth be told, actress Odette Annable is every bit as badass in real life as the characters she’s played. She’s also super down to earth, extremely hard working, fiercely funny and the epitome of #momgoals. Like, for instance, she forgot to pack her daughter’s lunch for school the other day. What’s more relatable than that!? We caught up with the Supergirl star to talk using her platform to promote change, why men absolutely should not be making laws about women’s bodies, fighting for (and winning!) equal pay at work, plus what feminism means to her and how she tries to lead by example at home.
Q: You and your husband both work in the entertainment business. How do you juggle crazy schedules and conquer the everyday chaos that is life with a three year old? Do you have help?
A: First and foremost, yes! We have help. We have a wonderful nanny who has become very much a part of our family. We all work together to create a happy, loving home and life for Charlie. As two actors, we wouldn’t be able to do it without help. There’s a reason why the phrase, “it takes a village” is so commonly used. Because it’s real. Dave and I work as a team and try to find time for each other as a couple alone and also as a family and also as individuals. It’s all about balance and team work and COMMUNICATION. Without that, it would all fall apart.
Q: What initially inspired you to get into acting? What do you love most about your job?
A: I started acting when I was four! I was very introverted as a kid so there was a family friend whose kid was acting and my parents thought it would be a good way for me to meet kids my age and help me with some social skills. And so that’s how it happened. I went in for my first audition and it was for Kindergarten Cop. I continued to act throughout my childhood here and there because I genuinely loved it and my parents never forced me into anything. People tend to look at the “glitz and glam” and overlook all of the hard work that goes into getting a job in this town, or keeping a job for that matter. It’s constant rejection, and it’s tough, but I truly feel like this is what I am meant to do, at least for now. I get to explore humanity through different characters, which helps me grow and learn, two things I never want to stop doing.
Q: You play a single mom in the CW series Supergirl. As a real life (married) mama, what superpowers would you say you possess? And what’s one superpower you wish you had as a parent?
A: I would say I have a very good balance of work life, family life and me time. I have found a way to make it all work and still have time for myself, which makes me a better mama. That’s my superpower. I wish I had more patience. I get frustrated easily and need to allow more space for fails and bad moods and tantrums. Those get to me.
Q: Girl power seems to be a reoccurring theme in your life, from the roles you play on screen to the brands you love in real life, like the female owned and operated DÔEN. What does feminism mean to you, especially now as a mother? And what feminist values do you hope to instill in your daughter Charlie?
A: Feminism to me means equality. It means owning your power graciously every day. I try to lead by example with Charlie. Some things don’t need to be explained, they need to be shown. My hope is for Charlie to see that confidence is quiet and insecurities are loud. That everyone is equal and deserves to be respected. That we are allowed to have a difference in opinions and still be peers. And at the end of the day I’d love for her to look up to me like I look up to my mom. Still working on it.
Q: Most badass female you’ve ever played (or would love to play)?
A: I have been so fortunate in my career to have been able to play a myriad of badass women. There was a Native American assassin name Nola Longshadow that will always hold a special place in my heart and a little piece also goes to the Sam/Reign characters that I had the good fortune of living with for a full year. Supergirl was probably the most fun I’ve had as far as playing characters. I played two different people, sometimes in one day. A loving, hard working single mother and then the baddest of all villains. I can honestly say that I don’t feel like I’ve ever “worked” a day in my life. I’m very grateful.
Q: Your career path as an actress means you’re also in the public eye. What’s it like raising a child in “Hollywood”?
A: She has no idea I’m an actress and Dave’s an actor. Not because we don’t want her knowing, it’s because truly, acting is our job. It’s not our life. We do not let work take over our conversations at home. We make sure to keep things real and very grounded for her and for ourselves since this business can be such a grind.
Q: How has having a family influenced your success, for better or worse?
A: Having a family has 100% influenced my success for the better. My priorities are straight. I don’t have time to take on any projects that aren’t meaningful or that don’t make sense for our life. Every decision we make is based around our family, and we make sacrifices where we need to keep it together. So I end up only working on projects that I truly love and am invested in. The choices have become very clear.
Q: Let’s talk about the gender wage gap in Hollywood for a second, an issue you’ve been pretty open about in past interviews. Have you noticed any progress in recent years, and how do you personally fight for what you think is fair?
A: For the very first time a couple months ago I was paid the very same amount as my male co-star. And I’ll tell you what, it felt really good and deserved. I work really hard. I have a great work ethic and women should be paid the same amount for the same work. And I did, and I will fight for it any chance I get. Because it’s important for our future generations.
Q: You recently shared a post from @shopdoen challenging the controversial new abortion laws in Alabama and several other states. As a public figure, do you feel a certain responsibility to use your platform to help spread awareness and promote change, particularly when it comes to such important women’s issues (and our bodies!)?
A: ABSOLUTELY. I feel a responsibility to use my voice and fight for what I believe in. Which is that men should not be making laws about women’s bodies. It is our choice. It should stay that way.
Q: On a lighter note, describe your personal style in three words?
A: Minimal. California. And I don’t think I’m chic, but I’d like to be!
Q: Three things you never leave home without?
A: Sunglasses, reusable water bottle, and Kosas baseline lip fuel.
Q: Best career advice you’ve ever received?
A: Don’t give up.
Q: Best parenting advice?
A: Be present. That’s hard to do sometimes, especially living in the world of social media when distractions are at an all time high, but being present for your child is the most important thing. Put the phone down and spend quality time. You’ll never regret it.
Q: Any epic #momfail moments that stand out?
A: I have a mom fail every single day. I’ll do the one that happened today. Forgot to make and take her lunch to school today. Whoops.
Q: You’ve got a pretty big following on social media! Have you ever been mom shamed? And if so, how do you handle it?
A: I have really, really gracious and nice fans and followers. I’ve never been mom shamed, but I have had people throw out their unsolicited opinions about politics and that can get nasty. I try to stay the course and not let it get to me. I’m all for a healthy debate, but sometimes people cross a line and they get blocked.
Q: Favorite local store?
A: Neighborhood coffee shop. The most beautiful coffee shop!
Q: Favorite date night spot?
A: I love a restaurant called The Little Door. So beautiful and the food is incredible!
Q: Favorite way to unwind after a long day at work?
A: A glass of tequila on the rocks, a hot shower, a bath robe and a great movie.
Q: Favorite womenswear brands?
A: Dôen all the way! They make the most beautiful dresses and pretty much every piece transitions from day to night effortlessly. I love, love the brand so much.
Q: Favorite kid’s brands?
A: Dôen for kids as well!! And Rylee and Cru and H&M and Zara kids is also incredible.
Q: What makes you feel sexy?
A: A breezy summer evening with a breezy little dress sipping on a glass of crisp rosé with my best girlfriends maybe looking at an ocean? I feel like I just painted a real nice scene there. That would definitely make me feel sexy.