As the spitfire Trudy Cooper on ABC’s new summer series The Astronaut Wives Club, Odette Annable is a standout—no easy feat, considering she shares the screen with six other beautiful women. But more so than her exceptional onscreen performance, it’s the actress’s real-life affinity for effortless style and mixing high and low fashion that have us so intrigued. So we sat down with the beauty, now pregnant with her first child, to talk shop, everything from her show’s incredible costumes to the trick to making your wardrobe go the extra mile. Keep reading for our exclusive interview.
Credits: Suno Beaded Shirred Hem Dress ($550) in Black; Wwake Coupled Solitare Ring ($1320) in 14K Yellow Gold with Sapphires and Open Opal Ring ($440) in 14K Yellow Gold with Opal; Elizabeth and James Faye Bracelet ($198); Paul Andrew Manhattan Flats ($595).
Who What Wear: What makes The Astronaut Wives Club a great summer watch?
Odette Annable: I know you guys did a piece with Eric Daman, our costume designer. He has created this world in fashion for The Astronaut Wives that is really beautiful and incredible and still manages to be functional for the time, especially for my character Trudy Cooper. She was this real trailblazer, tomboy, and he managed to bring all of those colour palettes and make her look really beautiful and pulled together with cigarette pants. I think the fashion is a real draw, especially in the summertime, and it’s such an all-American show. Also, it’s just so entertaining. It’s based on a true story, and there’s a little bit of everything. And you’d think because of the title, The Astronaut Wives Club, that it would be a total chick show, but my husband is completely obsessed with it. I think it’s a very universal tale, and it’s shot so beautifully. You are just wrapped up in this world, this era that was so fascinating to people. They were the first celebrities really, and they were the first reality stars, so it’s pretty exciting.
WWW: What do you love about your character Trudy Cooper?
OA: She is so amazing. I’m so lucky to have been able to play such a great character. I mean, she was a real woman. I’ve done as much research as I can on Trudy Cooper. She was the only licensed pilot out of all of the wives, which is a pretty big feat back then. Her and her husband met when she was becoming a pilot in Hawaii, so all of her wardrobe is very influenced by Hawaii and those Hawaiian prints and stuff. She was a real modern thinker, and she had opinions and voiced them, and she didn’t just sit back and keep her mouth shut, which I really admire. I really related to her, and I was so excited to be able to portray this amazing, extraordinary woman.
WWW: Did you work with Eric Daman on Trudy’s look?
OA: I didn’t even need to. Eric is such a genius at what he does, and the moment that I saw his idea for Trudy and what her colour palette would be and silhouettes would be, it just made sense right away. And whenever we would try on something that wouldn’t quite fit, we just knew it: That’s not Trudy. I think that was very much the case for every character on the show. Everyone has their own specific look. With seven women to cover, you need to have something to differentiate each of them, and I think he did a beautiful job with that.
Credits: Temperley London Long Bertie Dress ($1795); Astley Clarke Peach Blush Nugget Biography Bracelet ($150), Biography White Agate & Diamond Lotus Beaded Friendship Bracelet ($325), Halo Drop Ring ($750) in White Gold, Halo Drop Ring ($750) in Rose Gold, and Halo Drop Ring ($750) in Yellow Gold; Gianvito Rossi Janis Low Wrap Around Sandals ($895) in Brown.
WWW: If you could take anything from Trudy’s closet, what would it be and why?
OA: You know, there was this timeless piece—and I’m so into dainty pieces of jewellery that I can wear daily—and Trudy had this little plane that she would wear, and it was right at the collarbone. I would wear it every single episode, and I wanted it so badly. You never really get to keep those things, but I think about it all the time. And I would wear that now. You know, I think Trudy’s style transcends into modern day so well.
WWW: How would you describe your style in real life?
OA: A little tomboy, clean, modern California chick. Throw in a little bohemian—that’s me!
WWW: What’s your summer style staple?
OA: Well now that I am pregnant, my style has changed a little bit, but I think it’s really important to work with the wardrobe you have and make it functional for everything. You’re always going to fluctuate in weight and all that stuff, so I think it’s important to get a little creative with your wardrobe. You save some money, and it’s a fun process. I’m living in dresses these days. You can really fudge different ways to make yourself still look stylish and fashionable while you’re pregnant, and comfortable, because that’s the main thing. I’ve always been very conscious about staying in my financial lane when it comes to fashion, because you can get a little crazy and go everywhere, but I do think, ultimately, it’s great for people to invest in some really great pieces, because they really last. My Chloé studded Susanna Boots, I wear them all the time. I didn’t purchase them right away. I had my eye on them, and you know about a year later—I know when I can’t get something out of my head that’s when I need to have it, and usually those are the purchases I wear all the time and keep for years. I have a Céline bag that I wear all the time. It’s a cross-body, which is perfect for me, because I am no-fuss, which is very much like my character Trudy. I like to look put together and have timeless pieces. I think it’s important to mix the high and low.
WWW: Do you have any great shopping tips/secrets you can share?
OA: Mixing highs and lows, because you can make Forever 21 look very expensive with just little things. If you go with solids more than prints, solids tend to look more expensive than prints do, so if you look in my wardrobe, you’ll see a mix of high and low, but you’ll see mostly neutral colours, which I always think you can accessorize and make look more than the $20 you purchased it for.
WWW: Who are some of the people that have inspired you throughout your acting career?
OA: My very first job, ever, was the movie Kindergarten Cop. I was one of the little girls that spoke Spanish, so at about 5 years old, I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I knew I was having fun. And as the years progressed, I really started to love film and acting, and I would watch women like Meryl Streep and Judy Dench, and all of the greats, but the one woman—I mean, if I had my choice of who would play me in the movie of my life, it would be Sandra Bullock. I love her so much. I love everything that she represents. She is so inspiring. I love her career path, I love the choices that she makes. A producer that I work with, who is a very close friend of mine, Scott Rosenberg, said, “If you can bring the funny, you’re going to have a long-lasting career.” And I think Sandra Bullock has manifested all of that. Not only is she funny, she’s such a great dramatic actress. She’s just cool as sh*t! She always looks great and looks like she is having a fun time. The happiest girls are the prettiest girls, I think. That’s who I want to model my whole life after.
WWW: You just revealed you’re having a girl—congratulations! What are you most looking forward to about becoming a mother?
OA: When I found out I was pregnant, I had this overwhelming piece run through my body. It felt like the right time, and I’m so excited to become a mother, because I have such a great mother. If my daughter is half the woman that she is, I’ll be ok and she’ll be ok. So I’m just excited to raise this kid in this crazy life with my husband and see life in a new way. I feel like as the older you get, you get a little jaded, and you get comfortable and take things for granted, and seeing life through children is so invigorating and so new and puts everything into perspective. We’re both just really excited. My husband is such a kid himself; he was born to be a dad. So seeing him play with our friends’ kids, we’re just really excited for this next chapter.
WWW: What is your TV guilty pleasure?
OA: The Bachelorette, duh!
WWW: What song is currently playing on repeat?
OA: “Renegades” by X Ambassadors. I heard it on a commercial, and I was like, “Dave, this is my new favourite song.” And when I like a song, I overdo it and I ruin it and can never listen to it again.
WWW: What are you reading?
OA: Well, currently it’s all pregnancy. My doctor, who is fantastic, wrote this book called Expecting 411, and then she has one for baby and toddlers. It’s sort of the bible for pregnancy. Anytime I have a question, I don’t even have to call her, I just look it up and I’m set. There’s also this baby manual that is hilarious and is basically troubleshooting for kids.
Which stylish actress should we interview next? Sound off below!
Photographer: Justin Campbell
Hair: Christine Symonds
Makeup: Jamie Greenberg
Stylist: Nicole Akhtarzad