Hallmark’s Autumn Reeser Ready to Reveal ‘Who I Really Am’

Autumn Reeser

Heavy/Hallmark Hallmark actress Autumn Reeser

Longtime Hallmark star Autumn Reeser is opening up about the “spiritual awakening” she’s experienced over the past decade, fueled in part by her 2014 divorce, and says she feels ready to show up in the world as her most authentic self. In a new podcast interview, the 42-year-old actress spoke in-depth for the first time about the inner journey she’s been on over the last decade.

“Just to have a conversation like this is so vulnerable for me,” she told Jessie Herman, host of the “Some Kind of Mystic” podcast, in an episode released on June 23, 2023.

Reeser, who’s co-starred in Hallmark’s hugely successful “Wedding Veil” movie series, spent the hour-long podcast retracing her steps and recalling how much she’s grown in recent years, becoming more confident in using her voice to express what she wants and needs, and feeling more spiritually connected.

One of her biggest challenges lately, she revealed, is navigating social media in ways that feel authentic and safe for her. While she wants to be honest and open about her views and experiences, Reeser said it’s nerve-wracking to do so after years of being critiqued for every move she makes.

Autumn Reeser Reveals How She’s Grown Since Her Divorce

Jesse Warren, Autumn Reeser

GettyFormer spouses Jesse Warren and Autumn Reeser in 2011

Reeser, who first rose to fame on the final two seasons of ‘The O.C.,” per IMDb, married actor/producer Jesse Warren in 2009 after meeting nine years earlier while she was attending UCLA, according to Us Weekly. The couple had two boys — Finneus “Finn” James, now 12, and Dashiell “Dash” Ford, 9 —  but the actress filed for divorce after five years of marriage, per People.

Going through a divorce with young children was heart-wrenching for the star, but she’d reached a point when she knew the relationship was not healthy for her anymore. When Herman asked what she would tell her 29-year-old self now if she could, Reeser responded, “Speak up about all the things that are not working.”

“I would say that with compassion to myself because that was very hard at the time and the situation I was in made it hard,” Reeser said. “It wasn’t until I got into therapy, maybe like a year and a half after that, and my therapist really had to (convince me), ‘You’re allowed to speak up about what you want, and you’re allowed to change your mind. And something that worked for you in your relationship a year ago and doesn’t work now, you’re allowed to change your mind and you’re allowed to say, ‘Hey, this needs to be different, this isn’t working.’ Because I think by the time I did speak up, it was so far established in the relationship as the norm that it was very hard to change.”

Reeser continued, “Looking back, there were so many things that I would have liked to see be different that I was afraid to speak to and I wasn’t sure if I had the right to feel what I felt, what I wanted. I didn’t trust myself. I was afraid if I said, ‘Oh hey, I need you to be an equal partner in this way,’ I would be seen as selfish. And now I look back and I’m like, ‘That is just a normal, healthy relationship that you’re asking for.'”

In 2022, she told Style Girlfriend that she hopes to teach her boys to be good partners to their future spouses.

“Mutual respect is key, “she said. “Listen to each other, talk to each other and learn to disagree without name-calling or diminishing the other person. Nobody gets along all the time, so the way you treat each other in times of anger and stress is incredibly important. I try really hard to model this for my boys, especially when I’m angry or tired myself. I consider the effort it takes to be an investment in our relationship.”

While the breakup of her marriage was a dark time in her life, Reeser told Herman on the podcast that she also went through a phase of difficulty during the pandemic, beginning three years ago. While the challenges facing her were hard, she said on the podcast, she now sees that going through that helped to transform her and her life even more.

“My whole life did change since then,” Reeser said, adding that she now tries to look at hardships as opportunities or invitations for personal growth, which allows her to actually be grateful for it.

“Even when I’m having a challenge in my life, (I’m) understanding that it’s all part of the curriculum,” she said. “This is teaching me something and how can I stay in my center in this moment? How can I approach this as a spiritual teaching as opposed to ‘I can’t believe this person is showing up like this, like why do I have to deal with this?’ Instead, it’s coming back to that place of gratitude.”

When Reeser was promoting her Hallmark movie “The 27-Hour Day” in 2021, she told MediaVillage, “Much of my journey has been about learning how to be present and learning how to be a ‘human being’ instead of a ‘human doing.’ That’s what’s happening in this story. It’s really personal to me. Our culture invites us as a distraction to focus on the external when the real journey is internal.”

Autumn Reeser Says She’s ‘Learning to Navigate’ Social Media More Authentically

Reeser, who frequently shares inspirational memes and quotes in her Instagram Stories, told Herman that social media is one of the toughest areas for her to show up as authentically as she wants to without letting other people’s opinions deflate or define her.

“To be honest, I’m still in the process of figuring that out,” she said. “The challenging part about being in the public eye is so many opinions. And because I started young, so many opinions from a young age before I was established in myself.”

“We’re all experiencing this piece of it that I’m about to say to some degree,” she continued. “You post something online, everyone has an opinion! Like, I can just post something and somebody’s like, ‘Why does your eyebrow look like that? I like your hair shorter.’ The internet can be really hard to navigate because sometimes you’re just not in the mood. Like, imagine everyday you stand up in front of, like, your classroom, like you’re in high school, and everyone just tells you what they think about what you’re wearing.”

“As I’m stepping more into my truth and authenticity,” she said, “I’m learning to navigate that in a way that feels safe to my nervous system.”

Reeser talked about spending years of building up invisible layers of protection around her, thinking that if she showed up a certain way or hid specific truths about herself, she’d be more well-liked and not have to deal with criticism.

“What I am finding is it just feels so much better in my body to be where I am truthfully, in my imperfection,” she said. “Because I think that’s the message that so many of us need to hear. We live in a culture that tells us that we’re broken for being human.”

“I want to start showing up without all the coats, and without all the armor, because I think that’s what is needed right now,” she continued. “I think that’s what we all are learning how to do. So if somebody can watch my process and say, ‘Oh, that’s what that looks like’ and start to feel that in their own body and it can give them courage to take off a couple of their coats or suits of armor, then … I can’t imagine anything better to do with my day.”