Let’s travel back to November 7, 2018. Annie Wersching is talking to us on a host of subjects, ranging from her turn as baddie Emma Whitmore on beloved sci-fi drama Timeless to the reasons she adores Paris so much.
But the talented actress is also eight-plus months pregnant, so she’s got other things on her mind, too. “This is my third and my last one was two weeks early,” the former 24 and The Vampire Diaries star says. “I’m definitely at that place where it could be any minute [for delivery].”
Fast-forward to November 25, the day Archie is born. And while the eight-pound, nine-ounce bundle of joy is easily the most important new arrival to Wersching’s life, he’s far from the only one. The series-wrapping Timeless movie finally comes to NBC on December 20. The very next day, season two of the Marvel Cinematic Universe-based Runaways, where Wersching plays villainous mom Leslie Dean, debuts on Hulu.
“I’ll hopefully have a few months off just to be with the baby,” the L.A. resident says when asked about any upcoming roles. “We haven’t gotten our official word on season 3 of Runaways, but rumor is that we’ll start up again in April or so. I’d have a five-month-old by that time and get back at it.”
But don’t worry about the supermom too much during the acting hiatus this winter. As you’ll see in our interview, she knows plenty of secrets about keeping the little ones entertained and finding family fun in her SoCal backyard.
How do parents stay sane when they’re traveling with little children?
I feel like I’m a good person to ask this because I had to travel quite a bit with my middle one, the five-year-old, when I was working in Atlanta on Vampire Diaries. We were going back and forth a ton.
One thing for sure that I discovered, especially when they’re in that toddler phase and realize, “Oh my God, I could totally walk up and down that aisle,” is that finding a toy — it doesn’t have to be a brand-new toy or anything like that; it can be a brother’s toy — and wrap it up [is a good idea]. If it was a long flight, I’d have a toy that they’d never seen before, something new or some other toy they hadn’t seen in a while. That occupies them for a quite a while because it takes them a while to operate it and play with it. Have something to present to them.
Also, I was still nursing at the time, which is a godsend when you’re traveling. If the kid is making some noise, [you think] “Oh, time to eat. Pipe down.”
I think being well-rested yourself is important. If you don’t have the reserves and the patience to deal, [you’ll be in trouble]. You kinda have to be willing to just go with the flow. That’s hard to do if you aren’t well-rested.
You’ve built an incredible acting resume. What has the road been like?
Obviously, just being an actor in general is so fun for someone who likes to change it up and keep things interesting and fresh. I’ve just enjoyed how different my jobs have been, and how different my day-to-day working life is throughout the years.
Obviously, 24 was a huge and very exciting show to get. And that role of Renee Walker I just love so much. That’s definitely been a highlight because I was on it for so long. And she was such a badass.
But the biggest thing, if you’re really looking at the broad picture, is that my job gets to be different all of the time. I really love that. I get to travel to different places for work. Getting to work in L.A. and have some consistency once you have a family [has been good]. Getting to play dress up and embody all these different people over the years has been really fun.
How tough is it being away from your family when you’re filming?
It’s hard, for sure. I’m definitely a hands-on mom that likes to be there for everything that I can be there for. But like I said, when I was in Atlanta working on The Vampire Diaries, we kind of split the family up, where the baby, who was just under 2, came with me to Atlanta. The older boy, who was just about to start kindergarten, was back here with my husband. I missed the very first day of kindergarten.
Stuff like that only happens once — unless, of course, you have more children. That’s hard to swallow. But I feel like my husband and I do a good job of balancing things. Obviously, we visited a lot. They came to me. We came back and forth. Even though it might have been easier to stay in Atlanta, we’d fly home so we weren’t missing out.
Also, we just wanted the boys to be together. It was so cute. Every time, they’d be so excited to see each other again. Even now, we’re three years past that, and it seems like this easy, breezy thing that we got through. It’s crazy how that happens.
I feel like we’ve been pretty lucky. For whatever reason, I feel like we haven’t had to be too far [from my family]. I have worked in Vancouver quite a bit, but at least it’s the same time zone [as California].
Was Timeless filmed in Vancouver or did you float around?
Our first season of Timeless was filmed in Vancouver and this last season we shot here in L.A., at Paramount, which was amazing. But Vancouver was really fun.
What will you remember most about Timeless?
I think it’s that effect that it had on the fans. For whatever reason, whether it’s the time slot or finding its exact niche, it never got this huge, huge following. But the fans that it did have were so loyal and so interested in the actual history. That’s the first thing that jumps out to me about what I’ll remember most.
Also, I’ve played a lot of different characters — both good ones and bad ones. The bad ones are really fun. I just love Emma. She’s so snarky. I will miss her as a character in general.
And [the role is] literally like playing dress up every day. Where do we get to go now? Am I going to be in the past or the present? What’s the outfit? It’s just been a really fun ride.
If you could teleport anywhere for a weekend of relaxation, where would you go?
The first place that jumps in my mind is Paris. That sounds lovely. I’ve been there a few times already, but I just love Paris.
The other thing that jumped in my mind was jumping into the past. [Timeless protagonist] Lucy got to do this a little bit, where she would see different members of her family. Something like that would be cool, like seeing my mom and dad when they were first courting back in the ’60s or ’70s. Or seeing my grandma and grandpa in the ’40s dancing somewhere. Something that has some sort of family meaning would be interesting and cool.
Do you have any special memories in Paris?
The sky. It sounds so silly, but there’s something about the sky there where I feel like it’s like nowhere else. I don’t know if it’s something random about the weather when I was there a couple of times, but the sky is so beautiful. I just feel an electricity and a magic when I’m there.
We took a trip there as a family when the boys were, like, almost five and two. A family of four and we were in one suitcase because we were going all over the place in planes and trains. I didn’t want to be hauling all that stuff.
We went to this little town called Honfleur on the way to Normandy. I just love experiencing a new place that you’ve never seen before. I was proud of the fact that I got my entire family in one suitcase. People were like, “You did that with a two-year-old?” I’m like, “It was amazing!”
Do you ever get to play tourist in L.A.?
It’s funny because L.A. feels like one of the places where you only do that when friends come to town. We’re terrible about even going to the [local] beach. After season two of Runaways filmed and before Timeless started back up, we did a little staycation in Malibu for the first time after 17 years of living here. We rented a little Airbnb at the beach. It was amazing.
Usually, we’ll go up the coast a little bit. Sometimes it’s nice to take a little road trip. This is the first time that we really just stayed right here and it was really special. I was like, “Wow, we should do this more.”