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Meet the Annables

Dave, Odette, Charlie and a baby on the way...

Picture perfect. But, behind the camera, Dave, Odette and Charlie Annable are refreshingly real. When we arrived at the Hill Country home they bought two years ago - which Odette had a heavy hand in gut renovating - they didn’t ask us to take off our shoes or be careful on the white carpets. Instead, Odette opened the door and said, “Make yourselves at home, Dave’s out getting bagels.”

Like many actors in Austin, the Annables’ moved to Texas during the pandemic. And, like most recent transplants, they exude Southern charm and hospitality rather than any Hollywood stereotypes and have quickly integrated themselves into the fabric of the city.

You may know Dave best from his five seasons and 110 episodes of Brothers & Sisters (on which his then fiancé Odette made a 5-episode guest appearance), and Odette from her characters on House or Supergirl, but these days they can both be found on locally filmed Walker, Texas Ranger. Although, the move preceded the casting. We caught up with Dave and Odette, who have been married a dozen years, and their daughter Charlie, who will be seven in September (and Dave says, “is a future Meryl Streep”), for a photo shoot, chat on life in Austin, family (which be a party of 4 when their baby arrives in October), working together and more.

 

Why did you decide to move to Austin?

Dave: It was like day 60-something of quarantine in Los Angeles and my sister who lives in Temple, Texas was sending photos of her family out in nature, fishing, running around and not under house arrest with helicopters flying overhead looking for people gathering. We decided to rent a house on Belton Lake for a few weeks to get out of the city and started looking for a place to rent. That rental market had dried up but we were able to find deals on something to buy back in June 2020. It was a no-brainer to be out of Los Angeles and close to my family.

Odette: It was the very best move that we could have made for our family. We are immersed in nature and really enjoying our little family unit and our surroundings. It was after about a month of living in Austin that I got the call to be on Walker. It all felt very meant to be.  

What were your initial thoughts on Austin?

Odette: It was a big leap of faith. Coming from California, and being born and raised in California, my initial thoughts were, ‘What in the world is this weather?’ Turns out, it’s just weather. Seasons. I’m acclimating, thankfully. And, very obviously, Texans are some of the most genuine and kind people I’ve come across. 

How do you like living in Austin?

Dave: I LOVE IT!! I love the people here and the feeling of community is something that I didn’t know I was missing. We adore our neighborhood, our neighbors and feel like we have chosen the perfect spot to raise our sweet daughter.

Odette: I still have homesick feelings every so often, but truly, it is a wonderful city filled with grounded and real people. We love living in Hill Country and exploring everything that this city has to offer. There is something for everyone here and it just has a very special magic about it. 

Favorite things about Austin?

Odette: I love that you are immersed in nature in the city and especially just outside of the city. We love walking Lady Bird Lake, hopping on a kayak in the middle of the city and enjoying the view. The food in this town is unreal. The music is off the charts amazing. This city has a very cool vibe and you feel it when you step off the plane. We live in a suburb just outside of the city and we see our neighbors fishing in the pond near us all of the time, we see deer roaming freely and turtles crossing the road. It feels idyllic for a child to be raised and we are feeling the gratitude

You’re working together on Walker, and met on Brothers & Sisters – what do you enjoy about working together?

Dave: We were engaged already when Odette appeared on Brothers and Sisters. She originally didn’t want to do it but I begged her to do it so we could one day show our grandkids. Turns out we’ve ended up working together quite a bit over the years so I’m sure they’ll be sick of watching us on screen with one another. Walker is such a gift down here. To both have the opportunity to work on a show where you love the people involved, love the show itself and love the fact you can shoot at home in Austin and have some sort of normal life in this crazy business is such a gift. We know how lucky we are.

Odette: I love how infectious Dave is. Whenever he walks into a room, you notice his presence. He’s a genuinely kind and excitable person. He pays attention to you when you’re talking to him and is usually the funniest person in the room. He’s got a great positive attitude. Opposite of me. Joking, but not really. I’m more of a pessimist, I think we balance each other out. It’s been so special having him work on the show this season. He brings great energy and great talent to this otherwise potentially unlikeable character. We feel incredibly grateful to be working where we live which is a rarity in this business. 

You sometimes do Couples Therapy Instagram Lives (where one or both of you usually have a Ranch Rider in hand). Will you continue those? 

Odette: We would love to continue those videos, but potentially in a different format. We are brainstorming what that may look like, so stay tuned! 

In one you talked about doing accountability challenges, do you still do that?

Odette: Keeping each other accountable is something that really works for us. We always say that what works for us, may not work for everyone. We are always striving to learn about one another and try grow with each other. Ultimately, I want Dave to challenge me to be the best version of myself. It’s not as easy for me when I’m holding myself accountable. The buddy system works!

You played spouses who body-swap on Fantasy Island –what would you each like the best and least if you swapped places for a week IRL?

Dave: My favorite part would be gaining boobs. There’s not really a close second. Least favorite would probably be everything else.

Odette: The thing I would like best if I were to swap bodies with Dave is having someone to cook for me and of course to pee standing up. The thing I would like least is the lack of sleep that I would get (he’s a terrible sleeper) and the allergies! 

Best thing about being parents to a girl?

Dave: So many things. One for sure is I get to be the example of what type of man she will look for one day. There is nothing like that responsibility. Daddy/daughter cuddles are everything but wrestling together is actually more our speed.

Odette: Because I have had some life experience, I am really looking forward to passing on the lessons that I’ve learned to her. 

How has this pregnancy been? 

Odette: My pregnancy, like most, has had its ups and downs. There are some really great days and then some days when staying in bed forever feels like the best option. Ultimately, I do not take any second of this pregnancy for granted. It took years for us to get here and it was not an easy road. I am mostly excited to see Charlie take on the big sister role. She has been a magnet for babies ever since I can remember and she is so filled with love about this new addition to the family. 

I read you were pretty hands-on renovating and decorating your house, have you done that before? Did you enjoy it?

Odette: YES!! I absolutely loved it. Interior design is definitely one of my passions. The way I keep my home and entertain are important to me. This was the first time that I have been through a renovation of this scale and although it came with its own frustrations, I would do it again in a heartbeat. Next up, I’d love to build our next home and work closely with an architect and choose all the finishes and design the house. 

Quick Questions

Favorite restaurant in Austin?

Dave: Right now Aba is leading the way. It’s so good! There are so many. We LOVE the food in Austin.
Odette: I haven’t been to enough to really give an educated choice here, but I would say, Comedor, Jeffreys, and Red Ash 

Favorite Book?

Dave: Right now it’s more about my favorite author, Ryan Holiday. He wrote “The Obstacle is the Way,” “Ego is the Enemy” and “Stillness is the Key” which are books that introduced me to a philosophy called stoicism which has helped in my life immeasurably.

Odette: “The Secret History”

Favorite Quote?

Dave: “We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them.” -Epictetus

Odette: It’s more of a question to live by… What would the person you intend to be do next? 

If you could guest star on any show it would be…

Dave: Does praying for more Lee Dutton “flashbacks” on Yellowstone count?
Odette: Black Mirror

If you could have one superpower it would be…

Dave: The ability to never hit a golf ball out of bounds.

Odette: Going back in time.

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