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(5/11) - Kathy
I recently had a chance to chat with Eden Riegel and catch up on what is happening in her life since we last saw Bianca in Pine Valley. She's been one busy lady!
You got married back in September, so how is married life so far?
Married life is amazing. There's no real way to describe it except that now I feel complete. Andrew helps me be my best, we make each other laugh -- life is a joy. I'm very happy and whole.
Andrew is a good friend of Cameron Mathison's and Alicia's fiancee, Richie, is a good friend of Thorsten Kaye's. We always hear that AMC is one big family and that is very true isn't it?
Very true! I think also, because of the busy AMC schedule it's hard to meet quality, date-able people. But when the recommendation comes from a stand-up guy like Cam or Thorsten, you know you're getting a prince. Because Cam vouched for him (actually, he went so far as to call Andrew his "gold standard") I knew that I had met some one very special, whom I could trust totally. And Cam is so protective he would never steer me wrong! The funny thing is when I met Andrew one of the first things I thought was, "Oh my gosh, he's another Richie!" That are both good, sweet, decent guys. The kind of boys you bring home to mama! I couldn't believe I found one of my own. Now the two of them are good friends, just like their ladies!
Speaking of a big family, several of your former AMC co-stars appear in your new web series, Imaginary Bitches. Tell us about the show. How did it come to be? Is there hope for it go bigger or will it remain on the web?
Andrew came up with the idea while I was away on location shooting a Judd Apatow-produced film called "Year One," with Jack Black and Michael Cera. Maybe it was the fact that I wasn't home, so he was imagining me a lot -- I don't know! But the idea coincided with me hanging out on set with some of the most famous guys in comedy, who also happen to have a passion for making content for the internet. Michael Cera had his own web series ("Clark and Michael") and both Michael and Jack Black were in a series called "Drunk History" that was released while we were shooting. And, of course, Judd Apatow is one of the most prolific internet content providers, putting out funny stuff on the web all the time, sometimes related to his film releases, sometimes not. So I was inspired, and jumped at the chance to do a series of our own. It's a whole new world. And it's so amazing to have an idea and be able to make it ourselves, post it online, and reach a huge number of people without having to go to a studio, get it approved, get the money, and give over creative control. Fortunately all our talented friends and family agree, so they hopped aboard as well. Because of them, and advances in technology we have an extremely professional-looking product. All for the cost of some delicious on-set catering, and that's it! I would love the show to go far. But if it doesn't find a home elsewhere, this is truly enough. It's one of the most creatively satisfying endeavors I have ever been a part of.
The character Eden is such a departure from Bianca. How do you like doing comedy?
I love it. I really love the drama, too, but as Bianca I had more than my fair share of it, so it's nice to have a change. Andrew has helped me to find my funny, and it's so awesome. I love it so much, that Lizzie and I enrolled in improv comedy classes together here in LA. I have a class tonight. I am totally terrified, but I know once I get there I'll love every minute.
(Later I asked...) So how was the Improv class?
I didn't go! I'm so embarrassed. We're shooting more IB episodes next week and I have a ton of lines to learn, most of which are scenes with myself, where I just imagine what the other people are saying. That's doubly hard because I need to know my lines and theirs cold! So I skipped. I had to! For art!
Tell us more about "Year One."
Well, speaking of comedy, that's a comedy, too. And Harold Ramis directed. He is like the grand poobah of comedy! What I was struck by is how sweet and down-to-earth all those guys are. It was one of the friendliest, happiest sets I've ever been on. And I got to play a fun role and improvise with Jack Black, who really is a genius. The movie comes out Summer of 2009, and I don't want too give to much away because it would spoil the funny!
You know we have to talk about Bianca. She had been through so much from coming out to being raped, killing her rapist, pregnancy, believing her daughter was dead, a transgender friendship/relationship. And in each story you played it with such emotion and believability. How do you prepare for such heavy material?
I'm not going to lie, some of it was very hard. Particularly the rape and Miranda's "death." I felt so much throughout all my storylines, and sometimes had to let myself believe some terrifying things. But it's also cathartic. I've never been so in touch with my emotions and so open to both sadness and joy, beauty and ugliness. It's not sustainable forever, because I think the men in the white coats would have come to get me, eventually. But it was, strangely, a very beautiful time. A time of intense imagination. Now I am exploring the lighter side of imagination!
You have been a part of many ground breaking storylines on AMC and none more so than the Zarf/Zoe storyline. What are your thoughts on that story? (I totally fell in love with Jeffrey Carlson!)
The guy has such an incredible, intense presence (on camera, in person, and on stage). Actually you just reminded me I owe him a call! I was so proud of the show and ABC for telling such a groundbreaking story. The transgender experience is one that is still little explored and therefore little understood. But AMC blazed a trail, telling the story I think as well as anyone could . Following Zoe on her journey, letting her meet real members of the transgender community to help her along the way. Exploring the biases of the world that surrounded her, and making her story so heartbreaking and ultimately relatable that the audience embraced her in a way I don't think any of us were entirely expecting. We didn't give people enough credit, I guess. AMC fans are smart and accepting.
Did we see you in the audience at Dancing with the Stars when Cameron was on? How fun was that?
It was amazing. Cam was so great on that show. I can't believe how good he got and how far her went! It is a real testament to his determination and fearlessness. But I do think he deserved to be in the finals. I still have a bone to pick with the rest of America! Man, I really would love to be on that show. Wear the costumes, learn those sexy dances.
Who else do you keep in touch with on AMC?
Oh, many, many people. Of course Lizzie (Elizabeth Hendrickson - Maggie) and Connie (Stanton - Erin), Alicia (Minshew - Kendall), Rebecca (Budig - Greenlee), Cam (Cameron Mathison - Ryan), Susan (Lucci - Erica), and also Kelly Overton (Rainn), Laura Allen (Laura), Katie Walder (Shannon), Catrina Ganey (Zora), Abigail Spencer (Becca), and many more. My whole wedding was AMC! I called up the casting director, Judy Blye Wilson, afterwards and thanked her for casting my life. AMC is truly a family! I miss my crazy siblings!
It's so great that you remained friends with so many of your AMC castmates. I'm sure they would love to see you back in Pine Valley, as would your fans. Anything we should know about? Will Bianca be coming home to see her mother. She could really use a good dose of Bianca right about now.
I totally agree! I would love Bianca to visit Erica in the clink. It's such a terrible thing to go through (and she's being so brave about it), you would think she'd need a little Bianca time. I love going back to AMC and visiting my second family there. And I love playing Bianca. I don't know when I'll be coming home next, but I hope it's soon.
What do you do in your spare time? Or maybe I should be asking do you have spare time?
I love to cook and entertain. I'm lucky because so does Andrew and he's very gifted in the kitchen. That's how he won my heart, by having me over for an incredible dinner in what is now our house. I couldn't believe this guy. And he could cook, too! So we have dinner parties and Sunday brunches all the time. In fact, our love of cooking inspired us to create a cooking show! It's called "Cooking to get Lucky" starring me and Bob Guiney that will teach men how to cook to impress the pants off of their dates. Actually, I think anyone would enjoy the show, and as long as you want to make meals that are incredibly easy to prepare, but are delicious and impressive. That only make it LOOK like you've been slaving in the kitchen all day. I'll let you know when we release the show so you can check it out. Bob's hilarious and so adorable in it. We have a great time.
Also, we just got a dog, Riley, so I love going for walks with him. He's amazing. And I love playing Rock Band on X-Box 360. I'm the drummer. I could do it all night. Although no time to, lately. Sometimes Lizzie or Connie and her husband Aaron come over to rock out with us. So fun!
Many thanks to Eden Riegel for taking time out of her busy schedule to talk to me and fill us all in on all the exciting things happening in her life! Be sure to check out a new episode of Imaginary Bitches every Friday night at 11:00 pm EST. Just click the link to watch!
Wedding and Riley photos courtesy of Eden Riegel.
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