July 27th, 2008  |  Leave a comment

THE EDEN RIEGEL INTERVIEW -”LUCKY” & “BITCHES”

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MICHAEL:

Congratulations Eden! You are now the biggest star on “Cyberspace,” with your hit series “Imaginary Bitches” and the new “Cooking To Get Lucky”. Your husband Andrew Miller and you are the hot new Hollywood cyber super couple! So, tell me how did these shows come about?

EDEN:

My husband and I really loved working with each other, and the web really afforded us the opportunity to have people see it. It’s amazing that the business has inverted itself. Now, it’s very easy for a couple of morons with a camera to make things huge. It’s great! I did this movie with Jack Black, and Judd Apatow produced it. Those guys go by the same system. They only work with their friends, and work with people they respect. But the difference is, they usually do gigantic million dollar movies, but we do little Internet shows. However, they also love putting stuff out on the internet and that interested me. I loved their stuff, and was dying of laughter. I saw that they reached a ton of people. Then, my husband Andrew came up with the idea of “Imaginary Bitches” and I was like, “Let’s do it!” We already had this cooking show concept kicking around.

MICHAEL:

So, what was the genesis of the idea behind your new cooking show, “Cooking to Get Lucky”?

EDEN:

We had shot a pilot, and we did not know what was going to happen with it. Andrew was a single guy for a long time, and he created this system to woo unsuspecting women and on me! I came over for our third date and he had fixed me an amazing meal, and I went, “This guy is thoughtful and special! He had put such work and energy and thought, into this meal, and he really likes me. I’ve got to consider seeing this guy more,” and it worked for him. Andrew had started cooking, and the only recipes and shows that were out there were far, far, too compacted or not sexy enough. There are a lot of cooking shows that tell you how to cook something really fast, and it’s not really something that you usually make for a girl who comes over for a first date. So, he put together his own set of recipes, and he works from other recipes and tries to cut out excessive ingredients. We try to figure out simple and beautiful meals that do not require a lot of kitchen gadgets, and he had no expertise and see, “We got together”! I have brought my knowledge of cooking, as well. I have been cooking for a really long time and love it. I love cooking shows so I understand the medium really well. We put together a whole bunch of recipes that are very easy to accomplish, and that taste amazing. They would impress the ‘heck’ out of someone who is coming over. The show is called, “Cooking to Get Lucky,” because that is the ultimate goal! (She laughs)

MICHAEL:

Do they get ‘lucky’ at the end of the show? (He laughs)

EDEN:

Well, we wanted it to be PG!

MICHAEL:

What will we see?

EDEN:

I am cooking and I am teaching Bob Guiney, who is mostly known and famous for “The Bachelor”. He was a bachelor for a long time and he is our everyman. He is like the guy who is such a complete waste of space in the kitchen. So, when we start cooking, if he can accomplish something, then anybody can.

MICHAEL:

So you co-host with Bob? He is married in real-life to one of your ex-“AMC” pals!

EDEN:

We both host the show, and we are not playing characters. He is no longer a bachelor; he is married to Rebecca Budig (Greenlee, AMC)

MICHAEL:

Are you and Rebecca still friends off- screen?

EDEN:

Yeah. It’s the same thing with “Bitches”. They are all friends or family. My husband and my brother are producing the show. My sister-in-law is shooting the show. All of our friends are crewing it. It’s such a blast. We just shot the first five episodes, and it’s like a party!

MICHAEL:

How many episodes of “Bitches” are coming up?

EDEN:

There are 13 in the first season. There are 3 more coming that are in the can ready to go, and we hope to go past that.

MICHAEL:

This show has blown-up!

EDEN:

It’s a little popular! (She laughs) I can’t image not continuing, but nothing is set in stone yet.

MICHAEL:

For those who have not been orbiting the World Wide Web, tell them about your character and the premise of “Imaginary Bitches”.

EDEN:

I play Eden, not to be confused with Eden Riegel, who is single, and the only single girl of a group of friends who are all in serious relationships, and sadly they have moved beyond her. Now, her best friends don’t have time for her. So, Eden in desperation, makes up these imaginary friends, but unfortunately they turn out to be gigantic bitches! She can’t control them. They say all of the stuff we know she is thinking in her subconscious, but she is completely not aware of it. They sort of unleash Eden’s ‘inner bitch’, and then she is able to express all the things she would not normally say. It’s really funny, and I am so proud of it. My husband conceived the idea, and it’s brilliant. I love playing comedy. I like being able to say off color bitchy things, which I would never usually say, because I am always playing the nice girl. But, I get to use curse words, and say catty things! Eden is also having some sort of psychotic breakdown, but it’s really funny.

MICHAEL:

So, what do the real friends think of your “bitches”?

EDEN:

To help me out, all my friends are just trying to accept that the bitches just exist. So, they are trying to help me get past this by saying, “We are going to be cool with this.” There are lots of scenes with my real friends and the imaginary bitches.

MICHAEL:

When does “Imaginary Bitches” web season end, and when does “Cooking to Get Lucky’s” begin?

EDEN:

The next three weeks through Mid-August is how long the “Bitches” will go, and “Cooking To Get Lucky” premieres in early August.  There are five epsiodes of the show.

MICHAEL:

Elizabeth Hendrickson (Ex-Maggie, “AMC” and now Chloe on”Y&R”) has made a few guest appearances on “Bitches”. So, in a sense, were you reunited with her on-screen?

EDEN:

Elizabeth plays one of my great friends on the show.

MICHAEL:

Have you caught Elizabeth on “Y&R”?

EDEN:

She is fantastic on “Y&R”, and I love that she is getting to play a more complex character. She is something of a bitch, I would say. She is a dynamo, for somebody in a little package. I knew that the first day we were on set at “AMC,” she came in and had to work with Susan Lucci (Erica), and that can be intimidating. In the scene, Susan hits Frankie (Elizabeth was playing Frankie then) with her car, and she is lying there and she is fighting with Erica Kane. They were going at it neck and neck and it was amazing to watch. Susan is quite a presence herself, and watching these two ‘little people’… it was so great! And when I watched the scene I said, “I can’t believe this is going to be my love interest. This is awesome!”

MICHAEL:

Were you intimated your first day on the set, knowing you were playing opposite Susan Lucci as her daughter, no less?

EDEN:

Oh, yes, completely. That all started the very first day on the set. I was intimated by the idea by her presence in her room. When I screen-tested for the role of Bianca, Susan had been a presenter on the “Tonys” the night before. She looked magnificent.

Susan is such a superstar, and she was so poised and funny. She has such a huge personality, and she was this megastar. I was like, ”I have to do a scene with her tomorrow and I have to fight with her?” In the scene, I was getting ready for the prom and she was trying to gussy me up and I wasn’t interested in it. The first second I met Susan, she could not have been more sweet and adorable, because Broadway had been her dream. She was so excited to have just been on the “ Tonys” the night before. She has always been there for me. Even though we are not working together right now, we stay in touch. She was at my wedding. I have shared so much with her and I love her.

MICHAEL:

Everyone wants to know, will Bianca be making another stop in Pine Valley?

EDEN:

Yes. I would come back for guest appearances in a second. I am always in talks with the show and trying to work something out.

MICHAEL:

When you do go back to do your guest stints, do you ever feel like you just want to come back full time?

EDEN:

Of course! It’s very difficult. I have a life in LA now, but it’s really hard. I love New York and love the cast and the show, and I still watch it! They are like my family.

MICHAEL:

“AMC” sort of lost its path in recent months, and recently, the show brought in top soap scribe Chuck Pratt Jr. How do you think his impact will be felt by the show?

EDEN:

I am excited about it. I think a lot of people are saying it. I think Chuck will infuse new life into it, and I am looking forward to see what he writes

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MICHAEL:

Eden, for the remarkable and landmark role of Bianca, the first teen and younger woman lesbian storyline on soaps, you received the highest honors. You received both the Daytime Emmy and the GLAAD awards for your depiction in the lesbian storyline. Looking back, did you realize how powerful and crucial that role was for daytime?

EDEN:

I knew at the time how significant it was, and I was sort of surprised by it. When I heard about the story, I had an idea it was a big tell. But, because they had never done it in soaps, I don’t think I could fully appreciate it, because I did not know enough about that world. It really was a risk for “AMC” to try this, especially with the fans. How amazing that it was such a success. And, I get so many letters all the time from people who were incredibly moved by the story. It was a topic that is very important to me. I was very honored to be a part of it, and to help tell the story. It seems like it had an impact on a lot of people, and it’s an honor to be part of that.

MICHAEL:

But the role transcended all boundaries because Bianca was not just the “lesbian” storyline, she became the morale center of “AMC”. You became a role model. You must receive emails from gays and lesbians who struggled to come out to their parents and friends.

EDEN:

That occurs a lot of times. Sometimes, I feel like they are giving me too much credit. I never had to come out. I never had to do anything that courageous in my entire life. I definitely have great empathy for my character, and loved the journey, and to tell the story. And by telling these stories, an actor gets a tiny glimpse of what it might be like. Similarly, when I did the rape storyline, it was a horrific experience to play some of the acting beats, as well as Miranda’s death story.

MICHAEL:

I am emotionally exhausted just recalling these storylines with you! Whew! How did you do this day in and day out?

EDEN:

I don’t know how I did it. I went into this weird state… like a mourning state. I don’t think it ever left me, completely. It’s all very real, and because “AMC” historically has had amazing writing, I was blessed to be a part of one of the golden ages of “AMC”, and my character got to do some gorgeously written things.

MICHAEL:

How did you feel though, about the resolution of the Bianca/Maggie romance?

EDEN:

Unfortunately, we weren’t able to see a lot of story points through, because I left the show and nobody was certain that people were ready for it, and mostly because it’s a soap opera. They gave me a gift in that they never made Maggie and me happy… ever! Everybody knows as soon as a soap character is happy…. it’s the kiss of death. I liked that they treated us like any other couple, and we had lots of trials and tribulations. Maggie was going through her own questions. She did not know if she was gay, bisexual, or straight. She did not know if the feelings she had were romantic or intensely intimate friends. I think it’s very interesting that she had that question. We could have had a commitment ceremony, or Maggie could have adopted Miranda, if we had another year on the show. A lot of things could have happened, but because of circumstance, storylines had to go different ways.

MICHAEL:

If you had to choose a moment from all the storylines on “AMC” off the top of your head, what would it be?

EDEN:

It’s very hard for me to choose a moment, but I will always go back to when I first had the ‘coming out’ storyline. I actually think I was a better actress in later storylines. I wish I could have done it better justice at the time, when Bianca tells her mother she’s gay. It was a real emotional experience for me and Susan Lucci. I remember we were going to leave for Thanksgiving, and we were the last scenes to shoot that day. For us, the scene felt like a minute, even though we were there all day, and most of the evening. That was because we were both so completely absorbed in what we were doing. It could have been a moment, or 100 hours, and we had no idea. It was an incredible bonding experience for us, and I had so much love for Susan already. She had a lot of love for me, too. So we felt sort of like mother and daughter, and it was all out there. It was a really beautiful moment.

MICHAEL:

Where is your Daytime Emmy housed?

EDEN:

My Daytime Emmy is in our office. My Emmy I gave to my grandmother, but then she passed away last year. I got it back, and it’s even better now, because it doesn’t feel like mine anymore, it feels like hers. She loved it so much. She showed it to all her friends and bragged about it. I know how much it meant to her.

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MICHAEL:

What else would you still love to do?

EDEN:

I am not saying I have stopped growing, or have any experience coming up in the future that will trump what I had, but I have some pretty incredible experiences! But what I would really love to continue to do right now, is to continue to do “Imaginary Bithces”. I love it!

MICHAEL:

And the cooking show?

EDEN:

The beauty of the cooking show is, it’s less about cooking then us having fun. People will enjoy watching the show, those who hate cooking or are intimidated by their kitchen. What’s fun about it is Bob’s and my dialog. He might say something off color that has some sexual innuendo. So that part is fun to tape, because he is always making us laugh!

MICHAEL:

Eden, then what is your favorite meal to cook?

EDEN:

What I love about cooking is feeding people what they like. I love cooking Italian, and I think Italians appreciate food that is rare and beautiful. It’s food that is no muss, no fuss. My approach to cooking does not have to be slaving over something for 8 hours. What makes it good is that you love your ingredients and you make them shine.

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MICHAEL:

Can you tease the “Michael Fairman On-Air On-Soaps” audience with what they can look forward to, coming up on “Bitches”?

EDEN:

And the end of the season is a two-episode season finale. It is a cliffhanger and some very interesting things happen. Eden is forced to question basic things about herself, because these “Bitches” are not just going away, and they are telling her about things she never knew… and maybe didn’t want to know. I think the finale is longer than our normal seven minute episodes.

MICHAEL:

How can people find “Imaginary Bitches”?

EDEN:

They can go to www.Youtube.com/imaginary bitches, and subscribe there and we will forward you new episodes when they come out. For extra shows, past episodes, and for our weekly “bitch” sessions, You can go to our website, www.imaginarybitches.com. I do a weekly chat with the fans, after we premiere a new episode. Every Friday night at 8pm PST, a new episode of “Imaginary Bitches” goes up. “Cooking To Get Lucky” will premiere in a few weeks. Log on to www.mdialog.com, for show information! 

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