Exclusive Q&A with Eden Riegel, Part Deux

Here’s Part 2 of my exclusive Q&A with Imaginary Bitches star Eden Riegel. Eden was kind enough to answer questions about more than just her incredibly popular web series, including her time on All My Children as much-beloved, incredibly put-upon icon Bianca Montgomery, where she managed to open many narrow minds with her effective, sensitive and wonderful portrayal of daytime’s first front-burner homosexual character, things she would have changed, things she wouldn’t touch, her chemistry with Elizabeth Hendrickson, the life of BAM and her newly minted marriage to husband/writer/director Andrew Miller (or as we call him around here at SS&D… God).

I hope you enjoy.

SS&D: Now, taking a step back in time…Bianca… How different is it playing goodie two-shoes, sweet and innocent Bianca and smart-talking, not-as-crazy-as-she-seems “Eden”? How different is that mind-set?

Eden: Not that different, actually. It’s a different type of earnestness, but both ladies are incredibly earnest. In fact, the comedy comes from the fact that “Eden” is the least likely person to have such a raunchy, bitchy subconscious. So, on the surface, she and Bianca are the same. It’s just underneath that things get a bit choppier.

SS&D: Let’s face it, playing a lesbian is rife with possibilities… How did Bianca end up being so virtuous? She is quite possibly the most angelic character, well, ever. (The one night stand with Leslie caused some outrage because that just wasn’t Bianca’s style and even the refusal to talk to Maggie caused some resentment among hard-liners – and don’t get me started on the Babe forgiveness)

Eden: Yeah, I think maybe the fans were experiencing growing pains at the idea of Bianca growing up. I agree that that was completely out of character. But, as you mentioned, Bianca’s been through a lot of crapola and is decidedly NOT a saint — that’s why her struggle is so relatable. So she’s trying some new things, to see if they fit. Or she’s so sick of people letting her down that when the person she loves more than anyone on earth does it she can’t forgive her. Or the reality of her best friend letting her believe that her daughter is dead drives her bat-s***-crazy. She’s not perfect. What makes her virtuous is that she tries damn hard.

SS&D: Was it sometimes hard to play such a character, that everyone in Pine Valley thought was all sweetness and light, while you had to watch their characters gettin’ busy with each other on a daily basis?

Eden: Yeah, that sucked. But at the same time, like you mentioned in the last question, that’s just not Bianca. She would never do that. So the writers had to get creative. And because of that I had amazing, compelling stories to play.

SS&D: Bianca was frequently called the moral compass of Pine Valley. Did you ever want to see Bianca just snap and go on some kind of amoral spree that would scandalize even the most jaded citizens of Bianca’s home town? (the Bada$$ Bianca fantasy episode comes to mind) What would you have had her do to shock the good people of Pine Valley?

Eden: I’m not sure. I think it might have been a cheap thrill. At that point Pine Valley was pretty morally bereft, and they needed a compass, desperately. The fantasy episode was fun, but usually when Bianca lost control it was because something traumatic pushed her to it (remember drunk Bianca dancing on the pool table? Really badly? Like, totally embarrassing herself?) For her to lose her sense of morals she’d have to have a severe head injury. Or be an evil twin. That would be super fun! But in the end I would want Bianca back, untarnished and with her little heart pointing to true north.

SS&D: To be honest, I think that’s the only way all of Bianca’s fans would want her to be. But would you have liked to have seen more romance in Bianca’s life? Not necessarily love scenes, because, well, those can be so over-the-top on soaps, even among heterosexual couples (I’ve seen some seriously cringe-inducing scenes on ABC soaps, Ryan/Greenlee anyone?), but possibly mornings-after, cuddling, natural displays of affection?

Eden: Yeah, that would have been fun. I had one scene that I remember, waking up with Lena the morning after. I think she gave me a little peck when she said goodbye, too. That was sweet.

SS&D: It’s obvious you and Elizabeth Hendrickson are close friends and you’ve played some incredibly heavy, emotionally charged scenes opposite each other. Even though Bianca and Maggie were just as close (some would say even closer, considering their eventual relationship), did you ever find it hard to get into character? Did you ever look at a script and think, oh, there is no way we’re going to get through this scene…?

Eden: Not really. Is that weird? I have total faith in us. I think we’re awesome. There’s nothing we can’t do!

SS&D: I don’t think that’s weird, I think that shows what tremendous chemistry you have and that you trust each other completely when it comes to your work. And if you could actually bring Bianca and Maggie back to Pine Valley, how would you do it? Because, you’re right that we BAM fans are all imagining that they’re back together in Paris, raising Miranda as a family… as it should be. (and, by the way, Miranda loves hockey)

Eden: Maybe we’d come back to the town to make Miranda’s adoption legal, have Maggie get inseminated by Josh, and have a huge splashy wedding at the Valley Inn! (Or maybe something smaller and more intimate at the boathouse). By the way, Miranda’s a Leafs fan. Not a Detroit fan like her Uncle Zack and cousin Spike.

SS&D: (*blinks at the thought of Maggie being inseminated by Josh… artificially, of course*) I never would have thought of that, but I’d love the idea of Bianca getting her heart’s desire and seeing AMC tell the first same sex marriage storyline on daytime television. Although, I have a feeling Erica would take complete control of the whole thing, much to Bianca’s dismay. (um, and I’ve heard Mimo is a Rangers fan) Other than the excellent (I’m running out of adjectives to describe the show here) web series, your new life as a married woman and mom to a puppy, I’ve heard that you like to figure skate. Did you begin at an early age or is this a relatively new hobby?

Eden: I started at the age of 10, and stopped at, like, 15. So it was tough getting back to it, but it is so fun and great to challenge yourself in a new way. Like being a kid again. I haven’t made it to the rink in a while. I gotta get back to it!

SS&D: And Andrew likes to practice his hockey moves? Does he play in a league in LA? I know there were several celebrity teams out there at one time. Is he a winger or a defenseman? Are you one of those skaters that goes out to center ice and does spins and jumps while the rest of us mopes who are lucky enough to be able to go forward without doing a faceplant skate around in a big oval? (although I like to think I’m somewhat capable on the ice)

Eden: I’ve been known to show off a little. The worst is when you attempt something and people are watching and fall on your butt. Andrew doesn’t play for a league, but he grabs pick up games at a couple of rinks. He started as an adult, despite the fact that he was born and raised in Canada. Unfortunately Cam and his other friends were more skiers than hockey players (I understand it’s one or the other) so Andrew just got into it recently. He loves it.

SS&D: Skating is excellent exercise; I go weekly in the winter. Your newest family member is the adorable little puppy you adopted. Have you taught Riley to do any tricks? Does he rule the house yet? The most telling question, actually, would be: Where does he sleep? On your bed with you or relegated to a bed of his own?

Eden: Bed of his own, I’m afraid. I so wish we could cuddle with him at night (he is VERY cuddly and loving) but once you let ’em in it’s sort of the end of the honeymoon period, if you know what I mean. Riley sits, downs, heels and comes… sometimes. When he feels like it. We’re working on it.

SS&D: I feel like I must ask you at least one James Lipton question and I’ve previously asked you what your favorite curse word is (same as mine, by the way, nice choice), so… If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

Eden: Ya done good.

SS&D: Eden, it’s obvious you married a keeper… Does he have any brothers?

Eden: Sadly no… but he’s got a couple of hot sisters!

SS&D: Thank you, again, Eden for taking the time to answer these questions. You know we wish you continued success with Imaginary Bitches and all your future endeavors. And congratulations again to both of you on your marriage, your new family and all your cinematic achievements.

Eden: It is truly my pleasure. I can’t thank you (and Tracy) enough for your support, enthusiasm, and general happiness-making! You are amazing. I thank my lucky stars every day that I thought your eyebrows were Michael Knight’s, and was dumb enough to say it out loud. Andrew and I look forward to your comments every week. Because you just get it, Lady! Thank you so much. And keep in touch.

SS&D: Well, I do what I can. And I think the tables just turned and now I will never live that down… Well played.

There are 4 new episodes left to season one of Imaginary Bitches, airing every Friday at 11:00 pm Eastern, 10:00 pm Central, 8:00 pm Pacific time. You can catch the new episodes of Imaginary Bitches at http://www.youtube.com/user/ImaginaryBitches. Or you can visit the IB website at http://www.imaginarybitches.com/Home.html.

And you can shop for fashionable IB apparel at http://www.cafepress.com/imaginaryshop.

Check out IB Message Board at http://imaginarybitches.yuku.com/.

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Yet Another WTF? Moment on All My Children, 6/18/08

On today’s episode of AMC, Tad took Kathy home to live with him and his dysfunctionally fun family (Krystal, newly-minted Gen-X’er Colby and baby Jenny) after he was finally released from the hospital with a really bad case of lead poisoning. At the Martin homestead, he set the little girl up in her own room, with her toys and a stuffed animal given to her by her “Mother” (and she wasn’t talking about Julia), even letting her pick out the color they would paint this little girl haven.

So… Tad just swooped in and took Kathy home after telling her he was her daddy and she just accepted it? And, better yet, everyone in town just accepted it?!?! No court filings claiming parental rights? No DNA tests proving Tad and Kathy share the same double helix? He didn’t have to go before a judge, file papers with the court, make a statement under oath, that Kathy was actually Kate?

And Maria Santos, legal guardian to Kathy Mershon, just let him?

Um… WTF?

Are you kidding me? It’s that easy for Tad to take his and Dixie’s child home? Despite the legal guardianship of little Kathy by Maria? Bestowed on her, again legally, by Julia Santos? Who was also the legal guardian of Kathy? In the eyes of the law?!?!

Haven’t we seen real life situations such as this? People have to hire $500 an hour lawyers, who are trained in family law so I’m guessing former DA and current criminal defense attorney Jackson Montgomery might be out of his element here, to file a claim of parental rights with the court. Then they must appear in court and plead their case. Then the judge will render a decision. And if that decision is favorable to the “Petitioner”, the judge decides how to proceed, generally by ordering medical tests done on the “Petitioner” and the minor child in order to prove the “Petitioner’s” claims. Then… well, despite what All My Children, the CSI franchise and the Law & Order shows would have you believe, DNA results don’t come back mere seconds after they’ve been input into the fancy-shmancy DNA printer thingy…

This would require months of legal filings, motions and counter-motions (if Maria wished to keep custody of Kathy), then several weeks of just sitting around waiting until the results of the DNA tests came back, while Kathy could be in California with her legal guardian, or as a ward of the state.

And even then, if the judge so deemed it, since it was in writing that Julia was Kathy’s legal guardian, as evidenced by the LEGALLY BINDING WILL of Kathy’s adoptive mother, and Julia indicated that she made Maria the legal guardian of Kathy, should anything happen to her (like the writer’s killing her off) custody of the minor child could have stayed with Maria Santos-Grey! (of course, as Kathy would have been biologically proven to be Tad’s daughter, I would imagine Tad would have filed for custody, which could have resulted in more legal maneuvering for everyone involved)

But, apparently, Pine Valley does not adhere to the laws of the rest of the county. You say that kid is yours? Hey, no sweat, take her home! No pesky legal fees, filings or decisions for you to worry about here!

The scenes between Michael E. Knight and Alexa Garasimovich have been wonderful, there is no doubting that. And who doesn’t love that Tad found his and Dixie’s lost child? (too bad Dixie can’t be awakened from a coma with the news that “Kathy is your Kate”, though) But, come on… is it so hard to do even a little research?

Really… WTF?*

*thanks to Tracy for initially bringing this WTF? moment to my attention.

Another WTF? Moment from All My Children

So on Tuesday’s episode, May 27, 2008, the action/adventure edition of All My Children is in full swing. Tad has been shot by his dear old Uncle Robert (nothing says “family” like a .9mm slug to the chest), Angie is in a spinning helicopter with Uncle Bob and Jesse makes a death-defying leap from the roof of the Seasons Hotel and Casino to one of the chopper’s landing skids in an effort to save his beloved Angie’s life. (hey, they just got remarried, I guess this is his way of saying he’s committed to making the marriage work this time)

On a related note, Julia Santos-Keefer is at Pine Valley Hospital with a mortal gunshot wound to the abdomen and will die today. But since that kind of makes me mad and sad at the same time, I will ignore it for today’s WTF? segment.

Let me preface this by saying that, as far soap opera action/adventure sequences go, this was quite well done. The helicopter, Jesse’s leap from the hotel roof to the chopper’s landing skid, the city scene below the spinning chopper, the action and the acting was all very, very good. And the episode as a whole, save for Greenlee laying a big ol’ wet one on Zach, was very well done, especially the aforementioned death of Julia Santos-Keefer… and the fact that Tad was really in pain from a bullet wound and going into shock, much how I imagine getting shot must really be like. Unfortunately, all it takes is one WTF? moment to throw the rest of the show off kilter…

And away we go…

Anyway… back the Seasons Hotel and Casino, which, I had no idea was so tall and could accommodate helicopters landing on the roof, but I digress. As the cliffhanger picked up on Tuesday, Jesse made the leap by his fingernails and clung to the chopper as Uncle Bob spun it in circles, obviously thinking this is the recommended method for chopper lift-offs from hotel roofs while your kidnapped bride co-pilot screams like a little girl (which, granted, I probably would do, too, after puking on Uncle Bob’s shoes, but, again, I digress). Jesse manages to haul himself up on the landing skid, yank open the door and pull crazy Uncle Bob from the chopper, sending him flying through the air with the greatest of ease until he lands with a “thud” on the hotel roof below. (This also allowed Darnell Williams to deliver the best one-liner of the day as Robert Gardner fell: “You shoulda used your seatbelt!”)

Meanwhile, back on the roof, Tad’s gunshot wound is quite grave and he’s lucky to have not one but two, count ‘em TWO, doctors right there with him and they rush to save his life. Dixie descends from the heavens right about now, imploring her beloved Tad to hang in there, not to die, that their daughter needs them, all the while staying well out of the floating way of Brother Jake and Frankie Hubbard.

Across this same roof, Uncle Pancake- er, Uncle Robert has awakened from his helicopter plunge-induced nap. At this point, it appears safe to say that the man has very bouncy internal organs since he has survived an approximately 75-100 foot fall from a spinning airborne helicopter onto the uneven, tar paper and HVAC unit-covered roof of a luxury hotel without so much as a scratch. And, yet, this is not the actual WTF moment…

No, my friends, this is merely the beginning…

As Uncle Robert regains what little senses he once had, he begins crawling towards his gun… Which has magically transformed from a .9mm Sig Sauer P229 (official FBI issue service weapon, so kudos on the research here) into a .357 Magnum revolver. (kudos revoked on the continuity here)

Uncle Robert’s pistol, a standard issue Sig Sauer, has morphed into Dirty Harry’s weapon of choice. So, he went from a capacity of 20+ rounds (which is approximately what he fired off on Friday without reloading, yet another delightful AMC WTF? moment) to a 6-shot revolver… I’m assuming this is his gun because there was no one else firing back at him during the so-called gunfight on Friday’s cliffhanger episode, which would make him the only armed person on the hotel roof.

So, um… WTF?

On Friday, Robert Gardner is an FBI agent with an FBI-issued .9 millimeter pistol. I know it’s a .9 millimeter because I saw it in his hand as he was firing off shots at anything that moved. And through the magic of WTF? he was also able to load much more ammunition into said semi-automatic pistol because he squeezed off way more shots than even the extended 15-round magazine a Sig Sauer P229 can hold. Then, on Tuesday, after a death defying plummet from a gyrating helicopter and it’s slice-and-dice spinning rotors to a roof top about 75-100 feet below, in which he failed to stick the landing, his gun became a 6-shot .357 Magnum revolver… Which, by the way, should have been empty of live rounds anyway, since he fired the .9mm before its magical transformation way more times than a .9mm is even capable of!

He did not appear to be injured, not even bleeding from the nose or mouth (what, he didn’t even bite his lip by accident upon impact?) just a little stunned. He fought with Frankie Hubbard for a few moments until all the excitement finally caught up with him and he got very tired, especially after Frankie delivered a perfect headbutt (which, I guess, is rather understandable, considering he’d had such a busy day), and he was finally apprehended by the PVPD, who had finally shown up on the scene… Late as usual…

So… apparently, Cambias is working on a Transformer .9mm Sig Sauer* to go along with the transporter they have nearly perfected to get people from one side of the planet to the other in a matter of minutes. I’m assuming that this new breed of weapon will also transform into a yellow Camaro and you can drive away in it when need be.

I guess this feature is still in the developmental stages, otherwise Uncle Robert would be on the highway to Darfur by now…

*Also comes with a full- jointed Shia LeBeouf action figure, Josh Duhamel figure sold separately…

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