They just don't grow soap stars like Eden Riegel anymore. As multi-talented and multi-layered as she is courageous and sexy-smart (think daytime's Tina Fey), the woman who put an unforgettable and inimitable stamp on the role of All My Children's Bianca Montgomery is about to embark on a whole new, soapy chapter.
On April 20, Riegel makes her Genoa City debut as alluring-but-uptight district attorney Heather Stevens, daughter of dutiful private dick Paul Williams (Doug Davidson) and thorn in the side of Victor Newman (Eric Braeden), on CBS Daytime's The Young and the Restless. I caught up with one of Daytime Confidential's favorite stars to discuss her appearance, this weekend, at LA's most soap-friendly sketch comedy and improv spot,
DC: You've convinced me. I think I will pitch myself to Justin Timberlake as the opening act on an N'Sync Reunion Tour! I've heard the ACME rehearsal schedule can be pretty intense. What kind of paces are those wacky guys and gals putting you through? Can you give us a sneak peek of what some of your sketches might be? You simply have to play a lesbian teen soap star who starts hacking people to death when her producer asks her to French a boy, or something!
ER: It [ACME] can be intense, but I think my soap training will help me get through it. I don't want to blow the best and most surprising bits, but needless to say there will be jokes about my soap experience, and an opportunity for me to show off some special skills. That's all I'll say!
Well I hate I can't be in SoCal to see the show on Saturday night (the DC jet is in the shop), but I will be watching it online! Your husband, Imaginary Bitches creator Andrew Miller, has to be one of the funniest mofo's I know. What did he say when you told him you were hosting ACME?
ER: He's really excited! He can't believe what a professional and fun show they put on every week, and neither can I. It's very impressive. It feels awfully like hosting another famous Saturday night show that airs weekly on NBC. I'll have to ask my soap mom, Susan Lucci, for tips, because she famously hosted that show once, to hilarious effect.
DC: La Lucci recently came out to see her onscreen ex-hubby Walt Willey appear in ACME's "Unscripted Hollywood Dream Role". Will she or any of your other costars, past or present, be in the audience Saturday night?
ER: I hope so! I'm inviting them and I so hope their crazy schedules will allow them to come!
DC: As your former All My Children character Bianca Montgomery, you probably started more fanbase wars than any other soap character, save for maybe General Hospital's Jason Morgan. Do you hope all your LA-based Lianca, BAM and Breese fans will come out Saturday night?
ER: In a word, yes! It never feels like anything really happens unless they're there to see it! Like a tree falling in the middle of a forest!
DC: Your first airdate on Y&R is right around the corner. Are you at all nervous about a.) how All My Children fans will accept you in a new role and b.) how Y&R watchers will adapt to your take on Heather Stevens?
ER: All of the above. I hope AMC fans will be watching, since I know they support me no matter what, and I'm going to need all the love and positive mojo I can get, and I really hope that Y&R fans come to accept me. I'm crazy about the show, the set, the cast, the character, the whole experience! I just want to do a good job and win them over. That's my number one goal.
DC: You've been blessed enough in your soap career to play the offspring of two beloved, legacy character. On Y&R, you will portray the daughter of dutiful, private investigator Paul Williams, played by Doug Davidson, and on AMC your mama was a little known soap character by the name of Erica Kane, as played by the aforementioned Susan Lucci. How do you keep getting so lucky?
ER: I must have done something nice in a past life! Doug, like Susan did all those years ago, has really helped me adapt to my new surroundings, and made me feel like a member of the family. It's so important because it's awkward to walk in, shake someone's hand and say, "Hi, I'm going to be your daughter today!" But we created an sort-of instant familiarity with each other, and I like him so much. He does phenomenal work, so I am so lucky to be working with him.
DC: Eden, humor, not to mention talent, seems to run in your family. Your sister Tatiana is an editor for The United States of Tara, and I recently discovered your funny-as-hell brother Sam Riegel, part of the Riegel and Blatt comedy duo. Did you all just sit around as kids acting out crazy sketches and telling lewd jokes while your poor mother attempted to make pot roast in peace?
ER: The funny part of that question is the image of my mother making pot roast. More like ordering Chinese! Yeah, she's not much of a cook. But, yes, our house was always lively with laughter and humor. Just last night my brother, sister and mom were over at our house, and Andrew made a joke that actually caused me to spit a large gulp of Pellegrino all over Riley (the Riegel-Miller's pooch) and our carpet. Andrew fits right in to the crazy Riegel family.
DC: I saw your appearance in Man Bear, your bro's outrageously-funny webisode for Atom.com and it made me long for my beloved Imaginary Bitches—that is of course after I changed my pull up from laughing myself right into an accident—what's the latest on the IB movie?
ManBear Part 2 - Funny Ha Ha
ER: No news yet on the IB movie, but, amazingly, there is renewed interest in making season 2 of the web series! Now that I have a whole cast of Y&R actors to recruit to the show, we just have to make more. I know, IB fans will believe it when they see it! We've had a lot of close calls and I am just hoping one day an opportunity pans out.
DC: Two words: Billy Miller and Michael Muhney in a love quadrangle with IB's Eden's and Glee's Jessalyn Gilseg! Okay... that's way more than two words, but you get the drift. Break a leg Saturday night girl!
Be sure to check out Eden Riegel hosting ACME Saturday Night at the ACME Comedy Theatre, located at 135 N. La Brea Avenue in Hollywood, this Saturday night, April 14. Tickets are $10 online and $15 at the door. Not in SoCal? Watch the show streamed online at www.acmecomedy.com!
First Photo of Eden Riegel by Brooke Nevin