The Return of Eden Riegel

From the second Erica Kane’s daughter Bianca came out on All My Children, actress Eden Riegel secured herself a gay following for life. She's back, and for fans who've long wanted to see Riegel in a committed relationship, actress Tamara Braun joins the cast as Bianca's ... wife! Riegel sat down with Advocate.com to talk about life on AMC, her dramatic return, and what she calls the role of a lifetime.

BY Ross von Metzke

October 17 2008 12:00 AM ET

Eden Riegel x100 (ABC Web pix) | Advocate.com  

How did they convince you to come back this time? It was the story line that got me excited. I
always want to come back. I love All My
Children,
and they’re my family. I barely need an
excuse -- it’s usually just about timing. But
this time it was the fact that they were going to have
Bianca in a committed relationship. It was very, very
important to me, and I was so glad to hear that. In the
context of that, there’s some pretty exciting story
line plot points that I’m aware of that are
dramatic and fun to play and enticing as an
actress…

And they’re making you keep quiet ... Yes. I know how to keep a secret now.
I’ve learned.

I’ve heard you say in the past that you take
playing Bianca very seriously. I’m wondering why
you think Bianca has become such an important
character for the gay community to identify with.
Those fans are rabid. I know people who watch AMC
only when they know you’re coming back.
Oh, God ... that’s so great. That makes
me very happy. I’m sure ABC wishes they would
watch all the time [laughs]. First of all, I
think it’s the nature of the medium and that people
get to see this character on a day-to-day basis and
she doesn’t have to do anything sensational
ever. She can just be and live in this world and do the kind
of things that every other character does on the show. That
she has a family and her mom is a total diva, Erica
Kane, who everybody already adores, especially in the
gay community, I’m well aware. The fact that
she’s not there for stunt purposes. That she’s
a living, breathing human being -- I think it’s
refreshing. I think that’s still kind of a rarity.

And then, also,
because Bianca is so special. She has such a big heart
and such a pure soul. I think she’s a totally whole
person with flaws, but her heart is in such the right
place. I’m lucky to be able to play such a
special character, and I love where she’s coming
from.

Do you think having an openly gay sister brought a
certain authenticity to how you approach the role?
Maybe. It’s possible. I mean, I’d
call her up sometimes and I would ask her really dumb
questions, like "What kind of music do lesbians listen
to?" or "What was it like when you came out? How did you
feel?" It’s a good excuse to talk to your sister
about all of the intimate things that maybe you
don’t always share with your family. What I
realized in talking to her was that she’s not that
different from me… it just made it all more
personal, and made me not play into stereotypes out of
ignorance.

Do you think it made you two closer? Yeah, I do. I think my sister was really touched
that I would play a character like this every day for
so many years. I know I could tell her a million times
that I love her completely for everything that makes her
who she is, but this is the way that I could not just tell
her but show her.

Tags: television

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