Soap Opera Weekly: First off, congratulations!
Eden Riegel: Thank you. I’m really excited. I can’t wait!
Weekly: How did this role come about?
Riegel: Through somebody that I knew back from my theater days. She’s the artistic director of this amazing theater company called The Reagle Players, just outside of Boston. Every year they do a celebrity series where they do three different Broadway shows — total Broadway-caliber productions. She kept track of my career and thought maybe this would be a good thing because she knew I was taking some time off from the soap world. She thought I might be a good fit for this particular character, and it sounded like the greatest idea. I got myself in good vocal shape and made sure I could still do all the tap moves (laughs). I went in to audition, and I guess they thought I could handle a show. This is a huge opportunity for me. I’ve had to neglect my love of musical theater for awhile, but now I get to go back to it, so it’s going to be amazing.
Weekly: Fans might not know you actually started on Broadway.
Riegel: I did. I started when I was 7 in Les Misérables, and I did mostly theater until college. I did some television and some film, but I was definitely a musical theater kid, and then made the transition into soaps.
Weekly: Would you be interested in doing more theater after this?
Riegel: Oh, my God, yes. It’s a dream of mine. For a while I stopped going to Broadway shows because I would sit there and it was everything I could do to control the impulse to like get up on the stage! It’s a great love of mine. I can’t believe I have this opportunity. I’ve never carried a show before. [Millie] is in, like, every number, and she sings these amazing, tour-de-force songs.
Weekly: So you’ll be staying in Boston for the rehearsal period and run of the show?
Riegel: Yes. I went to college in Boston, at Harvard, and I haven’t been back for a significant amount of time since then. I recently took a weekend trip into the city, and it is so beautiful, especially this time of the year. That’s a perk for me, because I get to spend some time at my old stomping grounds and get to experience life in Boston as an adult. It’s close enough to the city that my mom can come see me. It’s going to be just perfect.
Weekly: Are you back in Los Angeles in the meantime?
Riegel: I just got back. After I finished [AMC], I decided to take a vacation, so I went to Paris. I was dying for somebody to recognize me and say, “You really are in Paris! Where’s Miranda?” I had been to Paris once before, but only for a day. This time I really got to spend a significant amount of time there and take in the city. It was absolutely beautiful, but I wish I had done it before I made the appearance on ALL MY CHILDREN, because I keep having to speak French and mention the things I do and see in Paris. I think I could have talked about The Tuileries Gardens and the Champs-Élysée with a little more authority had I seen them.
Weekly: You know what that means, right? You’ll just have to visit AMC again.
Riegel: Well, that’s all right with me! It’s actually worked out amazingly well. I love going back there and seeing my friends; they’re really my family. Every time I go back, it’s like I never left. I’m so touched and honored they leave the door open for me. I’m a very lucky girl. Believe me, I know it.
Weekly: I have to ask, how would you feel about a permanent return to AMC?
Riegel: That’s a tough question. It’s definitely something I haven’t ruled out. Things are going well and I’m enjoying my life. I really did need a break. You work so hard there, it’s easy to let the work consume your life. It was good for me to have to figure out who I am, make my own choices, re-establish some friendships and do some things for me. I grew up in the business, so it’s been nice to have some time to myself. I kind of missed my childhood, so it’s cool to have a young adulthood. That place is so much a part of me and those people are in my heart all the time, so all I can say is anything can happen, and I’m definitely open to whatever happens next.
Thoroughly Modern Millie will be playing at The Robinson Theatre in Waltham, Mass., July 19-23. Tickets are $35-$48. For more information, call the box office at (781) 891-5600 or buy tickets online at www.reagleplayers.com.