A Chat with Eden Sher of ‘The Middle’

Credit: ABC/Bob D'Amico

Credit: ABC/Bob D’Amico

By Amy Amatangelo, TV Gal ®

As you all know, I’m a huge fan of The Middle (Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on ABC). The show is so funny without having any snarky undertone. (If you’re not watching the show, give it a try. Have I steered you wrong before?) The comedy features two of the best teenage characters on television. When I was at the Television Critics Association Press Tour last week, I had the chance to talk to Eden Sher, 21, who plays the ever-enthusiastic, middle child Sue Heck.

Question: How much of you is in Sue?

Eden Sher:  Sue was like my Sasha Fierce. She was my alter ego. I have become more like her. I think we’ve sort of melded into one. I think it’s like if you spend enough time around another person you’ll eventually be like them and I spend so many hours of the day pretending to be Sue.

Question: I always say there’s a little bit of Sue in anyone who has ever been a teenage girl. Do you think that’s true?

Sher: I don’t think it’s a universal thing. It’s a common thing. Definitely a relatable thing among people but I have come across some cynical people who just by nature do not have any Sue in them and I always feel like those are the people who need the most Sue.

Question:  Sue is a great role model.

Sher: There are tons of arbitrary standards that specifically women are held to, held to very harshly and they don’t matter at all. Sue is the poster girl for not giving a s*** about what anyone else thinks. She is totally unapologetically her. Always. Walk into a room. Don’t care about what anyone else thinks. It’s time to do Sue.

Question: What’s coming up for Sue? Will she get a boyfriend?

Sher: Yes! It’s a real life natural progression. If there was like an older brother and a younger sister, the  younger sister is probably going to date one of the brother’s friends. The writers sort of took that dynamic and made a little story line and Sue gets an older BF. He’s kind of a dope. He’s one of Axl’s friends that you’ve seen around. [TV Gal note: Could it be Darren who took Sue to the prom last year? Or Sean who Sue had a crush on in season two?]

Question:  You wrote and directed a short film called The Suitcase. How is that coming along?

 Sher: It is 97% done, it just needs five hours in post sound but I’ve just been so busy working.

Question: What’s it about?

Sher: It’s about a girl’s journey on her way to the subway and that’s all I will say.

Question: Do you think you want to do more things behind the camera?

Sher: I would love to write or direct something in the future. I’ll probably just keep writing because that’s a compulsion. I can’t help that. The quality is not very good but the quantity is large. I would love to do something behind the camera. That’s probably what everyone says.

Question: Do you think you will always want to act?

Sher: Acting is draining. Acting is physically exhausting. It’s definitely something I want to continue to do in the very immediate future. I see no stopping that in the next two, three, four years but beyond that but I don’t know. But then I would sort of just love to be in TV forever and just love to be on this show forever. I have a personal relationship with TV. Before I was even on TV, I just always related more to TV than to movies. I like the idea of going back week to week and building a personal relationship with these people and to sort of evolve with their lives. I love that.

Question: You (@edensher) and your co-star Charlie McDermott (@charliemcdrmott)  are very funny on Twitter. How did that get started?

Sher: I’m best friends with Charlie in real life. We just rag on each other. We just make fun of each other a lot. Most of the time we’re just having these exchanges two feet away from each other. We like to make fun of each other for always being on our cell phones. He’ll call me ‘Cell Phone Sally’ but he, in fact, is ‘Cell Phone Sal.’ He’s the major culprit on set for always being on his phone.

Question: But you guys aren’t dating?

Sher: No absolutely not. We’re very, very close. I set him up with one of my best friends. He was dating her for a very long time. I’m dating someone else. We all get along like family.