How she celebrated the show’s 100th episode and what it’s like playing the quirky, loveable Sue Heck
By Lie Shia Ong
You’ve probably laughed watching Eden Sher play the easily excited ball of energy that is Sue Heck, the middle child on ABC’s show “The Middle.” In real life, the 21-year-old is just as funny as she is on TV.
MSN TV: The Season 5 premiere just aired. What can we expect from sue Heck coming up this season?
Eden Sher: Oh, you have some shenanigans to look forward to. Let me tell you. [Laughs.]
Without giving too much away, is there a big moment that you can tease ahead to?
There is a lot of drama, fun drama with her romantic life this season.
Is it someone new?
Maaaaaaybe. Or maybe it’s someone we already know!
Because one of your fans, Natasha, wanted to know if Sue will have her “Cinderella moment” this season. It kind of started last season with her dating Axl’s friend, who accepted Sue for who she was.
Cinderella moment? What does that mean?
I think she means getting her fairy-tale “ending.”
Hmm. I don’t know if I like the Cinderella analogy. [Laughs.] I do know what she’s saying, but there’s no like, big moment. There’s no big moment like that. I mean, right now I’m still in the thick of it, so it’s still like an ongoing drama, an ongoing journey. So there hasn’t really bene that “ahhhhhh” moment, but maybe there will be, but it will be an angel, God-like moment.
You are by far one of the funniest characters on TV. Christopher wants to know: What aspects of Sue’s personality reflects yours in real life?
My go-to answer is our innate ability to squeal. That’s kind of the most important and prominent similarity. We both are very gullible, I’m realizing. I mean, sue, yeah but I didn’t realize I was this gullible. It comes form being very overly trusting of people. My friends actually tell me this all the time, but if you are this, it’s kind of a hard thing to not conquer, but a hard thing to realize, or change, because you consistently, you can’t—because apparently, I’m overly sincere, but I can be dry. I have some sarcastic sides of me. I got some of that sarcasm. I’m usually the last to get it. I always say “really.”
What is your favorite part about playing Sue?
The physical comedy. All the catcalling and dancing and skipping. You know what it is? I get paid to do all the things that would make me crazy anywhere else. Being an actor pretty much is this, but being Sue is concentrated parts of lunacy. It’s in a contained environment so it’s all fine and it’s recorded on film so someone is benefiting from this other than me, but pretty much I just get to go in there and be a complete loon. Like a crazy person and I love it. I get to whack around. I get to say, aww man, I get to say so many words so quickly.
At one point watching the season premiere, I was thinking, where does Eden get all this energy? Because Sue is just a ball of energy! I mean, do you just drink lots of coffee when you’re shooting all day?
Well, I do have a drink. I have the best PA [production assistant] on set—his name is Jeff—he is just the man. He knows what to make me. It’s an iced—this is not really how I get my energy, though. I have not had any caffeine this morning and I’m just as—I’m ready to go. But, not, I do have a special red-eye, black-eye whatever coffee drink that I sip on throughout the day.
But that’s the thing. I’ve always—I mean, even ask my mom—I’ve always been this way. I have had just an excess of energy. That’s why I’ve always bene active. I have to be doing something. I have to be doing. OK, I have an after-school activity. I’ve got this. I’ve got that. I’ve got a this. I’ve got a that. I’ve got a that. I’ve got a this. Ahhhhh! Just go, go, go! So Sue has been like me. She’s found that outlet. I do a lot of punching things constructively to release energy. But I’ve found in the last five years, it’s been such a great year—I’m like tired at the end of the day because Sue has even more energy than me. She’s the only [person] who can outdo me. It’s like a challenge I have to rise to every day. It’s like, ‘OK, I’ve got to bring it up. I’ve gotta get it up today.’ And at the end of the day, I’m like ‘Great.’
Tiffany wanted to know: We’ve watched Sue’s clothing change through the course of the seasons. How do you feel about her clothing choices?
I almost want some credit, no, the wardrobe people should get credit. It is ridiculous. Sue is a trendsetter! Sue’s style. You know what? Her wardrobe hasn’t really changed that much. She’s matured a little big, but really it’s stayed the same. Sue, I feel like, has gotten far more trendy in the past few seasons only because what she was originally wearing is now considered trendy! I’m so serious. She was wearing those floral pants before Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie, name another store, had ‘em in stock!
That’s very true, actually. I can see that. Sue is a trendsetter!
Sue is a revolutionary! She is kind of an iconoclast in a great way.
The show recently hit quite the milestone: 100 episodes. How did the cast and crew celebrate?
Oh, man. I celebrated by weeping. I just cried. I cried the whole time… I cried for the party we had. I cried when the whole case and crew for really awesome Middle” bikes, and we had an awesome “Middle” cake that was actually the house, the Hecks’ house. We just partied and we kept filming.
I hugged Charlie [McDermott] and cried. I hugged Neil [Flynn] and I cried. I hugged Patty [Patricia Heaton] and I cried. I hugged Atticus [Finch] and I cried. I hugged the writers and I cried.
I’m guessing you all have so much fun on the set. Is there a funny story that sticks out from shooting this season?
Umm… I don’t know. We do have a ton of fun. It’s not like it’s isolated to one story. It’s kind of like Neil making me—Neil and Charlie—making me cry form laughter every day with little bits that they do. This is not reflective of our usual dynamic—but this is just a funny story that I hope is on some sort of bloopers reel. Maybe it is sort of a testament to our bond on the cast. There was a line that I had that was, the end of it was, “Yeah, she had to decide between a beagle and a corgi.” I said, I’m not kidding, I’m not exaggerating, probably 20 times, a “corgi and a beetle.” Just that one line. At that point Patty and Neil were off-camera and they were just staring at me. And I’d say “OK, corgi and a beagle. Corgi and a beagle. Corgi and a beagle. OK let’s go, let’s go. I’m ready.” And I’d say it and it would come out and I would say “Corgi and a beetle!” And they would be like, “Ohhhhh!”
Where do you see the Heck family 20 years from now?
OK, I see Frankie and Mike are, I wanna say they’re retired, but I don’t know. I don’t know how retired they would be. Maybe almost retired. In 20 years, Sue will be 36. I really thing Sue will be a guidance counselor at a middle school kind of like Whoopi Goldberg was for her. Or like running a daycare or something. I think Brick—well, let’s see, let’s go with Axl first. He’ll be almost 40. Uhhh, I don’t know where Axl would be. You know what? It would be hilarious if we worked at the same school. Because I bet he’d be like a high school football coach. I’d be a high school guidance counselor and Brick would be a researcher in Antarctica.
Oh my gosh! We can start the spin-off ideas now, Eden!
Oh my God. Let’s do it. It’s all in writing.
Any message you want to send out to your fans out there?
Thank you. It’s so cliché. I want to say rock on, like never change. Be Sue.