Sue Heck from ABC’s The Middle is played by the hilariously sweet Eden Sher. I got the chance to talk to Eden about all things Sue Heck, her new book The Emotionary and the time she cried over Taylor Swift.
Sue is a quirky, kind of awkward middle child who’s navigating her way through college. I can totally relate to this character, and not because we’re the same age, but because she has flaws and she embraces them. So I want to know in which ways you relate with Sue?
This is such a hard question to answer because I feel like the lines have blurred in the past seven years. Oh my gosh, I am so sorry, I just found out my dog peed in my room! See! That’s how I relate. (laughs) It’s like wherever her attention is taking her at that moment, that I have a grasp on ‘oh what’s the most exciting thing at this moment right now?’ Maybe it’s because of Sue, but I feel like I’ve been able, it sounds so cliché, but I’ve become light-hearted with things that would usually make me upset.
She’s such a crazy character that you can’t help but love her. What crazy things can we expect to see Sue do in Season 8? It seems like she’s always up to something new each season. Is there anything you can disclose to us?
I’m not sure! (laughs) I know that she’s a sophomore in college, so things are getting a little crazier. She’s growing up and becoming a young woman! I can guarantee there’s going to be some fun antics with her and her life choices. Also, her love life is going to be pretty exciting!
Oh! I was actually just about to ask about her love life, so I’m glad to hear she’s going to have one. You’ve been playing Sue for a while now, going on your eighth season. What has been the most rewarding part of being on this show and being a part of the cast?
I just have such cliché answers! (laughs). But the I love working with Charlie, who plays Axl, and Neal and Patty, really just all of them. I got one of my best, best, best friends out of this show. Charlie, he’s so special to my heart. I cry when I think about him! I always thought of Charlie as this new friend, like I have all these old friends. I sort of realize now that he’s not really a new friend. It makes me so emotional! I say, ‘Oh we’re going to be friends forever!’
It’s so evident on screen that you two have great chemistry even though you’re playing brother and sister. You can still tell that there’s that connection with your work! Can you tell us what’s to come in season 8 with the whole Heck family?
The dynamics are shifting is all I can say, they are shifting. (laughs). We’re all growing up! The writers have done an excellent job maintaining the integrity of the show and with the characters. Letting us spread our little character wings. It allows for the natural progression of how our grown selves would react to each other and how our relationships would shift. In this dynamic kind of way. You’ll see some more tangible work this year.
I’m really excited! Shifting gears to your book The Emotionary. What was your inspiration for writing this book? It has such a unique concept, and there aren’t many books like it. So I want to know what motivated the writing of this?
Being crazy! (laughs) That was pretty much it. You grow up feeling crazy, and you have a lot of feelings. It’s a funny story, I was talking to my boyfriend the other day, and I realize it was not quite a memorable experience, but you know you grow up and you have to throw temper tantrums, and you have to scream! You just have to let it all out. You feel guilty for hours, and you just hate yourself, and you want to crawl in the corner. You just argue with yourself like ‘that’s the way you do it!’ You know? But it was just a combination of being obsessed with needing to be productive, being right, and the passion of knowing everything. Along with being hyper-emotional and then cycling through those phases of yourself. Like ‘oh no! I’m not doing enough, or I’m not feeling enough!’ Feeling all the feelings.
I’m obsessed with words which is probably a key factor. But I think I like knowing everything. (laughs). I decided to capitalize on my emotional self-indulgence, and I didn’t know it was going to be a book. I just had to get it out. Then I thought it was funny because I would just hit it with puns and funny things. Honestly, I think it spawned from all the feelings.
Then I just thought of a title and said, ‘it’s a book!’ (laughs). We’ll make everything based on a book now.
Well I’m so glad you made it into a book because I’m really excited to read it! What is your writing process? I know some authors outline and they’re very particular with what they do. Or did you just write it as you felt?
I tried the whole organizing…thing! (laughs) It never really leads to anything. I’m sure writing teachers would tell me I need to have some sort of writing structure in mind. It was more like brain vomit! It was like a logic puzzle. This whole thing has been reconciling my whole extreme need for logic. I just got all the feelings out and then I was like ‘ok…let’s connect the dots’. It’s not a story. It’s just a feeling of how I’d want the words. It was a back-and-forth in my brain. It was like SPLAT! Now how do I make this understandable to other people?
That’s great! I read that you like to read. What is your all-time favorite book? If you had to pick just one book, what would it be?
It’s funny you say that because I’m actually a terrible reader! (laughs) I’m a really, really slow reader. But I’m obsessed with comics. I read a lot of comics and graphic novels. Can my favorite book be a comic book?
Of course! Comics still count as books!
It is hands down, Y: The Last Man.
It was a comic series in the early 2000s. It’s by Brian K. Vaughn. If you haven’t read any of his stuff, he’s brilliant. He’s so good! It’s like ten volumes but you literally go through them in a couple of days because it’s a comic book. It’s digestible and this really honest portrayal of humanity. It’s so cinematic and so dramatic! It has you hooked from the first issue. I’ll just ramble on about it.
(laughs) Here at Talk Nerdy With Us, we’re always fangirling over different things like TV shows, books and such. What are some things you nerd out over? Besides that comic series! You can choose someone you fangirl out over too.
I feel like the most fangirly I get is over Rick and Morty and Broadcity. And Pete Holmes. I don’t know if you know him. Maybe he wins because I’m trying to think who I would cry over if I met them. I think he would take the cake!
Now that we’re talking about crying, have you cried over someone who you met?
(laughs) I have…I did one time. I cried when I met Taylor Swift.
I love that. I would cry too so it’s all good.
I stand by that reaction. I do love her, and I do love her music. But I don’t think at this point in my life that I would cry if I met her again. (laughs)
You can catch Eden on The Middle on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET!