Friday, July 30, 2010

Eric Sheffer Stevens: The We Love Soaps Interview (3 of 3)

In Part One and Part Two of our interview with Eric Sheffer Stevens, the actor discussed getting into the acting profession, landing the role of Reid Oliver on AS THE WORLD TURNS, and adjusting to the daytime production process. In Part Three below, he discusses his love for soccer, his new play, and the future.

We Love Soaps: I want to talk to you also about being an athlete. We know you're a great soccer player...
Eric Sheffer Stevens: [Smiles] I'm not a great soccer player. I don't know where you heard that. I can play. I'm a great soccer watcher, an avid watcher of European soccer.

We Love Soaps: How did you get into that?
Eric Sheffer Stevens: I don't know. It's a long story, but [I've been watching] for the last 10 years at least, or eight, since I've figured out how to use the internet. More of more European games are being shown here and especially at pubs around the city.

We Love Soaps: It's quite active if you go to a pub, especially during the World Cup it was loud.
Eric Sheffer Stevens: Most Saturday mornings I'm at a bar watching my team, which is the Tottenham Hotspur.

We Love Soaps: You like Alabama football, and all these random things. Do you like pro football?
Eric Sheffer Stevens: I was brought up with it. I was a 49ers fan. There was some player on the team that I couldn't stand for a long time and I vowed not to the watch them until they got rid of him.

We Love Soaps: T.O.?
Eric Sheffer Stevens: I won't say but he went on to ruin the Eagles and ruin the Cowboys...

We Love Soaps: Does he have a reality show on VH1?
Eric Sheffer Stevens: That coincided when I was down at grad school, and my love of college football kind of replaced my love of professional. There's something more pure and more exciting about it.

We Love Soaps: You've played a lot of different roles in different mediums. Is there something you haven't played that you would like to play?
Eric Sheffer Stevens: Oh, yeah. I don't know if I can articulate it but there's tons of stuff out there I haven't played that I want to play.

We Love Soaps: Do you want to do more films?
Eric Sheffer Stevens: I want to do whatever comes next. I want to do more film stuff. I'd like to be able to have a balanced palette and being able to do this, this and this all throughout the year and mixing it up. But the work doesn't come that way.

We Love Soaps: Do you write?
Eric Sheffer Stevens: No.

We Love Soaps: Sometimes in this day and age the best thing is to write or produce your own thing.
Eric Sheffer Stevens: I can neither write nor produce so I'll have to depend on the kindness of others.

We Love Soaps: You're in rehearsal for a show, "Much Ado About Nothing," from Vermont Shakespeare Company. You've done "Much Ado About Nothing" before.
Eric Sheffer Stevens: I was Don Jon the bastard. He's similar to Reid actually. I did that at The Pearl Off-Broadway here in New York. Ray Virta played Benedict. This time around I'm playing Benedict and my wife Jenny is playing Beactrice. This company is run by a classmate of mine from Alabama Shakespeare, John Nagle, and he's directing it. Another of our classmates, Sheffield Chastain, is playing Dogberry. A classmate is stage managing it. It'll be really fun. This is ten years since we've been out of grad school so it's fun to be back.

We Love Soaps: You've acted with your wife before?
Eric Sheffer Stevens: It happens every once in a while.

We Love Soaps: And what works out okay?
Eric Sheffer Stevens: Not always [laughs]. It can be tense. Right now it's going fantastic. Last time we did it, it went really, really well. But we've worked together since we were in college so it doesn't always go well. But we've gotten much better at diffusing any tension. We almost know each other too well so sometimes it gets a little tense I think. I'm not sure how to describe it.

We Love Soaps: You seem kind of soft spoken. Maybe this is my very first impression. Did you get any relief by going to the WORLD TURNS set and being really snarky and mean all day?
Eric Sheffer Stevens: As an outlet? No. I get it out. I'm not always soft spoken. I have no pent up emotions. Everything finds a way of getting out.

We Love Soaps: If you can go back to when you first came to New York out of college as a young actor, and give yourself one piece of advice, knowing what you know now, what would tell yourself?
Eric Sheffer Stevens: I'm not sure. I'm a completely different person than when I moved here. The thing that surprised me the most about what I learned the most from was watching other people work. I think when I moved here I kind of thought I had an idea that I worked well, that I was pretty good at it. And it was only through watching older people, better people, more experienced people rehearse and work that I picked up on what they were doing. I've learned more watching people I admire rehearse and work than any other tool, or anything I've tried to do myself. I don't know what I would tell myself but that had the biggest impact on me.

We Love Soaps: Where do you want to be in five years?
Eric Sheffer Stevens: You know what, I don't really think that far ahead. The future is always kind of dark for me. I tend to not spend energy thinking about it. I know it's good to have a plan and all that but I can usually only see like three months ahead [laughs]. It's the only way I picture things.

We Love Soaps: Think you'll stay in New York?
Eric Sheffer Stevens: I think so. Anything can happen and I'm open to anything happening. There's a lot more work there [in Los Angeles] but I live here, my kids are here, my boy's in school, and I feel very happy here. I've been in L.A. working and not been happy there. I don't enjoy the traffic. There's a lot there that is enjoyable. So I don't know.

1 comment:

  1. Roger (and Damon),

    Thank you again for another look inside Eric Sheffer Stevens.

    He comes across as an "Actor's Actor", which I love.

    It's a wonderful week to be a fan of this fine actor.