|«I'm shy... and I get reddened when I receive dared mail from my admirers !»|
By Joan Mac Trevor, Ciné Télé Revue, 1987
Since he became seductive Brick Wallace in Santa Barbara, Richard Eden knows a great popularity in all the countries where the show is aired. The televiewers loved at the first sighth his character that he describes like the man of the 80's : honest, strong, romantic, intelligent. "He does not treat the equal one to equal with women", he says with a lot of humour, "he considers them much better !" Born under the sign of love, on February 14 (he is an Aquarius), the sympathetic actor incarnates all the passion of a young man for his job. On the other side of the Atlantic, to answer the thousands of fans who write to him, he created a little newspaper called Eden's Garden, in which he speaks about Santa Barbara, his life, his hobbys, his friends. He answers all the questions ! Very early, he led a very rich life. The divorce of his parents (whereas he was still young) obliged him to move regularly. Then, encouraged by his fiancée of the time, he began in theatre. His successes are numerous. Behind the TV star, there is a great actor. And behind the image of the seducer, a very attaching personality.
When did you join the team of Santa Barbara ?
Next September, very exactly three years ago. It is a little in spite of me that I was involved to audition for the role of Brick Wallace which had been just created. Everyone found me perfect but I feared to engage me for a too long time. A role had previously already been proposed to me in the show Search For Tomorrow, but I had then refused because I did not want to be a full-time TV actor at all. Moreover, theatre attracted me much more.
Many actors are like you : they well want to play in a soap-opera, but not for a too long time. Did your opinion change since the time of your engagement ?
It changed meanwhile. But I came back to the same point today : three years, it is long ! In fact, I am divided between the pleasure of playing my character of Brick Wallace and the impossibility of making another thing. It is as if was playing the same part for three years, other than any other role.
How do you explain the success of Santa Barbara, both in Europe and in the United States ?
Thanks to the actors and the dynamism of the production line team. To the actors because they make their characters credible and that they are moreover beautiful and sexy. To the production line team because it succeeded in establishing a perfect alchemy between the various characters.
Doesn't this new celebrity weigh you too much ?
No. It is pleasant to be recognized. In any case, when you work a lot, you pay little attention to it.
What do you prefer : to be a TV star or a theatre actor with more multiple talents but also more anonymous ?
Both because, when you are a star, and that moreover you have talent, you can cause interest around your person and find more easily worthwhile and bigger roles.
Now that you know your character well, what do you want to bring him in complement ?
A little of madness and humour. To make him seductive more by his human qualities that by his physique.
Do you feel some affinity with the character of Brick Wallace ?
Brick is probably the man I would like to be : the force, the experiment, the uprightness...
What pushed you to choose the career of actor ?
The need to have a creative activity. But it is not in the career of actor that I looked for express myself at all. In fact, I was even greatly opposed to it. The life that an actor leads seduced again less when I imagined more or less long periods without work and without engagement, which on our premises is particularly painful because we do not earn any allowance. The prospect of a such insecurity displeased to me. It is the day when my girlfriend of the moment pushed me to audition for a role in the part Barefoot in the Park that I really had the illumination. I still lived in Toronto, Canada at the time. It was ten years ago. I was 20. I get caught and the part was a success, but it is the close contact with the public that convinced me to continue. As I like to do only what I can do perfectly, I then followed lessons. But I do not like to play just to play. The real pleasure I feel it when the character and me do nothing else anymore but one.
Do you feel close to your partners in the show ?
As long as we are on stage, yes. Outwards, not.
Is it easy to work for such a long period with the same partners ?
Yes. This daily practice facilitates the things even largely. We know each other so well now that we form like a great family. One feels to better play and it is much easier to be let go when one is in family. Each one knows the reactions and the small manias of the other. One can thus more freely concentrate on his text and his character.
Even before you decided to become an actor, you made a long stay in Europe. What did you get from it ?
It is true, with a bag on the back and three pennies in the pocket I travelled to England, Yugoslavia, Germany and still elsewhere. What did I get from the adventure ? That people were similar under all the latitudes. That they were different only by the way of expressing what they have in common.
What do you aim at once the work completed ?
At a good hot shower ! Once came home, I get rid of what can still remain of my make-up, I put myself completely naked, I pour a fresh drink, I start the conditioning air and I lie down under the sun. It is to have peace that I built a wall quite high in my garden, what does not prevent some of my friends from trying to take photos of me.
Are you often attacked by your fans ?
Never. I easily disappear and I can do so that I cannot be found. I feel a kind of timidity in my relations with my admirers. It is undoubtedly due to a too long experiment of loneliness, a practice I contracted shortly after the divorce of my parents when I was 12 years old.
Mail of admirers ?
Yes, a lot. Some of them affirm to me that I am their favourite one, others that I am very sexy. I get reddened. I even received parts of clothes.
Projects of wedding ?
Since the time that a friend tries to pass the ring to me around the finger, I suppose that I will succumb soon.
Would you prefer to marry someone who is in the same job than the opposite ?
My friend is in that job, but I prefer by far someone who is not, while being aware of all the difficulties and the requirements of this job. I am often subject to abrupt changes of mood, I tend to be too emotive. It is necessary to be in that job or to know it to understand that.
What do you do to relax ?
I force myself to think of another thing that my work. I make the vacuum in my spirit and I set to a new creative work. I also read, I listen to music. I like a lot music that releases a certain sensuality. To relax me physically, I do gymnastics and I walk. I walk a lot. But the most efficient of the relaxations, it is still to see friends.
What is the most beautiful memory that you keep from your childhood ?
The day when my mother took me along in the wings of a London theatre, to attend to the last act of Romeo and Juliet. When I half-opened the curtain and that I saw the room plunged in the darkness and a violent ray of light lighting only the scene and the actors, I understood all the magic and the mystery that these places could conceal. For the 8 year old child that I was, it was the first contact with the marvellous world.