It’s been quite a year for Bianca Montgomery. Since returning home last fall from treatment for anorexia, Bianca has come to terms with her sexuality and revealed her lesbianism to everyone in Pine Valley. Bianca’s manipulative but loving mother, Erica Kane, initially struggled with her daughter’s unexpected announcement, but it appears that their relationship is back on track. With that traumatic experience behind her, Bianca is now focused on giving moral support to Laura, a potential love interest with a serious heart condition.
While Eden Riegel ’02 gratefully acknowledges that the last 10 months of her own life have not been nearly as dramatic as Bianca’s, her experience playing the shy teenager on the hit ABC daytime drama “All My Children” has brought with it changes no less significant. In March, Riegel was nominated for an Emmy.
Though Riegel did not go home with a statue after last Friday night’s awards presentation in New York City, the former Pforzheimer House resident is nevertheless proud of her work on “All My Children,” which won four awards after receiving nominations in 21 categories.
Since last July, Riegel has made the transition from life as a rising Harvard junior to working as a regular on the daily television series, in which she stars opposite soap opera icon Susan Lucci.
In her first season on the show, Riegel has attracted the attention of both devoted soap opera enthusiasts and the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, which nominated Riegel for a Daytime Emmy as a “Younger Performer in a Drama Series” in March.
“It’s amazing to be where I am right now and to have been nominated for an Emmy award,” Riegel said. “It’s beyond my wildest dreams. I feel so honored to have been nominated.”
While she admits that winning the Emmy was “definitely in the back of my mind” during the week leading up to the awards ceremony, Riegel said her Emmy experience was definitely a positive one.
“It was my first awards show, and I had a blast. I just reminded myself that this is something to be savored,” she said of the evening, which began with a pre-show cast dinner and ended with a party thrown by ABC.
The televised awards ceremony was the culmination of a busy week for the social studies concentrator. The day after presenting technical Emmy awards at a smaller ceremony last in New York, Riegel returned to Harvard on May 13 to take part in the “BJ Show,” a student-run variety show that served as a fundraiser for the Phillips Brooks House Association.
Then it was back to New York for five straight days of shooting.
“The whole week has been pretty surreal,” Riegel said, adding that she expected to be back at work at 7 a.m. this morning.
With her contract yet to run out and her character a major player in the ongoing storyline of “All My Children,” Riegel said she intends to continue her work on the soap. However, she said she plans to “look into theater” should her schedule open up.
And Harvard remains solidly in Riegel’s future, she insists.
“I definitely want to get my degree,” she said. “It’s very important to me.”
In the meantime, “All My Children” will continue to command Riegel’s attention. But while acting is her focus, Riegel said she would not mind another trip to the Emmys.
“It was such a fun night,” she said.
—Staff writer Nathan K. Burstein can be reached at email@example.com.