Eva Ariel Binder
5th March 2023
Interview: Chris Richmond
Photo Credit: Rowan Daly
Dear Edward is a new 10-part series which tells the story of the aftermath of a plane crash and its sole survivor. The fallout of the incident is explored in the plot of the story, and one of the show's stars, Eva Ariel Binder, spoke to us about her role in the show alongside Connie Britton and Taylor Schilling. We heard about what it was like working alongside such titans of the television industry, her start in her career, and her future career goals.
Can you describe your character in Dear Edward? What appealed to you about playing the role?
Shay is a very intricate character. She is a loyal, honest girl who is very blunt, awkward, and strong, yet vulnerable. Shay doesn’t sugarcoat things. She is the only person who treats Edward like an actual kid and tells him like it is -- sometimes to a fault. Aside from dealing with her new relationship with Edward, she is also dealing with her own difficulties at home, especially with her father being absent from her life most of the time.
A lot of things about Shay appealed to me, especially the way her scenes were written. With a lot of other projects that I have auditioned for, kids' roles read like kids' scenes, but when reading this script I was shocked at how layered and real the scenes were. This was why I was so drawn to Shay, but it also scared me. I was like “OMG how am I gonna do this?!” so I was very excited about the challenge. On a fun note, I love that Shay does roller derby! I actually had to learn how to roller skate for the show. I was such a bad roller skater before I booked the show; I had to hold on for dear life to one of those walkers that little kids use at the roller rink or I would end up on the ground! Thankfully production set me up with skating lessons. Pita, my coach, and I trained three days a week for three weeks before I went to New York to film the series, and then I practiced almost every day in New York. Even in the windy, bitter cold.
You star alongside Taylor Schilling and Connie Britton in Dear Edward - what was it like starring alongside two titans of the television industry?
Insane. I have ALWAYS always wanted to work with Taylor Schilling, and when I heard that I was going to be in the show with her I was beyond excited. Working with Taylor was so, so cool! She is such an amazing actress, and some of the scenes I did with her were my favorite in the series. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to work directly with Connie Britton on the show because our storylines never crossed, but I did run into her a couple of times! One time I was walking off of the sound stage, and I opened the door to see Connie and was starstruck. I introduced myself and she was low-key the SWEETEST person I have ever met! She also is an incredible actress. Watching her work in the show was very inspirational, as well.
Have you always loved acting? When did you first discover that you had a talent?
I have been immersed in the industry since I was born. Funny story… My dad works in post-production and brought a microphone into my birth. He recorded the first sounds I ever made, and then used my little baby cries to create some demon noises and placed them in some of the biggest horror films and television shows that are out today! So, to say I grew up in the industry is an understatement.
Also, when I was in preschool my mom taught me and the other little kids musical theater numbers, and we ended up performing one of them in a professional cabaret show with Broadway performers. There, a family friend had brought their son's manager to the performance, and the second she saw me she wanted to represent me, but at that time my parents were holding off feeling I was still a bit too young for that lifestyle. At around the age of 6, they decided to get me a commercial agent, and I ended up booking a whole bunch of national commercials and loved it. So, we reached back out to that manager, and she signed me in a heartbeat, and she is still my manager today! After I signed with her, I was on set filming a Toyota commercial, when my mom got a call from my manager for a same-day audition for Grey's Anatomy! The second we wrapped the commercial we jumped in the car and learned my lines on the way to the casting office for the audition, and I ended up booking the role of Sofia Sloan Torres!
As far as first discovering that I had talent is tricky. At first, I guess you believe you have talent because people tell you that you do. Like my mom, dance teacher, acting teacher, etc., but really believing, seeing, and feeling it for myself is an ongoing process. I always doubt myself at first, and it is a constant struggle to really know my worth, but I am working on that because I know you need to believe in yourself first, but sometimes that is easier to say than to feel.
You’ve previously worked on Grey's Anatomy - what was that experience like? Was it different from your experience on Dear Edward?
I remember Grey’s Anatomy being quite a magical experience for me. There are a couple of things that really stuck in my memory. One thing I remember was how much I loved the golf carts haha! At Grey's Anatomy, they used golf carts to go back and forth from the soundstages to the trailers, and I absolutely loved those rides, but what was so different for me when working on Dear Edward was the feeling of family. At Grey’s I would be in and out, so I really didn’t really have strong relationships with the other actors off-set, but I saw how they were all so close -- like a family of friends. From the hair trailer, wardrobe, craft services, sound, camera department, production assistants, and even directors, everyone knew everybody, and they were all so close and connected. I really wished to have that experience on set someday, and with Dear Edward, I found my extended family. Being a series regular was such an amazing experience for me because I got to build such close relationships and have my own set of the family that I always dreamed of having.
What’s your dream role or genre? What type of role would you love to play next?
I am dying to be in an action movie like a Marvel or Russo Brothers film. I love post-apocalyptic, futuristic action, and horror genres, too. I would love to play a role like Ana de Armas in The Gray Man, or Emily Blunt in A Quiet Place one day!
Who are your acting inspirations? Who’s careers would you love to emulate?
I look up to many actresses, but some of my favorites would have to be Emily Blunt, Nicole Kidman, Angelina Jolie, and Ana De Armas. I look up to these successful, beautiful women so much because they are strong, talented, driven, and kind, and also play so many different types of characters. One day, I hope to be as varied and accomplished as they are. I am also inspired by Tom Cruise because he is such a great actor, and he does his own stunts!!! I really love doing my own stunts and hope to follow in his footsteps. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to ride a motorcycle off a cliff, but I have no objections to some great chases and fighting scenes! I am hoping to carve out a place for myself in this industry where I can inspire young actors to follow their dreams like these actors have done for me.
Dear Edward is now streaming on AppleTV+