Holly Arend // February 23rd
Eva is best known for her acclaimed role on ABC's award-winning medical drama "Grey's Anatomy” where her performance as “Sofia Sloane-Torres” continues to garner praise from fans all over the world. She is now starring in Apple TV+’s new show, Dear Edward, which helms from Friday Night Lights and Parenthood creator, Jason Katims. I sat down with Eva to discuss the show and her history with acting.
Hi! Thanks for your time; tell us a bit about who you are!
Hi my name is Eva Ariel Binder! I am a native Californian born in Glendale CA. I’ve been acting since I was seven, but actually, you could say I’ve been acting professionally since I was born. My parents own a post production facility and my dad brought one of his mics and gear into the delivery room and recorded my birth. He then proceeded to create demon voices with my first sounds and placed them into some of the biggest horror genre films and tv shows that are on TV today. In addition to acting, I also have been playing piano since I was 5 and dancing since I could walk. As much as I love acting, I also would love to direct, produce, and write, I’ve actually already written multiple screen plays. I also love doing stunts and I did all of my own stunts in Dear Edward! The stunts we set up for the Derby tryout were my favorite. One more thing: I love crystals! I love everything about crystals. My favorite crystal is the flower amethyst Agate.
How has acting since a young age shaped the way you act in movies and Television now?
Acting from a young age has definitely shaped the way I act in film and television. When I was little and doing scenes from Grey’s Anatomy, there was this one scene where I had to be sad because I missed my friends and my mom that was in New York. I realized that when I would rehearse my scenes at home it was really really easy for me to access any deep emotions, but then when I got to set it was so much harder to get to those deep dark places because someone is doing your makeup or touching your hair or pulling you around, and telling you where to go. I did get to the emotional place I wanted but it wasn’t as easy to do on set as it was in the privacy of my own home. So I began exploring different techniques to ensure that the emotions I want to experience truthfully I could whenever and wherever I wanted. I realized I needed to have tools in my actor's toolbox so that if the scene wasn’t working for me on its own for whatever reason I could use emotional preparation, substitution, or I could could use experiences from my own life, music, and I even went and researched videos all over the internet for ones that provoke the emotions that I desired. I remember I did this film called “You are My Home” on Netflix, and I had to cry multiple times a day every single day for like a month. So I had to make sure I came really prepared with so many options that could help me achieve the real emotions that I wanted to experience in the scenes.
Photo: Ben Cope
What's the best piece of advice you have been given by a fellow actor or director?
Some of the best advice I ever received from someone was to always come to set prepared. Do your homework and then let it all go and just connect with the other actor or actors in the scene with you. TRUST yourself and your prep work so you can be organic and spontaneous in the moment. Go on the ride and let whatever happens in that moment happen. I find the unknown exciting. I can’t wait to see what the other actors bring because it's always different from what I imagined in my head.
What are three words you would use to describe you new series "Dear Edward" ?
From my Character Shay’s journey in Dear Edward the three words I would use to describe the show are friendship, loyalty, and adventure.
Best piece of advice you can give to aspiring actors?
Some advice that was given to me and I will always pass on is that “Not always the best actor gets the job.” There are so many reasons that we will never know as to why you do or you don’t book a job. If you love what you do you must believe in yourself, be authentic to yourself, and never give up.
Photo: Ben Cope
How has it been working with Friday Night Lights and Parenthood creator, Jason Katims. ?
Jason is one of the kindest people I’ve ever met in my life. He has been one of my favorite people to ever work with. I am a huge fan!!!! Working with Jason was so incredible. Everyday on set he had this calm and grounded vibe that made me feel very free and comfortable for every scene. I wasn’t afraid to take a risk and just go for it. I was so nervous the first day. I arrived on set for Dear Edward, but Jason approached me with such a calm and nurturing presence that I felt so confident and safe to just create Shay. I will never forget the day we filmed in Time Square and Colin and I finished our first scene together as Shay and Edward and Jason and Jeni Mulien came up to Colin and I and said, “That’s it! That’s our show! We have finally seen Shay and Edward!”: They were beaming and that opened up my heart and gave me the ability to feel safe and excited for the rest of filming season one.
Describe your journey in acting so far and your goals.
So far in my career I have done a lot of dramas which I love love love. Drama is my wheelhouse. It’s like my comfort zone, but I have also done quite a bit of animation. I’m currently the voice of Baby Alex in Super Giant Robot Brothers on Netflix, which has been so much fun to record. Baby Alex is such a crazy little genius, and this role was a full transformation for me. I can’t explain it, you'll just have to check it out!! I am also in another animation series called “Stillwater” that is currently streaming on Apple TV plus, where I play the role of Addy. It’s such a beautiful show and I think all kids and even adults can learn a lot about loving kindness and dealing with emotions from the show. The funny thing is that when I was little I always wanted to do horror movies. Now that I have expanded into doing more drama I really really want to do drama/action movies. I am DYING to be in a Russo Brothers action film. I wanna be like Ana de Armas. A fierce dramatic actress that can kick some serious booty. She slays. Also Marvel. I wanna be a superhero. “Silk” is on my list!!!
How did your time working on Grey's anatomy help you in learning your acting style?
Working with such incredible actresses like Ellen Pompeo, Jessica Capshaw, and Sara Ramirez was… well it was a long time ago lol, but still I remember having conversation with them at the cast chairs, then going to set and doing scenes with them, and they would be so natural and grounded and literally the same person. I was so inspired by that and I remember wanting to be like them. I also remember I was sitting in a holding area in Meredith Grey's house waiting for my next scene and on the other side of the wall Sara was filming the scene where she finds out that she lost custody of me ( Sofia) and breaks down and totally loses it, and I literally started to shake, and I got tears in my eyes because hearing her and feeling her affected me so much. She really went through it and it was just so deep, and so real. So basically my acting style now is grounded, truthful, and seamless from me into my character.(At least that is what I strive for.) Which was initially inspired by working with those incredible actors on Grey's Anatomy.
Thank you Eva for sitting down with us! Make sure to check out her Apple TV+’s new show, Dear Edward!