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April 16, 2014

'90210' Star Ryan Eggold Talks Season 3, Robotic Babies and 9/02/10 Day

by Kim Potts, posted Sep 13th 2010 4:00PM
Ryan Eggold'90210' fans have probably already heard that tonight's third season premiere (8PM, ET, The CW) will include an earthquake that takes out one character, and that, sometime in season 3, a West Beverly student will come out as gay,

Meanwhile, Naomi (AnnaLynne McCord) will be dealing with the sexual assault she suffered in last season's finale and 'Entourage' star Adrian Grenier will be guest-starring on the ept. 20 episode show with his band, The Honey Brothers.

But students aside, one of the biggest storylines in season 3 will revolve around English teacher Ryan Matthews, who found out he was having a baby with Jen, a woman he doesn't particularly like, and who, in her snobby way, made it clear to him that she doesn't think someone with a school teacher's salary is worthy of babydaddying her baby.

Harsh, yes, and it set Mr. Matthews on a wicked bender that ended with him drunkenly crashing his car into the West Beverly High sign, and then driving away with his car on fire.TV Squad talked to Mr. Matthews' portrayer, Ryan Eggold, to find out if things might be looking up for his character in the new season, especially with fatherhood imminent ...

Poor Mr. Matthews. When last we saw him ...
(Laughing) Yeah, I think that's what he was saying, 'Poor Mr. Matthews ...'

Obviously, there had been a lot of things leading up to the state he was in. Was that him hitting bottom?
I think so, yeah. I think he was just bummed and indulging in self-pity and everything, and just being a bit of a teenager himself, in the sense of sort of wallowing in all that and drinking to forget his problems. But it's not who he is. It was out of character for him.


So where is he when we catch up with him in the new season?
He's having a baby with Jen now, and he's really cleaned up and ready to be a good father, and realizes he can't be the drunken mess he was turning into. He realizes he needs to get back on track and back to being a good guy, which I think he is.

When Jen was so mean to him, and told him she didn't want him to be the father of her baby because he's a school teacher and doesn't make as much money as she'd like, was that the one thing that really tipped him over the edge?
Yeah, definitely. That, and, in a sense, sort of opposite of that, in that it also sent him back to, "I can't be a screw up, I can't drink like this again ... I wanna be a good father. I want to be there, I'm going to fight for this." It also gave him something to look forward to, to fight for and be strong about. So now he's cleaned himself up, turned around and put his fear away.

Sara Foster Ryan EggoldHe also needs to be there to be the counterbalance to Jen as a parent, to be a more down to earth, good influence ...
Yes, you really need that. If just Jen was raising this baby, I just don't know what would happen. It would be horrible. That baby would be, like, cross-dressing at the age of five. But yeah, they're really quite a balancing act, because they're just so completely different and they don't get along at all, are constantly bickering. But they're stuck together in this situation of raising this child together, and they can't mess that up, obviously. So they're both learning, to be a parent, and they're both learning that they can't indulge their squabbles and their selfish behavior.

When the season starts, has Jen already had the baby?
No, she hasn't had the baby yet, but she is pregnant when we see her. And (Sarah Foster, who plays Jen) is pregnant in real life, while going through this on the show, which is kind of interesting for her. But no, the baby is born in episode three or four ... very soon, so (viewers) don't miss out on that.

So are you working with a baby actor now?
Yes, I am working with a doll, and a robo-baby, an electronic, machine baby, and then a real baby.

Is this your first time working with a baby actor?
Yes, it is and it's awesome. I requested that my actor baby be trained in classical theater and Shakespeare ... She's an incredible actress. She can sleep on cue. She's amazing. But no, it's really quite awesome, because holding a newborn is pretty great. The other day I was holding her, and she fell asleep and was sort of holding on to my shirt collar, and it was extremely cute.

So you get to be like an uncle, do all the fun baby stuff, but none of the not-so-fun, changing diapers, staying up all night, kind of stuff?
Exactly. (Laughing) It's the best way to have a baby. Everybody should have a child this way. You can go home, and get your sleep, but then you come to work and hold your baby, and say, 'Oh, she's so cute!' and go back home.

Did you and the rest of the cast celebrate 9/02/10 day on the set?
We did celebrate, but we actually went to Beverly Hills to celebrate, with the big hullabaloo they had. It was fun, but very strange, because there were 90210 signs all over L.A., and it was for 9/02/10 day and not (our) show, but I couldn't separate it, so it just felt like the show was everywhere. But it's cool, and it was particularly cool there, in Beverly Hills, because they made such a big deal of it.


You've had parts in so many high-profile shows -- 'The Young and the Restless,' 'Dirt,' 'Brothers & Sisters' and 'Veronica Mars' -- most of them pretty intense dramas. Are you kind of anxious to do a comedy next?
I would love to do a comedy, yes. I'm shooting a little independent film in the next couple of months, and it's kind of a romantic comedy, a bit of a dramedy, but yeah, sure, I want to do all of it. I want to do a great drama and then follow it up with a Seth Rogen comedy.

When will we get to see 'Trophy Kids,' the romantic dramedy with Tahyna Tozzi and David Gallagher?
I've been asking myself the same thing. (Laughing). But very soon. About a month ago, maybe, they were working on the credits, because I had to go in and write my name as part of the credits, so I know they're more or less done with it. But I don't know what the plan is. I do know they're going to send it around to a few festivals, to see where it goes, and then, hopefully, eventually, it'll get out there.

Ryan EggoldAnd what about your band, Eleanor Avenue? Can fans see you play in Los Angeles?
Well, that particular band is kind of dissolved. It was some friends that I started out with in school, but I'm still playing with some guys, without a real name yet. But yeah, I play at The Mint, or this place on Vine called Three Clubs or The Roxy sometimes ... little places. And I'm just writing stuff at home and recording and slowly trying to put an album together, testing out material. I'm definitely not touring, or playing heavily, but every now and then I'll sneak out and play, see if a song works.

What kind of music do you play?
I've been trying to answer that, too. (Laughing). Last night, I saw David Gray and Ray LaMontagne at The Greek ... it was amazing. David Gray is just one of my favorite, favorite artists, and I think Ray LaMontagne is great, too. So a lot of my stuff is that kind of David Gray-esque, sort of folk rock, folk pop, kinda Ryan Adams ... that kind of stuff.

You've sold me, with those comparisons ...
(Laughing) Well, I can't promise David Gray right away, but hopefully someday I'll get there.

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