Eden Sher previews an all new THE MIDDLE

EDEN SHEROf all the things about Sue Heck that I love, the fact that she has the same first name and middle name is one of my favorites!  In tonight’s all new episode, Sue decides that she is going to change her name so that her license doesn’t say Sue Sue Heck on it. To preview how that goes, we spent some time talking with Sue herself (Eden Sher) about what to expect tonight and beyond!

What can you tease that we’ll see in this week’s episode as Sue ventures out for her driver’s license?
As you can imagine, Sue has a wild imagination.  Upon deciding that Sue, second Sue, is not good enough, I will leave it up to you to think of the names [laughs] that Sue might come up with to be her new middle name.

MOLLY SHANNON, EDEN SHERShe has a wild imagination, she approaches everything with conviction – I love that about her.
Absolutely!  There is nothing Sue does, anything infused with apathy.  If she’s doing something, she is DOING something, period at the end!

How does it go for Sue?  She’s so optimistic but things never seem to go her way, and I wonder if this is another classic Sue “adventure,” getting her license –
That would be an accurate guess, I would say [laughs].

What I’ve loved this season is the relationship between Darren and Sue!  Will we continue to see that throughout the rest of the season?
Yeah!!  I’m not sure where we are in the relationship right now – I can’t watch the episodes, so I don’t know what has aired and what hasn’t, but YES!  There is a great Sue/Darren story coming soon!

Were you surprised by the relationship?
Well, they sort of hinted towards it, last season or the season before, with the Prom, with him asking Sue to Prom.  I think it could have been something, but they wrote it off, or could have been random.  In the first episode he says mildly complimentary things about Sue, that she has a sunny disposition, and stupid things like that [laughs].  They could have left it at that, but they incorporated it, and they made him a real character who actually thought those things.  So when they made it something bigger than what it was, it was like, YEAH!  That is how that character would be, yes, you’re being a real human right now!  It was a little surprising, but it wasn’t unexpected!  It was more surprise that they kept that storyline.

CHARLIE MCDERMOTT, MOLLY SHANNON, ATTICUS SHAFFER, EDEN SHER, PATRICIA HEATON, NEIL FLYNNThis season, every episode is firing on all cylinders – it’s better every time I watch.  What have been some of your favorite things this year, to do as Sue?
My favorite thing because I think this is actually the highlight of my career, I’m realizing.  The Wrestlerette’s dance thing?  That dance that happened? That is I think my greatest accomplishment as a human and a thespian [laughs].  That is the hardest I’ve ever worked on something to get paid for.  We spent 12 hours a day.  That’s the thing [laughs] – when they cut it all together, it does not look like an effortful feat.  But it was!  We spent so long choreographing that, memorizing that.  Yes, we were a group of non-dancers, so it really took that much effort, and all of the girls put in so much work.  I’m aware of the joke, I’m not playing the funny, but I get it.  The first I read it, I got it, but beyond that, we took it so seriously.  We learned that dance so hard and we were so serious with every single move.  And then when I watched it, it was like “holy moly, that’s what we looked like? These are ridiculous moves.”  I was completely unaware, I was putting it full force.  That was the most Sue – that was non-acting!

Have there been discussions about where Sue goes next year, being the lone Heck around campus?
I’m sure there have been a lot of talks, in the writers’ room [laughs].  I am not included in these discussions.  This is a very elite group, that I am simply not a member of [laughs].

What would you offer as something you’d love to see for Sue?
I would first pitch an episode, a fantasy episode [laughs] where Sue gets her braces off, and her entire life changes.  Suddenly, she’s popular and people are noticing her, and she’s confused in the drastic change in her entire life.  At the end of the episode, the orthodontist is realizing that it’s a mistake and she has to get them put back on, and it’s the predictable “everything is back to normal.” But I would LOVE to have that for one single day, and then it goes back, and everything is fine. And then I can play Sue with this like, I don’t know, rueful memory of that one day, adding a different layer to Sue!

THE MIDDLE airs Mondays at 8/7c on ABC.  For more information, head to THE MIDDLE at ABC.com.