Showbiz Today Star of Tomorrow
David Eigenberg: 'Sex' and the single man
By Lori Blackman
Showbiz Today Reports
David Eigenberg in a scene from "Sex in the City"
NEW YORK (CNN) -- David Eigenberg began his HBO career like many other men ... as a guest star who soon gets jumped and dumped by one of the women of "Sex and the City." But Eigenberg proved himself to have more longevity than the average Tom, Dick or Harry. He began this season as a series regular.
We talked to this Showbiz Today Star of Tomorrow about how and why the character of Steve the Bartender was brought to the small screen.
CNN: You have achieved the near impossible, a man with longevity on "Sex and the City."
CNN's Lori Blackman talks to rising star David Eigenberg (July 11)
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David Eigenberg: Well, I give the producers $200 a week and as long as the money keeps coming in they keep writing for me. So, it's cost me a lot of money and I don't really make much money on the show, but it's all been taken care of.
CNN: Is it true that you came in to read for this show for different characters, and the producers liked you so much that they wrote the character of Steve specifically for you?
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Eigenberg: Well, yeah. I used to come in and read for different guys. I forget the guys that I read for. I think one of them was the guy called 'Mr. Lower Genitalia on the Female Body.' And I wasn't that guy and I read for some other guys. I just kept coming in and they're really like great people ... they asked me to do a couple of episodes and I was like, "Great."
And then my character died. Because you die on "Sex and the City" and then come back. Actually, the character doesn't really die. You know, sex is life and death on this show, so once you stop having sex you're dead.
Eigenberg says it is an "adjustment you have to make with the show" when viewers recognize him on the street
CNN: How did you find out that you'd be back for the fourth season as a series regular?
Eigenberg: They called me up. The only thing that was funny it was that my dad, he's fine now, but my dad was really sick at the time and my agent called me and said, "They want you to come back." I was literally like, "OK, that's fine. Yeah, great."
And he was like, "Are you OK?"
I said, "My dad and everything -- I'd trade it all in to have my dad get better." And actually everything worked out. My dad got better and the show worked out. I never had that moment of elation, so I'll have it now. OH MY GOD, I can't believe it!
CNN: So if Steve was written for you, does that mean he is actually like you?
Eigenberg: Yeah, (he and) I share a lot of the same attributes. I think what's great about Steve is that what he sees in a person that (they're) so capable of love but is jaded and bent. We all have that, and I can identify with that as a person, and I think Steve can identify with that.
Steve is always willing to go that extra mile to try to bring somebody back over because she is so worth it, you know. Miranda's really got a heart of gold, that character. Those little moments, when she's able to give something, she kind of gives it out piecemeal to him. They're like little nuggets, little diamond nuggets.
CNN: What it's actually like to be a male on "Sex and the City"? You guys are the minority for once. Are you excluded on the set by the women?
Eigenberg: No, everybody's brought into it, it's a very ensemble feeling kind of show. It's a show about four girls, and when the guys are around, you're very much brought into the fold with them. It's not an exclusive thing and it's not a we-and-them thing. It's kind of the heart of the show, people trying to come together, and that's the ambience of the show.
CNN: Let's talk about a story line you had last season involving skid-marks.
Eigenberg: Yeah, well everybody has an Achilles' heel on the show, and everybody kind of gets it. ... So, every time you get a script, you're kind of like, "Are we going to be moving forward, are we going a little bit backward?" Because you have to go forward and backward, and I've had to eat my share of crumbs, so to speak. That was my character's Achilles' heel, having problems with the Laundromat.
CNN: Is there a downside to doing "Sex and the City"?
Eigenberg: Well, it's not a downside, but I've been doing this acting thing for a long time. Now, all of a sudden, you're walking down the street one day and ... people are like, "Hey Steve!" A cement mixer told me, "Hang in there, man! Don't let her get the best of you!"
A big macho guy was screaming out his window at me and it's really sweet but all of a sudden, you can't be walking down the street. You can be in a foul mood one day and someone can say something to you and you want to be like, "What?!" But you have to (say), "Hi, how are you? Thank you very much." So that's one of the adjustments you have to make with the show.
CNN: There's another show that you were on this season called "Ed," where, again, you play a nice guy.
Eigenberg: Yeah, it's more a Midwest show. It's does feel like the same thing though, because on these shows, the star of the show usually sets the tone. Sarah Jessica sets an amazing tone and Tom Cavanagh is an amazing person and he sets a great tone for that show too.
CNN: You played a genius on that show, didn't you?
Eigenberg: Yeah, he was a genius, so it was a stretch for me. But we're always trying to stretch our boundaries. I became a genius on "Ed" though I'm not sure it was very convincing.
CNN: You also got a movie coming out called "The Mothman," opposite Richard Gere and Laura Linney.
Eigenberg: Yeah, It's about a mothman who swoops in and foretells the future of the demise of this small town kind of thing.
CNN: Are you the mothman?
Eigenberg: No, I'm like the half-Jewish business partner of Richard Gere at the Washington Post. We're kind of like the Woodward and Bernstein. I think I'm the Bernstein and he's the Woodward.