“Just my excitement and genuine enthusiasm and awe and inspiration and sort of overwhelmed-ness — I wish there was a word for that feeling,” Sher tells Zap2it. “It was the most magical two days of my life. I threw up in front of her out of nervousness.”
“True story. Yeah.”
The episode has Sher’s determinedly optimistic Sue seeking out her guidance counselor (Goldberg) when she’s feeling a little down and discovering a grown-up version of herself: “She just thinks, wow, this is an incredibly understanding and cool adult,” Sher says. “Nobody else, of course, sees that. But I think that’s how Sue identifies with her … she’s like, ‘Oh my god, this is the coolest person ever.’ And everyone else is like, ‘Who?'”
Sher, who’s 20 years old, jokes that you couldn’t pay her to be 15 again as Sue is — “but as a matter of fact, I am being paid to be exactly that.” Still, playing Sue isn’t giving her flashbacks to that time.
“It’s so different, because now I get to view teendom from the periphery, and also it’s hilarious,” she says. “If I were able to see my 15-year-old self … and say you’re going to laugh and laugh at this in a couple years, I probably would have laughed then. So I’m lucky I’m not playing a 15-year-old on a crazy, heavy teen drama — I’m playing such a funny and really ridiculous character on this great show. …
“And she’s so different from the way I was when I was 15. She’s pretty similar to how I was when I was like 11.”
Sher also doesn’t wear braces in real life, and she says she’s talked with the show’s writers about when Sue will be free of orthodontia. “They’re not my favorite part of my day-to-day job, in terms of actually having to wear them,” she confesses. “But it adds an element to my physical appearance that’s very much different from Eden. It helps me get into the character. Yes, I’m obviously lobbying for them to come off, maybe after next season. But I have to take a moment sometimes and say it’s not that bad. And they’re funny.”
“The Middle” airs at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday on ABC. Here’s a clip of Sher and Goldberg meeting for the first time: