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Ryan Eggold Exclusive Interview

Break out TV star Ryan Eggold (aka “Mr. Matthews”, the super dreamy teacher on “90210″ that every high school girl…and her mom…loves to obsess over) is amazingly talented, passionate and smart (he went to USC…calling all Trojans!). Oh and he is a dog lover, because when I caught up with Eggold he was hanging out with his canine champ at a Los Angeles dog park. The chorus of high pitched “ruff-ruffs” heard in the background was the tip off, to which Eggold joked, “I’m barking because I’m so excited to do this interview.” Funny on demand? Add it to the list.

Eggold has now teamed up with National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) for the 4th Annual Wanna Play Music Week. The event, designed to promote music making, featured Eggold in a good old fashioned jam session with students from ICEF school Fernando Pullam Performing Arts High School. Check out Eggold below as he talks music, “90210″ and hippie tendencies.

MM: How did you become involved with NAMM’s National Wanna Play Music Week?
Ryan Eggold: I met NAMM through Susan Geffen. She was amazing. I did a PSA for NAMM and we ended up jamming and hanging out for a few hours. Then NAMM asked me to be a part of this [National Wanna Play Music Week]. It is great to be associated with them and to promote art and music education. With the budget cuts going on, there is a lot of stripping away of art and music education in schools. They’re really struggling.

MM: Your jam vs. the kids’ jam…how was it?
RE: The kids upstaged me [laughs]. I jammed for a bit and then they said, ‘all right, check this out.’ They shredded me! There was a lot of energy and the kids were really talented. They rule! When I was sixteen, I could only play “Chopsticks” on the piano [laughs]. We did a blues jam thing. It was really fun. When I heard about the flashjam event too at the Walt Disney Concert Hall [kicks off today at noon], with 100-200 people jamming, I thought ‘that sounds awesome’. It kind of makes me feel like a hippie. I’m a 2010 hippie [laughs]. I put the bell bottoms away and its more of a mentality.

MM: What is your music background?
RE: I play the guitar and the piano and have a group of guys who I play with. They’re uber talented. I’m also writing and recording at home and will go out with it eventually. I’m still figuring out my sound and my voice.

MM: How has your life changed since landing a starring role on one of the most talked about shows ever aka “90210″?
RE: My life has changed in that I get made fun of by the guys in my family but the girls are excited [laughs]. I’m kidding. You try to stay grounded. I never got why actors don’t like it when a fan comes up to them on the street. It is cool that someone recognizes what you do and makes you feel like you live in a community.

MM: What was the audition like for “90210″?
RE: It was real last minute. I was coming off of “Dirt” with Courteney Cox and I had some options in TV. I heard about “90210″ and thought, “wow, this is really cool. I’m going for the 90210 thing.” Yada, yada, yada I went in to audition on a Saturday and when I left I thought, ‘I could have nailed it, I could have done better.’ Then I found out they chose me and I thought, ‘cool!’ [laughs].

MM: Can you share any “90210″ season finale secrets? Please say yes.
RE: Sure! There is one big reveal that has to do with “Jen”, Sara Foster’s character. When I read the script, I said ‘holy crap, we’re going there?!’ [laughs] I’m very excited to see how it impacts the 3rd season.

MM: What do you have in the works?
RE: I’m doing an indie with David Gallagher called “Trophy Kids”. I actually get to play a musician in this film. We’re just starting to shoot in the next couple of weeks.

MM: You’re a graduate of USC’s prestigious theater arts school. Bravo! Do you still sport Trojan school spirit?
RE: My school spirit slowly started to stave off in the years after I’ve graduated. The year after I graduated I’d ask, ‘when’s the game?’ and now its ‘oh, there is a game?’ [laughs] The Trojans rule though. They’re going to be a very good football team for a long time.

MM: What advice can you offer to kids who want to pursue a career in the arts?
RE: For anything, music or acting, it is about finding influences that you like. Finding out who turns you on, who is really smart, who does what you like. Being able to watch a good performance and taking that and then figuring out who are you in context. You have to figure out ‘who am I’? ‘What do I want to do?’ ‘What do I want to say’? Never stop taking risks. Just keep reaching.


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