Family Law: Eden Summer Gilmore talks the joy of playing smart characters

Eden Summer. Photo credit: Noah Asanias
Eden Summer. Photo credit: Noah Asanias /

If there’s one Canadian show we hope to see make it to the States, it’s Family Law. Eden Summer Gilmore discusses the show, including her smart character, Sofia, and writing taboo topics into shows on the small screen.

Family Law is a new Canadian dramedy. Jewel Staite stars as Abigail Bianchi, a lawyer who is struggling with personal demons. After getting into a lot of trouble for her alcoholism and losing custody of her children, she needs to get her life back on track. That means turning to the one person she never really wanted to turn to: her father.

Victor Garber plays Harry Svensson, the father who abandoned Abigail’s mother and had children with other women. Those children work at the law firm, and now Abigail is thrown into a new dynamic with half-siblings she never really knew or wanted to know.

It’s certainly a fun ride, giving us a lead female character who is completely flawed but trying to do the right thing.

Eden Summer Gilmore took some time to talk to us about her character, Sofia Bianchi. She’s Abigail’s teenage daughter, who is struggling with simply being a teenager as well as realizing that her family life isn’t as perfect as she’d like it to be. However, Sofia is smart, and that’s something Eden shared was something she liked about the character.

Eden Summer. Photo credit: Noah Asanias
Eden Summer. Photo credit: Noah Asanias /

Smart characters and taboo topics on Family Law

Hidden Remote: What drew you into the role of Sofia or just the series Family Law in the first place?

Eden Summer Gilmore: When I first got the audition for the role of Sofia what drew me in was how much I related to her. I understood so much of what she was going through that I wanted to explore her further. What also drew me into the role of Sofia were her deep layers, she has so many walls built up I was really excited to dive deep into them. The series in general is so well written, I could relate to each character. The series also tells such important stories, I really wanted to be a part of that.

HR: There’s so much going on in Sofia’s life right now and Abby isn’t making it much easier. Has the script been there to help you get in the zone, or have you found something in your life to help with that?

ESG: The script has definitely helped. Diving into the subtext of each scene and mapping out Sofia’s journey really helped me get in the zone for each specific scene as I was able to understand where she was in the moment. Finding moments in my own life where I have felt the same as Sofia also really helps. I also have playlists of certain songs that help me get in the zone and doing breathwork gets me in the zone too.

HR: In one episode, Sofia turned to her mom about getting her first period. There was a lot of honesty in that scene on a topic we don’t tend to get to see on screen (and we should certainly see more of). I’ve got to ask what it was like getting that script and seeing that scene.

ESG: I agree, we definitely need to see more of it. It was amazing seeing that scene in the script. I was so happy that the show was telling that story and so grateful I could be a part of it. It’s really important to me that young girls watching will be able to relate and find comfort in what Sofia’s going through in that scene. Know that it’s ok to feel emotions of confusion, sadness, or anger. Know they are not alone. I was also happy the show was telling that story so everyone knows it’s nothing to be ashamed of and nothing to shame anyone for.

HR: There are some big names connected to the series with Jewel Staite and Victor Garber. What’s the experience been like learning from them?

ESG: It has been amazing! They are both so incredibly kind and talented. It has been so great learning from them. Not only have I learned so much about acting from them I have learned so much about the industry. I have been very lucky to get to watch Jewel perform scenes and I am always in awe. Even sharing scenes with them both has taught me so much. I am so grateful to work alongside such amazing humans.

Eden Summer. Photo credit: Noah Asanias
Eden Summer. Photo credit: Noah Asanias /

HR: Is there anything you can tease for Sofia to come, especially now that she’s spending more time with Abby and even time with Harry?

ESG: Nothing specific I can tease. We see some more sides to Sofia and those walls she has built up start to slowly break down.

HR: Is there anything you’d love to see for Sofia as her story continues on Family Law?

ESG: Her confidence builds up as the series goes on and I would love to see her continue to trust herself more. It would also be awesome to eventually see her graduate.

HR: What would your dream role be?

ESG: My dream role would be to do a period piece of some sort. I think the ’70s or ’80s would be fun. I love learning about different time periods. I would also love to do a comedy or horror film.

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Family Law is currently airing in Canada on Global TV on Fridays. We’re keeping an eye on a U.S. network acquiring it. It certainly needs to be picked up!