"I Realized I Was Eric"
JM: I thought somebody pitched it sarcastically -- "Hey, so, what if Bill eats a peanut?!"
H: How many of your ideas came from your own college experiences, and how many were a product of a late night, lots of caffeine and a deadline?
KB: [To Judd] Well, wasn't the pilot sort of about you? Didn't you get the big news when you started college that your parents were getting divorced?
JA: No, my parents got divorced when I was in junior high, although they continued to get divorced for twenty-three more years. But, you know, I thought the show wasn't personal while we were shooting the first thirteen. And then I watched them, and realized that it was about this girlfriend I had in high school who went on to go to college far away from me, and we decided to have an open relationship. A lot of the dynamics of Eric, Lizzie, and Steven are based on me trying to figure out if I should screw around with someone else, and I was allowed to but I didn't want to, and then I did and I felt guilty about it. And then I would take runs at her every summer and try to get her back. I always thought this show was based a little bit on me as Steven, but the more I looked at it, I realized I was Eric.
H: Oh. I was thinking you were Lizzie. [Laughter]
JA:: I definitely was Lizzie as well, in that I wasn't sure what to do, but there was also that crazy, psychotic desperation of Eric -- thinking that if he handles it right, he'll get her back when she's done learning about college. So really, the most disturbing facets of the show...
H:...are all you?
JA: ...Yeah, were based on me. That year was a rough year.
Kristofor: You've said Steven was a bit based on you.
JA: None of it is based on me specifically, because I think we've all...It comes from everyone in the staff, just those horrible, awkward moments of growth in college. But then again, I look at a picture of myself from that period and I look so much like Jay it's scary, except he's dressed a little better.
JK: [Gasps comically] Oh my God!
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