Riley Smith in A New York Minute

Date: May 6, 2004

Ashley Olsen has a boyfriend. We’re talking about her movie boyfriend in the new young adventure New York Minute. He’s been all over t.v. and magazines lately and is one of Hollywood Life magazine’s “Young Hollywood” stars. Blonde with greenish eyes, rising star Riley Smith was one of the original “Freaks and Geeks” cast members on t.v. and played opposite Cuba Gooding Jr. in Radio. His recurring role in the Fox hit series “24” as a deadly virus carrier got him noticed and he has a role in the new WB summer show “Summerland”.

When we caught up with the actor in L.A. He was stylein’ in black jacket with red tee. Riley talked about all things Olsen twins and his future plans.

TeenHollywood: You were on “24”. Are you keeping up with the series?

Riley: Yeah. Of course. I am hooked now. I had never seen the show before I got on it. Of course I didn’t admit that to them at the time. But I never saw season one and two. Now that I am on it and I started watching it am hooked. I TiVo it every Tuesday night.

TeenHollywood: Do you have an Olsen twin preference? Which one you would want to hang out with?

Riley: I honestly couldn’t tell them apart. I still have some troubles. I saw them early today and we did some stuff together. I can tell them apart now because their hair is a different color.

TeenHollywood: Do you think boys would like this movie?

Riley: Boys are going to love this movie. The twins show a good amount of maturity in this movie. Its not the little “Full House” girls you remember, And, it’s not the backlash where…hey we are not kids anymore and we are gonna striptease’. It is like a nice classy happy medium. Which I think is great, because parents can feel comfortable taking their kids and yet the Dad can sit and have a good time.

TeenHollywood: Did you get all sorts of reaction from your guy friends when you took this movie?

Riley: Of course, first of all I had friends come out of the woodwork I hadn’t talked to in five years. They were like ‘we just happened to be in Toronto while you’re filming. Could we stop by the set and I am ‘No, you’re going to make me look like a dork’. So I have been turning everybody down.

TeenHollywood: Why do you think a lot of people are obsessed with the Olsens?

Riley: I think it is that they have never over-exposed themselves. They have always kept it really real. They have never really put their personal lives out there. No one really knows them. They are just not the kind of girls that kiss and tell. Also, you are not going to catch them coming out of the bar at two in the morning. You are not going to find them doing anything wrong because they really don’t. They are good girls and I think that’s the attraction. So I think that’s the intrigue with these girls is that everyone keeps trying to get to the core of their personal life.

TeenHollywood: Did you get to hang out on set with them?

Riley: It was hard to really hang out with them because they were pulling like triple duty, they were going to school they were producing and acting. So I mean the minute the director called ‘cut’ they had to go to school. Then they had to do their producing duties and then they had to go right back to set, because they are virtually in every single scene. If not together then alone. It was really hard to get any time off the set alone with them. Our relationship is actually just professional.

TeenHollywood: Did you meet their boyfriends?

Riley: Yeah. Nice guys, I got to meet them while we were shooting. I was like ‘watch me. I am going to kiss your girlfriend’.

TeenHollywood: Are you happy about the DVD special edition of “Freaks and Geeks”?

Riley: I didn’t know about it till y’all told me. But I’d be happy to see all the change come in if they want to send us some checks. Isn’t it weird that it was one of those shows that people took to it and I guess the network didn’t stick with it long enough?

TeenHollywood: The cast has grown up so much since then you don’t look like yourselves.

Riley: Yeah and everybody went on to do other things. It was a positive experience for everybody I guess. I kind of feel like that about that show “Arrested Development” on Fox. That is my favourite show on TV; I think it is so genius. I hope it keeps going.

TeenHollywood: Okay give us a secret about the Olsens. One that won’t get you in trouble.

Riley: Humm, their favourite breakfast spot in L.A. is called the Griddle on Sunset. It has great food. You get pancakes the size of your stomach and like three of them. Ask them and see if they tell you the truth.

TeenHollywood: Did you have to learn to fall over the handlebars of the bike?

Riley: It’s funny. When you are not trying to fall it is easy, but when you want to fall it is kind of difficult. They put me on cables and then pulled me of the bike and I went flying off.

TeenHollywood: Then you have to land on Ashley.

Riley: Yeah, which was tricky and she had a towel on so I had to land on her just right so the paparazzi couldn’t get a good shot, so that was difficult.

TeenHollywood: Were they following you guys around?

Riley: Oh yeah. In fact, the week after that scene it was in the US Weekly that Riley Smith and Ashley Olsen were dating. There is a picture of me laying on top of her on the street with her in a towel. My buddies are so gullible that they called me and were like ‘dude did your girlfriend see this because you are going to be in trouble’. I was like ‘do you really think I would be laying in the street with her in a towel if I was trying not to get caught?’. I was playing the role of big brother. I was blocking the girls and trying to protect them, I felt like a brother.

TeenHollywood: You have a girlfriend but what qualities does she have that you go for?

Riley: I always look for eyes. Not necessarily pretty eyes but what is behind the eyes because you can see a lot behind people’s eyes. I just look for people who are interesting. It could be some sort of feature that may not be attractive to some people.

TeenHollywood: Do you think of yourself as a heartthrob?

Riley: No, I am a goofball. If you only knew.

TeenHollywood: What kinds of music do you like?

Riley: I like country music, I like classic rock music, and classical. I like everything. I have a six disc CD changer and I have a country guy named Keith Urban in one and Jason Mraz in another. I have got some of my old stuff I recorded at my house on an eight track, I got Miles Davis on another and I got U2. I mean it is so wide open.

TeenHollywood: Are you in a band?

Riley: I don’t have a band yet. I play the guitar and I love it. It is like a passion of mine, secretly I want to be a rock star, but I am not that good. One of my best friends, an actor named Christian Kane, has a band called Kane. I have been known to get up there a few times and play but I am working on it. If I could find five other guys who only do it as hobby, then I would do it in a second. Some day that is my goal, to have a little garage band that would play around at the Viper and other places in town. I would never want to make a record.

TeenHollywood: Who’s your dream actress that you would really like to work with?

Riley: Michelle Pfiffer. Not only is she timelessly beautiful but I respect the hell out of her. She represents the strong female role, for everybody. I love her in I am Sam, I thought she was so strong in that. I have a crush on her. I’d rather be her love interest, but I would take a role as her son.

TeenHollywood: Do you know what you are doing next?

Right now I am working on this WB show called “Summerland”, it is coming out this summer. I have worked with Laurie Loughlin from Full House. She is the producer and star of it. She played my Mom in a pilot a couple of years ago, so she called me and was like, ‘Hey we got this role would you want to do it?” I happily accepted it.

TeenHollywood: Who do you play?

Riley: I play this local surf bum, who has crush on Taylor Cole, the beautiful young girl in the show. There is kind of love triangle that goes on. I don’t know where it is going to go on, I don’t even know if they know.

TeenHollywood: Would you want to commit to a series?

Riley: It depends. I just went through pilot season and it was really tricky, because the hype goes around with pilots. Everyone wants to do one. I have done five of them. I have done one every year and none of them have gone. I think I am just going to hold off. If something like “24” could come up, some sort of great arc on a great show in the fall then that would be better than being tied down for seven years on a show.