Soap Opera Digest Magazine

Ben Masters (Julian, Passions)

Outstanding Perfomer for the week of October 23, 2006


Over seven years ago, pretentious womanizer Julian leaped brilliantly to life in the form of Ben Masters. The actor, a daytime original, was equally adept at ferocious cruelty and sidesplitting clowning. But a funny thing happened on the way to Julian's redemption. By turning the self-serving playboy into a caring lover, PASSIONS sacrificed Julian's edge.

Happily, the tide has turned. Jules is back to being the crass Crane viewers love to hate, and his motivation is legit: He's been burned by the love of his life, Eve. Masters is once again stealing scenes as an egotistical jerk, and this time the emotional baggage that Julian's carrying explains his atrocious behavior.

Whether playing frisky or furious, Masters never fails to entertain. One moment, he angrily ranted about Theresa swiping the company he helped his father build. "I should be the one to take over. No one else," Julian declared, vengeance in his eyes. The next, his saucy ex-wife slithered in and suggested a way to help him relax. "I'm always in the mood," Crane purred while being wrapped in a blue boa. Masters slipped right back into the comedy zone as he and a hilarious Andrea Evans (Rebecca) spoofed Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise - couch-jumping and the infamous Risky Business lip-syncing scene included. Once their romp was over, Julian changed hats again (well, he removed his wig) and played proud dad to Fox, who is learning - and scheming - to live up to the Crane name.

We're seeing two sides of Julian, both of which the actor has definitely...mastered.