Applause, Applause
Ben Masters (Julian, Passions)
Outstanding Performer for the week of May 28
Soap Opera Weekly Magazine: June 26, 2007 issue


When Passions' Julian learned Little Ethan is a Winthrop heir, not a Crane scion, portrayer Ben Masters' performance was nothing short of masterful.

As a shell-shocked Julian digested the "deja vu all over again" news that Theresa was playing the same paternity scam on him that Ivy pulled with Ethan, Masters allowed an impressed smile to touch his lips. He even laughed. The fury that Julian held in check crested when he spat out the words "ultimate betrayal," but Masters was just getting warmed up.

Eve urged the virtually still Julian to calm to calm down, so he straightened his tie, grinned evilly and set out to drop the bomb on Ethan. Julian was almost giddy to find his target moralizing over secrets with Theresa and immediately broached the topic of Little E's paternity. Masters swirled Julian's cocktail as he taunted Theresa like a cat playing with a mouse.

Her assumption that he was fishing made him chuckle, but all humor vanished from Masters' face when Julian apologized to Ethan for his handling of the reveal they are not father and son. As Julian waxed philosophical, Masters wavered between honest emotion and acerbic shots at Ivy that hit Theresa squarely in the guilty conscience.

Then Julian got his ex alone. Masters thrust a drink at her as Julian toasted the truth and thrilled at quashing her denials. But rage won out again when he pointed her "lying, low-rent, red-hot-chili-pepper butt" to the door. Piece by piece, Masters cleared her desk into the trash while Julian unloaded on her. A caustic Julian may have warned Theresa that payback is a b*tch (just like her!), but it was heartbreak that Masters ultimately portrayed when he finally lost control and howled that she is the cruelest Crane of all.

She may not be quite there yet, but she is learning at the feet of a...Masters.