The Flip Side
by Richard M. Simms
Soap Opera Previews
For Ben Masters, Julian offers
the best of both worlds!
There was a time not so very
long ago when PASSIONS' Julian Crane would have been considered one of the
nastiest guys in Harmony, perhaps second only to his dastardly dad, Alistair.
But portrayer Ben Masters knows that when it comes to soaps in general - and
the one he calls home in particular - you just never know what might happen
Good Vs. Evil
"Julian's been on this
track for the last year and a half where he wants to be a better man and make
things up to Eve," explains the actor of his alter ego's transformation.
Then again, given Julian's past antics, Masters wouldn't be surprised if the
character's nastier side were to unexpectedly re-emerge. "I'm just waiting
for the script where Julian walks into a room that no one has ever seen, closes
the door and turns on a very strange, glowing light and starts cackling,"
he says in the immediately recognizable, mellifluous voice that PASSIONS fans
can't get enough of.
But perhaps that's a plot twist
which might have felt more at home in the early days, when PASSIONS shocked
viewers by introducing them to Timmy, the living doll, and his creator, Tabitha,
the wicked witch of the East Coast. "These days there seems to be more
of an emotional connection happening between characters,” muses Masters
of the subtle shift away from the supernatural.
The Power of Love
"In general, I think people
like this new side to Julian. Some do miss the drunken lothario, you know,
drooling over everything that walks,” he notes with a laugh. “But
in general, they like, if I may, the giving, heart-filled, romantic, heroic
And as viewers know, the only
thing able to draw a bad man over to the side of goodness and light is the
love of a good woman. "Julian got into several fights with TC, and I
think that allowed the character to be out in the open about his feeling toward
Eve, which is what Julian wants more than anything," says Masters. "She
has, in essence, made him want to be a more 'human' human."
The Other Woman
Not everybody appreciates Julian's
desire to be with Eve, of course...her husband among them! "Why doesn't
Julian get security to stop TC from barging into the mansion and attacking
him?" asks Masters wryly. And then there are fans who would rather see
the character whooping it up with his nympho wife. "Thank God for Andrea
Evans!" gushes the actor of Rebecca's portrayer. "She is so fabulous
and plays outrageous material [as naturally as if] she is baking a cake!"
Others fear that happily ever
after could lead naturally to the end, storyline wise, for Julian and Eve.
"Once everybody has the white picket fence, what do you do?" ponders
Masters, who hopes there will be love and strife down the road for [Evian],
as the fans have dubbed Julian and Eve. "I love working with Tracey [Ross,
Eve]. We have such a good rapport. She's a very talented, wonderful and giving
In fact, the actor considers
himself very blessed when it comes to the cast with whom he spends each day.
"I like working with everybody," he admits, adding that he has enjoyed
the opportunity to work closer with several of the younger actors in recent
months. "I love working with Brook Kerr (Whitney). She gives you everything
she's got. And Justin Hartley (Fox)...I know it's going to be a good day when
I'm working with him."
Will Harmony's bad boy finally
find happiness with his darling Doc? "I never know what's going to happen,"
Masters says with a chuckle. "But I'm sure they'll throw a monkey wrench
into things somehow!"