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Agreed! She had so much potential.

Yes, that's what I read.

And yet she had no problems playing a hooker on CSI Miami!

I despised Deanna Wright's Kay. She was nowhere near as good as Taylor Anne Mountz. But Heidi Mueller came on and really grew into the role. By the end of the series, Heidi was the definitive Kay in my book. Loved her!

Aw man that sucks. https://boards.soapoperanetwork.com/uploads/emoticons/default_sad.png

Another recast I loved was Natalie Zea as Gwen. She was MUCH better than Liza Huber IMO.

I hated Gnatalie Zea..couldn't stand her one bit! I jumped for joy when Liza returned even though I hated Gwen.

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Aw man that sucks. https://boards.soapoperanetwork.com/uploads/emoticons/default_sad.png

Another recast I loved was Natalie Zea as Gwen. She was MUCH better than Liza Huber IMO.

IA, I loved NZ. I HATED the character of Gwen in the beginning but she brought so much more depth to the character that she got me to like her. I put all the credit on me even liking Liza's Gwen on her

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I forgot to mention that the article is by Lesleyann Medeiros. The photography by John Paschal. Hair and makeup, Lisa Fanjoy; wardrobe styling, Cliff Hoppus; wardrobe: Black camisole by Hanro of Switzerland, top by Juicy Tees, red top by Katayone Adele, jeans by Sergio Valente.

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Deanna Wright was amazing. I can't stand the overrated Heidi Mueller.

Natalie Zea was great as Gwen too. I was a die hard Team Theresa fan until Zea came on. She made me a Team Gwen fan until she left. Liza was just awful IMO.

Thanks for the article Carl. Molly was never a good actress but she seemed really nice. Zombie Charity was great!

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While Molly Stanton and the character she portrays on Passions, Charity Standish, may seem not very much alike, a similar theme rings true in both of their lives. Fate and good luck have helped Charity escape from a number of close calls, and these same elements have helped the actress who plays her to get where she is today. For instance, take the story of Stanton's journey to Harmony.

"It was the summer before college," the petite 20-year old actress explains in her soft-spoken manner, "and I'd made the decision to attend U.C. Berkeley instead of the Tisch School of the Arts in New York, because I wanted my life to include more than just acting."

After relocating from her home in Los Angeles to the college dorm, the freshman took professional pictures in an agency in San Francisco, which then proceeded to send her on commercial auditions in her spare time. "I just didn't have the stamina for it," she recalls. "I thought I would give it a shot, but it just wasn't any fun. I said I wasn't going to go on any more auditions, so I didn't hear from my agent for a while."

In the meanntime, Stanton took a liking to college life. "I wasn't a fan of the dorms, but once I joined Kappa Kappa Gamma and moved into the sorority house, I loved it. The Greek system at Berkeley is so different from anywhere else," she says. "I didn't feel stereotyped at all, and it was a great way to meet people. In fact, I still visit with a bunch of the girls from there. Berkeley is a really open-minded and laid-back place. It was very nice to get away from L.A. for a while."

However, Stanton returned to Los Angeles much sooner than she anticipated when she "got the call that would change everything. My agent called and said that there was a really important audition for a new soap opera. Since my heart wasn't really in it anymore, my agent said to please just go on this last one because she thought the show would be perfect for me. If I didn't get it, then this would be my last audition, so I agreed."

The shy Stanton was first brought in to read for the role of feisty Kay. "Every part on Passions is interesting in its own way, but I really think the part of Kay would be fun to play. It would be great to mean all the time, but Charity is probably the closest to my real-life personality. I'm definitely not as naive, though," she says, flashing one of Charity's memorable grins. "Sometimes I feel silly playing such a naive character. It gets difficult to have emotional outbursts all the time. Charity has some crazy emotional scenes, and I am a quiet person."

Since this is Stanton's first professional acting job, when she needs extra help in nailing the difficult scenes she turns to co-star Juliet Mills (Tabitha) for inspiration. "Juliet just totally puts herself in the scene, even in rehearsal. She does everything so smoothly, that she makes all the crazy ridiculous stuff seem believable. I just watch in awe and try to learn from her when we are in scenes together."

Something else Stanton has had to learn for her new job is how to get up for 6:30 a.m. call times. Over lunch in the studio commissary, while swirling her mustard and ketchup together as a dip for her fries, Stanton learns over and says with a laugh: "I am definitely not a morning person, as you can see," pointing to her sweat shirt and plaid flannel pajama bottoms as proof. "I have really learned the value of drinking coffee every morning, which I never used to do! I think about this job in terms of, let's go play at acting today, and get my hair nad makeup and wardrobe done."

Although her current attire wouldn't suggest it, Stanton has a keen fashion sense and enjoys dressing up. "I really like fashion. I would definitely not wear most of Charity's clothes. I begged the wardrobe people to put her in some normal jeans. For the longest time all she wore were frilly skirts or hippie skirts. Thank god she is in jeans now! In my own life, I like sparkly things and stilettos. I'm a bit more risque than Charity," she says.

Stanton is coy when asked if there is anything she would do in her own life that Charity would not. "Oh, I'm sure. But I don't think we should go into that!" she adds with a laugh. "Charity doesn't do anything. I really wish she wold wise up a little. I'm not as inexperienced as she is. Maybe if I'd lived in the woods my whole life I would be that way, too."

In fact, Stanton's own upbringing in Orange County, Calif. was fairly average, even though her parents divorced when she was 10. "It became normal to me. I stayed with my mom and sister, and it was definitely an interesting time. My mom eventually remarried and I got two new stepbrothers. I didn't see my dad much, but now he's remarried and I have a 1-year-old half-brother. That's pretty cool. I'm just glad he doesn't live in my house, so there's no crying," she says, laughing.

As a child, Stanton learned to play the piano as an outlet for all her energy. "I am really very shy, and that was one way to express myself. I started playing when I was 9. Then, in ninth grade, I decided I wanted to take up the drums. When I was in Berkeley, I added guitar lessons to that. Right now, I still take drum lessons, because they are my favorite."

In addition to expanding her musical repertoire in high school, Stanton also participated in what she calls, "the most important thing I've ever done." In her junior and senior year Stanton belonged to the Brentwood Theater Group. The teacher had read a story in the L.A. Times about a group of high school boys who were driving home drunk from a weekend camping trip and crashed their car, killing four of the five boys. Stanton's group then wrote a script called The Accident, based on the real events. "We all collaborated on the story and wrote one another's parts, so we didn't actually write our own dialogue. We set it in the courtroom, because the boy who was driving drunk lived, and the parents of the dead boys then took him to court. I played the mother of one of the dead boys, the only one of the parents who thought the driver should be forgiven. It was a very emotionally draining monologue.

"It was such an incredible experience," she continues. "We lived these people's lives for a while. We toured local high schools with The Accident, and then my teacher entered it in the Ediburgh (Scotland) Theater Festival. We performed in Edinburgh for two weeks, and were written up in all the papers over there. People all over the world appreciated the story we were telling because everyone can relate to it, and I think it affected all who saw it."

Besides her trip to Scotland, Stanton has also been to France, Italy and England. "When I was little, every couple of years the whole family on my mom's side would travel to the southern part of France and Italy. I love Europe, but I didn't appreciate it then so much as I would now. Now I would love to see the towns and the historical sites, but back then all I wanted to do was shop," she says with a laugh. Of all her travels, Edinburgh was her favorite because, "The hills were so beautiful and pure, and the water was amazing. I love being on the water; I am such a water person."

Stanton is an avid swimmer, which she adds to the list of other sports she enjoys. "I love to spend time at the gym," she says. "I take boxing classes and yoga. Yoga gives me a chance to be by myself, and since it is 'power yoga,' I sweat a lot. But when it is over, I feel like my mind is very cleaned, as well as my body. I feel much more positive after a rigorous workout."

After a long day at the set and then the gym, Stanton heads home to talk with her mom, with whom she still lives. "It has been nice being at home with my mom. It gives us a chance to catch up, and there are also those home-cooked meals," she says with a laugh. "When I first came back from college, I felt uncomfortable, like I was backtracking after having been on my own for a year. But now I like it." However, sometime in the next year Stanton would like to move into her own place with a friend.

While she may change her address, Stanton won't be uprooting from her day job anytime soon. "I really didn't have any expectations for how this was going to go. I'm pretty content at Passions, and I'm having fun. This is such a crazy experience, and I certainly don't get much sleep, but I am learning to appreciate it. I have an unbelievable job in so many ways. This business is not dependable though, and I know that, so I'm here for as long as they want me. I will let fate take its course."

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Some of the first page was cut off. The bottom of each section there:

at 5 studying my lines - I have to

has to be made with very hot water

excites Kerr when she finds out what

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I'm glad you got to read it. I wasn't that into the show but I know it had a lot of devoted fans and since I just have this stuff I hoped someone might be interested. The Weeklys are tough to scan so I'm glad you were able to read it.

So was Dalton James let go to hunkify his character? Then they never really went anywhere with the character anyway.

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I'm not sure why Dalton left but I was glad to have him gone. At the time he was just slowing down the Shuis storyline and causing trouble for everyone because of his "past." Once he was replaced with Ryan, they ignoed his backstory and he was more likeable, at least to me. His character wasn't that much involved, but the last time I remember seeing him he was about to get ran over on his bike by Mrs. Wallace and Nurse Precious (the orangutan) when Beth's house was set to detinate and explode lol.

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From the December 7, 1999 Weekly (Primedia). Article by Robert Schork, photography by John Paschal, grooming by Moon Kim. The interview is titled Ham on Wry.



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If laughter is indeed the best medicine, then by all accounts Julian Crane should be 6 feet under. It's hard to imagine Passions' uptight, dour, philandering WASP cracking a joke, or making light of anything - which is why speaking to his portrayer, Ben Masters, is a pleasant surprise. Laid-back, easygoing and exercising with facility a disarmingly dry wit, Masters is quick to find the humorous, sometimes ironic, threads in the tapestry of life, and gives voice to them in an understated, deadpan way - making him the kind of raconteur one would include on the A-list for a dinner party.

To his credit, Masters brings his healthy sense of humor to bear at work as well as at play. "I've decided to have fun with this character because they have him do a lot of very strange things," says Masters, speaking in his identifiably dulcet, baritone cadence. "Things with him are pretty damn dysfunctional, aren't they? And, let me tell you, it gets much more dysfunctional," he teases. "One of the interesting things in this situation, too, is I discover, like almost every week, somebody else that I did some terrible thing to, and I don't know what it is yet. I guess I could ask somebody, but I don't want to know, 'cause it's like a surprise to me, too, you know? They've got this whole storyline mapped out for months, and I'm just sort of like this deer caught in the headlights.

"I knew, though, that the part was not just like a guy who sits in the police station and says, 'I don't know, where'd the gun come from?'" Masters continues, imitating a stereotypically mindless, generic soap character. "This character is a little more flamboyant, and a little more of a baby - somebody with too much money and not enough sense."

While his on-screen family's middle name is dysfunction, backstage Masters proudly counts himself among a congenial extended member of the show's cast. "This probably sounds like some sort of party-line statement here, but it's just from me. When you start something together from day one, the feeling - even for somebody of another generation like me, as opposed to the young kids here - is that you're in this together. And it's a feeling you wouldn't get if you joined a normal soap that's been running for a long time. We're starting out on ground zero; everybody has a lot of energy and is just trying to work the kinks out."

If he had joined a "normal" soap, Masters would undoubtedly be in the company of several contemporaries. But Passions' mandate has been to attract the narrow female 12-17 demographic so coveted by advertisers, to that end, it's cast is heavily skewed in that age direction. "Well, you know, I finally realized that I am older than they are because I hear the young guys here talking, 'Yeah, we're going to go out to this club, and then we're going to go out to that club,' and they're not including me in their conversations. I'm like, 'Hey, what happened to me?' And also, when very attractive young women walk by here and they call me 'Sir.' So, thank god, I've gotten to the point where I don't have to run around with my shirt off a lot. I spent 15 years doing that...that's plenty!" he deadpans.

Masters is philosophical about the youth craze that's gripped Hollywood. "What can I say? You go in to audition and you're judged by some 20-year-old. It's a young world we live in out there, and you know, with the success of these shows like Felicity and Dawson's Creek, I guess [the powers that be] seem to know something."

However, as many who take exception to the teen trend argue, Masters wasn't interested in watching other kids on TV when he was a kid himself. "I liked to watch Bonanza, and other adult stuff. I'd only watch kids' shows once in a while, like My Three Sons. And I always thought, 'Man, I wish their house would burn down!' But, yeah, who knows - maybe this is something that's been created by the media itself. All I know is that I'm just along for the ride."

Although Passions has taken its knocks for its wet-behind-the-ears cast, Masters has nothing but praise for his younger co-stars. "I have warm feelings about the young people on the show. This is the hardest genre I've ever worked in; it's a tough proposition, even for an old bastard like me who has been doing it for 30 years. But to watch the difference in the first show to where we are now, I have a lot of respect for them. It's a real feat, and I really think they're coming along well."

Now in its fifth month, Passions is going through the laborious hazing faced by all new daytime dramas, slowly finding and building it's audience. But number-crunching the Nielsens is the furthest thing from Masters' mind. "That will be for those people who work in the dark buildings to figure out," he comments wryly. "My job is to not hit the furniture when I deliver my lines. I just try to go in and make the moments work. Because I've done nighttime series before - and they were always opposite LA Law, so no one saw them and they only ran like 18 episodes - I've experienced expending that type of energy about, 'Will we get picked up?' I did a series for ABC about 10 years ago called Heartbeat. It was about female doctors in Santa Monica. It starred Kate Mulgrew. It was an ensemble thing, and it was a very good show. We were picked up for the first season, and then the next year we're doing 13 episodes and it got good reviews, but it was opposite LA Law. We're doing the 12th show one day, the next day we were going to start the 13th. I go into the soundstage, and the guy who controls the coffee and the doughnuts said to me, 'Hey, sorry about the show.' And I said, 'What?' He said, 'I'm not supposed to order any coffee or doughnuts for tomorrow.' There's a big lesson to be learned: They know who to go to first. So, when you think that it's all going to be honey and roses" - or coffee and doughnuts - "it doesn't work that way. I've found the longer I've done it, that you just do what you can, and hope the show will find an audience. And we're going to do our damnedest.

"And, you've got to have something else you like to do," he continues. "It's taken me a long time to realize that. If you define yourself by your career as an actor, you could get in some really dark places."

How did Masters avoid traveling those roads? "Which ones have I avoided, would you tell me?" he says facetiously, answering a question with a question. "We all did. If you're doing a play off-Broadway, or on Broadway, afterward you'd go out and make a fool of yourself at Joe Allen's or Charlie's. I was in that period of time where Hair was still playing, toward the end, and I was doing a play called The Dirtiest Show in Town. It was a big hit, and there was nudity in it. The last couple of scenes, we'd run on naked; we were all in our early 20s, so when our show would come down and finish, we'd go over to Hair, and be in the last part of it. We'd swing from the ropes and do all of this weird stuff. And then, cast members from Hair and our cast members would go off and have these 'odd' parties,' Masters says with a decidedly devilish grin, leaving the rest to the imagination. "This probably isn't suitable for SOAP OPERA WEEKLY."

Masters grew up in Corvallis, Ore. ("It ain't Manhattan," he says.) There, he and his older sister, Cheryl, enjoyed a very down-to-earth upbringing: "Oregon is all about summer baseball and, you know, just kids. Just a normal, middle-class existence. Our father was a contractor, and I used to work for him in the summers."

Masters first got involved in acting in high school. "You know, the same old story," he jokes. Pressed to elaborate, he says with self-deprecating humor, "I sound like some John Gielgud, reminiscing about his career...I went to New York very young, out of college, started in the theater and then started working on movies for nighttime television and miniseries and things like that. I spent less and less time in New York, but I'd always go back and do a play, because I always felt that whole line of cliched crap: 'We have to recharge our batteries.' Well, yeah, right, sure. I don't need to have my battery recharged anymore. About four or five years ago I found that I'd do like a TV-movie a year. And then last year I was on Pensacola: Wings of Gold. I played a recurring guy, somebody's father. I actually finished my last episode of it yesterday. NBC was nice enough to let me out [of Passions] to die of pancreatic cancer on Pensacola.

"But when they approached me about playing Julian, I was just playing bad golf in the desert where I live, and so I was like, 'Yeah, I'd like to do this!' So I'm real happy about it. And there's the long story of my life."

While Masters approaches his career with a heaping dose of humor, his parents took his career aspirations seriously. "My father didn't know what the hell was going on, but they were always supportive. In college, I did Romeo and Juliet. It was a big theater, probably held 800 or 900 people. I'm onstage, and I hear snoring out there - and it was my father. He had worked hard that day, he had to drive a long distance, and he had a tendency to fall asleep, god bless him."

Although both his parents are now deceased, Masters returns to Oregon occasionally to visit his extended family. "As a matter of fact, tomorrow actually I am going up there. I have an aunt, she's in her mid-80s. She's organized some little family reunion for a couple of days. I haven't been home in a while, so I'm going to go up to see her and then some of my cousins, who are aging like I am, and we're going to sit around and talk about what the hell went wrong with our lives," he says, tongue-in-cheek.

Such a sharp wit helps to keep things in perspective, which is why Masters was unfazed by his distinction of being the first contract player cast for the show. "I guess I've been doing this so long, but that's not the sort of thing that concerns me. It's like, that's for somebody else to be concerned about. I tested with lots of Kims, and thank god Kim (Johnston Ulrich) is doing it." After getting off to a slow start as the show focused on its teeny-bopper crowd during the summer months, Masters' storyline has picked up speed. "And now this job is getting in the way of my doing hobbies again. I'm going to ahve to start doing four of these a week. Ewwwwwww," says Masters, humorously feigning regret at the idea of such a demanding work schedule. "It doesn't really bode well for a real good private life. But since I have no private life, it doesn't really matter!"

A bachelor, Masters ekes out a peaceful existence for himself and his dog in Palm Desert, Calif. "have you ever been to hell?" Masters asks to explain the climate of his town in summer. "I know I will be at some point. Take the humidity in Manhattan in August, and put it at 110 degrees." Masters originally relocated to Palm Desert to escape the cold. "I found that the New York winters were just too much for me. So I went out to the old retirement actors' home out on the West Coast - and now I'm in Harmony!" He jokes. "I wish I could bottle up one of those New York winters and breathe it in during the summers out here." When the temperatures aren't quite as oppressive, Masters likes "to play bad golf. And I like sailing. I have a friend who has a sailboat, and she and I go out.

"When I first started getting interviewed about things, years ago when I was living in Manhattan, the New York Times asked me what my hobbies were." Masters continues, "And I said, 'I don't have any hobbies. I live in New York, trying to work as an actor!' If you need a hobby in New York, other than jogging or going to the gym, you better have a lot of money. 'Oh, yes, I'm going out to the boat in Sag Harbor this weekend," says Masters, imitating a pretentious New York actor-type in a haughty voice reminiscent of Julian Crane. "Yeah, right!"

Stepping into cyberspace is one hobby Masters admits to dabbling in now and then. "I got on there the other day, and I took the Passions viewer survey on the Passions Web site, and I said I loved everybody. And a lady friend of mine said, ' But they're going to know that you're like a middle-aged man, and this looks like you're crazy. I mean, it doesn't work.' She said that I should have made it sound like I was a young girl instead. But I took the survey so at least there's one person out there who really loves the show! And I tried to get into a Passions chat room, and there were four other people in there. And they're saying stuff like, 'Hi. How are you?'" says Masters, imitating a monotone recluse. "So i got out of there."

Masters used to do a lot of traveling years ago, especially when he had roles in miniseries and TV-movies that were shot in exotic ports of call. "I used to travel a lot when they would pay for it," he wryly admits. "Now, I just kind of take care of the dog. I'm divorced - she got all the money, and I got the dog. How's that? Life's just fabulous."

Edited by CarlD2
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  • 1 month later...

Deanna Wright was amazing. I can't stand the overrated Heidi Mueller.

Natalie Zea was great as Gwen too. I was a die hard Team Theresa fan until Zea came on. She made me a Team Gwen fan until she left. Liza was just awful IMO.

Thanks for the article Carl. Molly was never a good actress but she seemed really nice. Zombie Charity was great!

I really liked Deanna too. I didn't like Heidi so much when she started but I grew to like her over time.

Here's an article from The Vindicator on the morning before its debut: This article is attached to Google News. After reading this I believe that Dana was acting out the first scene of Faith (Grace's twin) when she's running through the woods, but I wonder who Paul was? This makes me wonder what James E. Reilly originally had cooked up that didn't air in the beginning.

Edited by passionsfan
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