Passions Stars at Toy Drive

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Passions actors open their hearts, and their mouths!

Photo: LMSThe Russells Heat up Harmony in 2003!
Contains Scoopage! 

On Saturday, December 7, 2002, Soapdom was on hand as stars of Passions gave their time to sign autographs and take photos with fans at the Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza in Los Angeles for the 6th Annual Kym Whitley’s Comics 4 Kids Book and Toy Drive. 

Rodney van Johnson (TC) and Crystee Pharris (Simone) Photo: LMSTracey Ross (Eve), Rodney van Johnson (TC), Amelia Marshall (Liz), Ben Masters (Julian), Brook Kerr (Whitney) and Crystee Pharris joined top stars from primetime and the music world and greeted a large crowd of Mall-goers, who came out not only to shop for Christmas and deliver an unwrapped toy or book for those less fortunate, but to meet their favorite stars.  Sponsored by LA-based radio station, The BEAT (100.3 FM), the event was a fun success and our friends from Passions had a great time mingling with the fans.

As you know, the storyline for the Russells is set to really heat up the winter months in Harmony.  So, Soapdom took the opportunity to nab a few stars of Passions and get their take on what’s coming up early next year for their characters.

Brooke Kerr (Whitney)  Photo: LMSAccording to James E. Reilly, Whitney and Chad continue to think their hot relationship is a secret from Simone, but beware of a woman scorned!  With Kay’s help, Whitney may lose her career, her family, and/or her man! 

Brook Kerr sees things this way:  “I am going to be dealing with my love, who is Chad, in a way where we are completely honest with one another, and try to deal with the situation regarding Simone as gently as possible,” she said. “As far as my relationship with Simone, I think that it’s important for us (as sisters) for me not to betray her in any kind of deception. It needs to come from a real place. I love her so much and I am looking out for her well-being. As long as that is in place, I think that our story will be fine because I am just going to have to find a way to make it easy for her to understand.” 

But what about Kay and Simone’s plan to foil Whitney?  “If things happen along the way where it’s not that simple, then we’ll see what happens at that point!” Kerr said with a laugh.

Brooke Kerr (Whitney)  Photo: LMSAs far as Whitney’s tennis career is concerned, it looks like we will be seeing Whit continue to pursue tennis going forward.  “Oh yes.  That’s part of my plan to get Chad,” revealed Kerr.  “I need to make sure that I am completely successful at my tennis. Completely successful.  I need to have both those things in my life. My tennis and my man.”  Will Whitney come out on top, or will Simone and Kay have their way?  Time will tell.    One thing we do know. Kerr is enjoying working with her new scene partner, Charles Divins, although there was a bit of a transition that took place after Donn Swaby left the show.

Photo; LMS“Working with Charles is wonderful,” she said.  “He is the nicest guy.   We are almost like brother and sister!   It’s completely different than working with Donn Swaby.  They are totally different people and bring totally different things to the role. It’s a different connection. I had to not think about Donn at all. I just had to think of this new person in my life and that I loved him and start from there.  I did have to remember what Donn and I had been through (as the characters) and transfer those feelings to Charles now as Chad.  Charles and I get along really well. We are both very open.  It’s not like a “fight” where he is fighting for one thing and I am fighting for something else (as actors.)  We are together.”  And Soapdom thinks it works well.

Tracey Ross (Eve)  Photo: LMSOn to mama Russell, otherwise known as Dr. Eve, who has already bookmarked in her favorite places.  Hi Tracey!  Reilly shares that now with her sister firmly ensconced in the garage apartment, Eve is frantic to keep any knowledge of her lurid past from TC.  Not only that, it appears that Liz may actually have designs on Eve’s husband. How is Eve going to deal this this?


Ben Masters (Julian) and Tracey Ross (Eve) Photo: LMS“In my usual way,” said Tracey Ross. “Denial!”  She was finding it hard to concentrate on Soapdom’s questions, however as Ben Masters (Julian) kept nuzzling her neck!  “I can always turn to Julian” she giggled as Ben Masters kissed her.  “That would be great. I really aspire to live in the Crane mansion as Mrs. Crane and after all, (Julian) is my true love!”

“We have a child together,” Masters chimed in.   “I taught her about the ways of the world.”

Ben Masters (Julian) and Tracey Ross (Eve) Photo: LMS“Oh—did he ever!,” giggled Ross.   “On a disco dance floor, in case you haven’t read the book.  (Hidden Passions).”

“Isn’t she beautiful?” Masters noted.

We then took the opportunity to talk with Masters and ask about his recent, more distinguished look. We wanted to know how it came about.

“I don’t have the chicken on my head anymore,” Masters quipped regarding the reddish coloring they used to put in his hair. “One of the directors thought I was wearing a toupee for three years!” 

Ben Masters (Julian) Photo: LMSWhat spurred on the change?

“I was dead for 4 months!” Masters said.  “And while I was (off the show) I wasn’t coloring my hair. When I came back they said that looks good. Let’s do that – leave it natural. And I said, great, thank you.”

“Doesn’t he look so great?” Ross chimed in. 

As Masters dashed away to let Tracey finish her interview with us, we got back to business on what’s happening with Eve in the very near future…

Tracey Ross (Eve) Photo: LMS“I’m not sure exactly how Eve is going to deal with it,” reflected Ross. “I always feel that Eve isn’t using her ammunition. Everyone else uses their ammunition against her. She has stockpiles of ammunition that she could use and she never uses it.  For instance, she never – well, just think of all the different drugs (that Eve, as a doctor, has access to). They would have been really easy (to use) to take Ivy out!  People are very trusting of Dr. Eve not to hurt them.”

Soapdom reminded Ross of how the fans perceive the character. She is always nominated for, and has won, the Soapdom Cybby Award for Most Devious Doctor.

Tracey Ross (Eve) and Ben Masters (Julian)  Photo: LMS“Devious is such a ….” She began but again Masters piped up.

“What about Orville?” he called out from across the room. “That’s all I have to say. What about the bird statue?” 

Okay, since Masters was really wanting to talk to us, we decided it was time to put him on the spot.  Sneak peeks for this very week (12/9/02) are that Julian and Rebecca do a little role-playing.  We wanted to know what that was all about!

Ben Masters (Julian) Photo: LMS“Oh yes. She wants to pretend that she’s the bridesmaid and I am the groom,” Masters said.  “Kind of like Sonny in the Godfather.  Well, you know, Rebecca did Alistair at my wedding.  She was a bridesmaid for Ivy and she and Alistair did something together upstairs in the Library. I think she wants to recreate those lovely moments!”

Amelia Marshall (Liz) Photo: LMSWe next set our sights on Amelia Marshall (Liz).  According to Reilly, Liz distances Eve from her own daughters and might soon be sleeping with Eve’s husband!  It definitely looks like Liz will be playing a large role in the life of the Russells. We got her to tell us about it, especially her attraction toward TC.

“TC is a handsome man,” said Marshall.  “And Antonio (slash Brian) is in love with Sheridan (slash Diana) so it’s time for Liz to move on. Get her own man.   And there’s my sister, who’s not paying any attention to her man. She’s always at the hospital because everyone’s always sick. TC is lonely and needy.  And here I am!  It’s so much fun.”

We asked if this underlying romantic tension between TC and Liz is something that is going to carry through for a while.
“Oh yeah! This is one of the ways that I seek to get revenge from my sister,” said Marshall without skipping a beat. “Because, as I keep saying over and over, she has everything. She has this beautiful family. She has these two beautiful daughters. A handsome husband. This gorgeous house… what do I have? I have a struggling hotel back on St. Lisa’s that I haven’t seen in months, and now I am living in a garage apartment with a lonely bed. I want what she has.”

Amelia Marshall (Liz) Photo: LMSWhen we next mentioned that Liz is set to put a rift between Eve and Whitney and Simone, Marshall said with a laugh, “You’re hearing more than I hear!”  We then whipped out Soapdom’s Sneak Peeks and 2003 Previews and gave her a copy!  

Time ran out before we had a chance to chat with Crystee Pharris (Simone) and Rodney van Johnson (TC), but it certainly does sound like all the Russells will have a lot on their hands come 2003. One thing remains a puzzle. Exactly how is Julian Crane (Ben Masters) going to impact the lives of the Russells in 2003?  How will everything  else play out?  We will just have to keep tuning into Passions in 2003 and see!

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