One on One interview with Ben Masters

NBC Passions Online

How did the role on Passions come about for you?
I got a call that Lisa Hesser and others were interested in me, so I had an hour long meeting with them to talk. Then, of course, you still have to test…they don’t give away anything for free! I was put on tape and then I got the part

You’ve worked in theater, primetime, film, and now daytime--what’s your favorite medium to work in?
To give an indirect answer, the hardest medium to work in is daytime. I also have more fun doing this than anything else. It’s almost like being in a play. On the dark side, it’s almost like being in a play every single day! Also, this has more of a continuity of the moment, as opposed to film which is shot out of order.

Has it been hard adjusting to the pace of daytime?
The way I try to do it is to know what I’m doing and know the lines. The trick is giving up any personal life. This is a 24-hour job. I finally did my laundry this morning—I’d been stealing socks from the wardrobe department. On the other hand, there’s nothing better than working. As an actor, to have some sort of steady job is really nice.

How do you like playing Julian Crane?
I love it! I was reading some stuff today for an upcoming script—they let him get away with so much. I love working with Kim Johnston Ulrich (Ivy)—she’s a great gal and a great actress. And she lets me slobber all over her like an old man. Julian’s pretty nutty and the older I’ve gotten, the more comfortable I am being a little strange!

What would be your dream storyline for Julian?
I don’t know. It’s always a surprise to get the scripts. I can’t even answer that because I think the storylines are really good. It’s so dark and strange sometimes—the writers have done a really good job.

What have been some of your favorite scenes to tape?
I liked the scenes with Kim (Ivy) and Travis (Ethan), when Julian told Ethan what it means to be a Crane. And in general, anything with Julian and Ivy. Especially the one where I throw her on the desk and try to rip her clothes off!

If you weren’t an actor, what would you be?
If I had to go back and do it, I probably wouldn’t have been an actor. I would have liked to be an architect or a geologist.

What acting experience has been your favorite?
My favorite was a play called “Key Exchange.” It started out Off-Off Broadway. I was in my mid thirties and we were all doing it for like no money. It got great reviews in the New York Times so then it moved to Off-Broadway. We were the toast of Off-Broadway! Secondly and equal to that was a television movie I did that was an adaptation of a play called “Shadow Box,” which won a Pulitzer Prize for the author. The television version was directed by Paul Newman and it was about people in a hospice dying of cancer. Working with Paul Newman for six weeks was great.

Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
Hopefully, alive! But, it would be nice to do this for a while.

What three words would you use to describe yourself?
Judgmental, unforgiving, and greedy!