Something’s in the “Evian”
One-on-One With Passions’
Tracey Ross and Ben Masters
By Deanna Barnert, Soap Opera Weekly

Rumors have been flying that the Passions between Eve and Julian has spilled offscreen and into the real lives of portrayers Tracey Ross and Ben Masters. The duo opened up about "Evian" (as their characters’ coupling is known by their devotees), but wouldn't quite cop to the couple label. So you'll have to judge the nature of their connection for yourself...

MASTERS: (enters and plants a passionate kiss on Ross) That was for you.

WEEKLY: Is this real? Are you two a couple?

MASTERS: I saw that [Buzz item] in your magazine. I assume you were talking about us.

ROSS: Isn't that irresponsible journalism?

WEEKLY: It would have been if we'd used your names.

MASTERS: I always think that in journalism the first question lays the groundwork for the last question: "When did they stop dating?" Look what it did to Ben and Jen!

ROSS: We want to maintain some mystery.

WEEKLY: So what is the secret to your on-screen chemistry?

MASTERS: I'm crazy about her and lust after her. I can't keep my hands off her.

ROSS: He has magic with everybody. He could do a scene with a potted plant and have chemistry.

WEEKLY: What do you think is the fan appeal of "Evian"?

MASTERS: Obviously, it was written by Jim Reilly, but something between Tracey and myself gets sparked and adds another level of excitement to it. Sometimes it doesn't matter that there are four cameras there. It all comes down to this little box with our eyes in it. I think the fans see that, especially the avid "Evian" fans.

ROSS: We have such an appreciation for each other as people and he makes me work harder than I normally would.

WEEKLY: Did you expect to have this kind of connection?

MASTERS: I always wanted it - ever since I saw you in that brown skirt with the slit up your leg! I was just in awe.

ROSS: We had a connection the first time we met.

MASTERS: We have a lot of fun.

WEEKLY: Fans are concerned about past allusions to Julian having done more than turn Eve onto drugs. Has the show rewritten history to make this couple work?

MASTERS: He pimped her out (laughs)! No, I don't think that's true. Julian's rap is that his father promised he would take care of Eve if he left her, but he didn't. All I can believe is what is in the script. I don't compare it to Hidden Passions. It's like you read the novel, and the movie is a little different.

ROSS: Scarlett O'Hara had three kids in the book.

MASTERS: See, there you go.

ROSS: I see people who say, "They didn't have this grand love affair: we saw Eve's flashbacks!" Those were not objective reality. They were Eve's point of view when she was still hurt and disgusted. They're the way you remember some guy you're pissed at. You want to think you've been used and taken advantage of and that he's a wicked warlock. Later on, when you start to calm down and remember nice things, you can have tender thoughts. That doesn't mean the bad wasn't true, it just wasn't objective.

WEEKLY: All things considered, do these two have a chance?

MASTERS: Julian would do anything he could to be with Eve and take care of her, but he's only half the equation. It will be interesting to see when and if TC finds out, how Eve will deal with that. I certainly don't see the proverbial white picket fence. I hope that she'll be reunited with her daughters and that Eve and Julian could take advantage of all that money and enjoy themselves, because he ain't no spring chicken, honey.

ROSS: Neither is she.

MASTERS: She's pretty close. Julian would be willing to kill his own father [to have Eve].

ROSS: I'll do it for him!

MASTERS: Forget all the money involved, could you imagine if this was a real-life situation? How dark and sad and hopeless it would be? These people are in big trouble. I know of no advice, except for the obvious: Protect yourself from TC. He's going to go ballistic and try to kill for sure.

WEEKLY: What lessons do they need to learn?

ROSS: Eve is proof positive that a person cannot live her life as a squirrel in a city park, reacting to whatever happens moment to moment. There's never any planning or thought about what she's going to do next.

WEEKLY: Do you miss "Bad Julian"?

MASTERS: When the redemption of Julian Crane ensued, I [was concerned, but] I have so enjoyed this arc and it's almost all to do with this lovely woman sitting next to me. I also enjoyed that scene with Rebecca where I made her get into a tacky evening gown. It was twisted. I like playing that, because it's fun, but how many times can you be weird, wear a beauty mark, rant and rave, drink brandy all day and throw one liners at people? Finally it becomes even more of a caricature than I had made it (laughs).

ROSS: The other reason they had to have Good Julian is that there's no way anyone else would be able to approach shining [as an actor on the show] as long as Ben was that Julian.

MASTERS: Oh, let's not go down that road again.

ROSS: You didn't know what he would do next. They had to put a cover over his light.

MASTERS: That's enough. You're finished dear. She just gets a little too effusive.

ROSS: He lets it go in one ear and out the other. That's one of the first things I really liked about him.

MASTERS: That's the oldest trick. You let people think you don't want to be complimented and they keep doing it.

ROSS: That's not true with you. And he's really good at turning it around. I start talking about him and he'll immediately turn it around onto me.

MASTERS: Well, she can't take a compliment either.

ROSS: Did you see that? He just did it. I caught him this time!

WEEKLY: Do you think that Chad is their long lost son?

ROSS: I'd like it to be a bigger twist. I've been hearing people talking about it being Sheridan.

MASTERS: That'd be impossible! She's the long-lost son?! No.

WEEKLY: What do you do together off-set?

MASTERS: I have a sailboat. Tracey's gone with me. The first time, she got a bit queasy. She started out knowing everything about everything - you know how women can be - but an hour into the trip, not a peep.

ROSS: Ben bought me these little bracelets....

MASTERS: Two Tiffany bracelets....

ROSS: No, they're for sea sickness. They have a ball that presses into [my wrists] and I don't get sick anymore. Isn't that funny? I don't know if I'm smart enough to learn how to sail. He's always moving, hoisting and jibbing things. There are all sorts of depth finders. It seems so complicated.

MASTERS: I just took it up a few years ago. I do worry that I'm a bit too old to have taken that on, and I'm not being facetious. It's very athletic. I'll probably just die on that boat one day, but it's much more relaxing than being beaten to death by a power boat that's vibrating away. She's the queen of the hardware store.

ROSS: I like to see what's available and how things are put together.

MASTERS: If she needs a new sprinkler timing system, she'll buy five. She'll try them all, choose one and put the [rest] back in the box and return them! I love that about her.

ROSS: I'm the queen of returns. He doesn't understand. He helped me bring a patio set back to Target and he was trying to think of a way to get around when they say "No way. Get out of here with that!" As long as you have the receipt, they couldn't care less.

MASTERS: I would have reconstructed the entire package with no visible tape, and worn sunglasses. You know when she was a little girl, she was looking out on the fire escape where she lived and said, "This is a mistake. I don't belong here. I belong in Hawaii" because she grew up in a tough neighborhood in New York.

ROSS: It was the Brownsville section of Brooklyn and, okay, it was a ghetto. It was awful. I remember thinking, "I'm far too sensitive a flower for this environment (laughs)."

MASTERS: Isn't that something?

WEEKLY: So your final word on your off-screen relationship?

MASTERS: We got married six months ago (laughs). I have very strong feelings for Tracey. She's a beautiful woman, I enjoy spending time with her and I would do anything in the world for her. It's as simple as that.

ROSS: He's a beautiful, sexy man. On television, movies, anywhere, he's the sexiest.

MASTERS: What about Hugh Grant?!

ROSS: Hugh and I were over a long time ago. He doesn't know it, but I'm going to tell him.