Star Of The Week
Soap Opera Magazine - 5/5/98
SUN's Ben Evans is enduring a double dose of rage, frustration and fear these days. After being kidnapped and held captive by his evil twin, he's been forced to watch helplessly as Derek has taken over his life, moving into his home and into Meg's arms.
As Derek taunts him with images of Meg and wickedly measured words, Ben comes ever closer to giving up the passwords to his bank accounts. For his chillingly smooth transition between two visually identical but radically distinct characters Robertson is honored as Soap Opera Magazine's Star of the Week.
From the first time Meg opened the door to a shadow-obscured Derek, Robertson's eerie transition from menacing presence to
brooding charmer was stunning. Indeed, the actor has thrived in the dual roles, and his work to create two distinct personalities even as Derek impersonates Ben - has been masterful.
In his impersonation of brother Ben, Derek is pretty savvy in responding to those around him who know Ben well. "I let the audience see that he's thinking quickly," says Robertson. "You don't usually telegraph what a character is doing." As Derek
learns more about people around Ben, he is becoming less guarded and is quick to cover a point, a development the actor
appreciates. "It's a bit of a relief for me," admits Robertson. "His responses and speech pattern can be quicker now. He's becoming more like Ben."
Robertson adds that "Derek is much easier to play than Ben," perhaps because there may be some freedom in insanity. "Ben is
more controlled - he has an economy of movement about him. Derek doesn't," explains Robertson.
To distinguish one twin from the other, Robertson has introduced a slight difference in their voices. "I've made Derek's a bit
more posh. It's a bit more contrived because he's actually copying how he believes Ben speaks." Despite Ben's aristocratic air,
the actor explains that he feels the brothers do not come from an affluent background. In Robertson's estimation, "Ben came to
the States with nothing and struggled to achieve what he has."
Derek, on the other hand, "is somehow under the impression that Ben has always been favored, and he's always come second.
He feels he should have whatever Ben has just because they're twins. It's only fair in his mind."
Lately, being Ben has been frustrating for character and actor alike. "He's never really let anyone get the best of him before,"
offers Robertson. "I'm really chained and gagged, and it's very annoying! In every one of Ben's scenes, I'm struggling for
something or doing a voice-over while fighting my chains. It's difficult making that fresh every time."
Derek, on the other hand, is thriving. He likes applying psychological torture and has used a hologram and will use a two-way
mirror to let Ben see him with Meg. Although it's clear that Derek is a serial murderer and has homicidal thoughts about Meg,
no one, not even the actor, is certain if Derek had anything to do with the disappearance and presumed death of Ben's wife,
Maria. For the moment, Ben and his money are Derek's focus.
"Derek keeps telling Ben that one day he'll be better than him," says Robertson. "It's all part of wearing him down." Speaking of
which, how's Robertson holding up under the demands of his dual roles? "It's much harder than I expected," he admits. "But it's