By Lorraine Zenka
From Soap Opera Magazine
May 5, 1998
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, Clive 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
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
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
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 wonderful."