"Behind the Scene... Double Trouble..."
Daytime has a long history of asking its strongest actors to tackle two or more roles. Currently, All My Children's David Canary (Adam/Stuart), Guiding Light's Kim Zimmer (Reva, Clone Reva) and Sunset Beach's Clive Robertson (Ben/Derek) are pulling double duty. Here's a candid interview with Robertson, explaining all the reasons why playing a twin is not necessarily a walk on the beach.
Digest: What has your schedule been like?
Robertson: I feel completely brainwashed. It's been difficult, because they've been scheduling me last every day. I've had so many scenes that I come in at 1, often don't get on (set) until 5 and go until we finish. We shoot late, and it's difficult to concentrate at that time. If we finish at 10 or 11 (p.m.), then I have to go home to learn all my lines and I don't get to bed until 2 a.m. I've been getting up at 10 and trying to remember the lines I learned the night before. It's been a vicious circle and I haven't really had a life.
Digest: Do you think the story is working?
Robertson: It gets better from what I've read. The way they've been writing Ben since he's been locked up has been annoying me. I'm really bored with him. Ben has never allowed anyone to get the better of him, and he's not been allowed to express himself in the way that he would. They've been writing all these great, great lines for Derek, but nothing for Ben. I'm looking forward to getting Ben back to himself.
Digest: Which would be what?
Robertson: The interesting thing about Ben is that I never set out with the intention of making him likable. He's fairly abrupt, fairly antisocial, but with different people, other sides of his character are brought out. That's what the audience bought into. He's a bit of an antihero.
Digest: Do you enjoy playing Derek?
Robertson: Yes, I've had a lot of fun playing him. I find Derek a lot easier to play. Ben's quite difficult to portray, actually. Ben has this sort of economy with movement in the way he walks, talks and does things, whether it's picking up a phone or whatever. Derek, I find much more liberating. I've purposely not given him that same ease with things.
Digest: What else do you do to differentiate Derek from Ben?
Robertson: When I first played Derek, his voice was much posher. He was more sophisticated, brought about by the fact that he was trying to copy Ben, but not doing a very good job. Lately, Derek's become more comfortable with being Ben, so the differences are fewer.
Digest: Have you had any problems with how easy it has been for Derek to take over Ben's life?
Robertson: Some situations are a bit difficult to believe. They haven't made it very clear that Derek's soundproofed the room and put speakers in. That's how he's able to hear what's happening. And the password -- the fact that Derek has all Ben's I.D., but can't access his password. I would have thought he could go to the bank with his passbook and credit cards and checkbook and get the money. I assume it's in a Swiss account and you need I.D.s for stuff like that. And Derek used to always have the same clothes as
Ben. My idea was that he's been plotting this for a long time. He's been keeping such close tabs on Ben, he probably broke into his house and bought the same clothes he saw in Ben's wardrobe, actually monitoring him so closely that he was able to wear (the same outfit) on any given day. But they sort of brushed over all that.
Digest: Anything else?
Robertson: Meg is in the warehouse with Derek, so you would expect Ben to shout at her. But Derek has said he'll kill her if anything happens, so I guess that's fair enough; he's not going to endanger her. But then Casey shows up. Derek does have a knife in his hand, so I suppose Ben is thinking that Derek will kill Casey and then, kill Meg. But personally? I would have screamed.
Digest: What are your thoughts about continuing to play the dual role?
Robertson: It's fun to play two completely different characters, and there are some interesting things coming up between the brothers that I am excited about doing.
Digest: Do you think the fans are buying the story?
Robertson: They can buy anything now that Ben isn't the killer.